​A dream comes true: Making a difference in teacher education!

"I have a strong belief that professional development enhances the ability to cope professional challenges and difficulties. I would recommend all potential students to join AKU-IED for equipping themselves with new knowledge and methods that can be adapted within our own contexts to fulfill the requirement of the modern era. My experience and learning is certainly a dream come true!"
Fida Bibi
MEd' 2011

​I belong to the northern part of Pakistan called Sonikot, Gilgit-Baltistan. I started my career as a teacher in 1992 from DJ Girls Middle school Sonikot which is run by the Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan (AKES,P). When I was in intermediate there was a scarcity of educated females and female teachers in my area. Girls rarely completed their intermediate studies in those days. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study away from home and lived in a hostel. My whole paternal family was against my studying and there was tremendous pressure on my parents not to allow me to continue studying. Luckily, my parents were enlightened and supported my progressing in education.

Discovering a beacon of hope!

I started teaching and worked with AKES,P for ten years. Being a committed teacher who wants to make a difference, I then decided to join the public education sector as a teacher in the FG Girls Middle School, Sonikot Gilgit-Baltistan. During this time I continued my studies, even after getting married. Completing the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teacher education from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad in 2005, I have been offering my services as teacher educator for Allama Iqbal Open University.    

Several of my friends in Gilgit-Baltistan studied in the MEd programme at AKU-IED. I observed the positive changes in their teaching practice and how they were working with other teachers to develop their capacity. I also worked as a trainee briefly for a diploma programme at the Professional Develop​ment Centre, North, where I also had the opportunity to develop my research skills through practical action research studies that I conducted in real classroom situations. This inspired me to join the MEd programme for an in-depth understanding of teaching learning processes and enhancing my professional knowledge and skills.

Student experience like no other! 

Studying at AKU-IED was not an easy task. The programme was rigorous and the faculty had high expectations from us to learn not only from the curriculum but also from the practices and new developments in teacher education around the globe. They also encouraged students to take part in extra-curricular and student activities to relax.

During my two years at the institute, I was always amazed at support provided to students. Being a mother of five children including a nursing baby, joining the MEd programme was both a great and yet challenging experience. However, the moral and physical support I received from everyone at AKU-IED was unimaginable which helped me to cope with the demands and expectations of the programme. I was supported for taking care of my children while I studied by facilitating in finding a suitable residence and allowing my children to visit during the day.

Having no prior experience of using information and communications (ICT) technology was another challenge. Along with other students, I was supported through a programme to learn ICT skills in a facilitating environment. AKU-IED also facilitated the development my professional skills, particularly in case of making presentations. I can now confidently face large audiences without any hesitation.

All the support helped me not only to cope with the pressure of a demanding programme but it also encouraged me to work harder and focus on my studies.

Transformation as a professional educator

I feel that the MEd programme eqipped me with skills to perform my teaching duties better than before! I am now teaching ADE classes at Government College of Education for Women, Gilgit-Baltistan as an instructor. I am more confident to work with my students, colleagues and teachers in building their knowledge base, skills by sharing my experiences and learning at AKU-IED.

Joining the MEd programme was a good decision for me. I have gained tremendous knowledge, skills and positive attitude which has enhanced my abilities as a teacher and teacher educator.  I have also come to realise that teaching is a lifelong process. There may be difficulties on the way however where there is a will, there is way!