'My Alma Mater, AKU-IED: A Vision of Excellence'

"When I look back at my student days, the collaborative learning, facilitated in all AKU-IED’s programmes, has been the most brilliant experience where we developed smaller learning communities that served as a way to bridge the gap between classroom and living experiences."

​Mariam Farooq
Graduate of MEd Cohort 2011 & Recipient of High Honours Award

In 2008, I completed my Bachelor’s in Commerce from University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The same year my family relocated to Karachi, Pakistan. After moving back, I was looking for an option to pursue higher studies but was not sure about the discipline to pursue. In the meantime, I started to teach English and Maths for junior classes in a private primary school while waiting for the admission cycle to begin in educational institutions.

Discovering AKU-IED

Unable to find a suitable higher education programme, I continued to teach at the same school for over a year. Teaching was not an easy task in the beginning and I struggled with the young students. However, I realized in few months that I was enjoying my time in the classroom while teaching and interacting with students, teachers in the school as well as parents. This convinced me that since I had become passionate about teaching, I should pursue a teacher education programme that would help me in become a more effective teacher.

I came to know about AKU-IED’s MEd programme through a friend who introduced me to the institute as the best teacher education institution in the country. I quickly read about AKU-IED and details of the programme on the website. Noticing that the programme develops not only the pedagogical content knowledge and skills but also facilitate them to become educational leaders. This convinced me that it was the programme I should attend. Visiting AKU-I​ED campus for the first time was an interesting experience where more than the beautiful white building, its culturally-diverse setting impressed me.​

Studying at AKU-IED

While studying in the MEd programme, with the incredibly diverse student body was a significant experience. I was able to interact with teachers and teacher educators not only from various parts of Pakistan but also from several developing countries who shared their contextual experiences. I feel this distinctive feature enhances the effectiveness of the programme.

Becoming a student of AKU-IED totally transformed me as a teacher. It made me realize that teaching has a significant contribution to make not only to the lives of children but also to the society.

It also brought back the love of learning that was enhanced by the meaningful interaction with faculty and students both inside and outside the classroom. The discussions inspired me to reflect on issues in education and unpack my learning to discover viable solutions. It further developed my academic self-concept and contributed significantly in increasing my intellectual and professional development.

During the two years, I was able to develop a habit of questioning ideas, beliefs and notions from multiple perspectives. It was no doubt a challenging experience as the courses are demanding however the faculty’s encouragement for keeping ourselves abreast of the new knowledge, best practices and strategies in teacher education inspired us to work harder and grow as effective teachers and teacher educators.

All courses are taught by internationally qualified fac​ulty who are experts in their areas. The faculty sees the students as active learners with their contextual experiences. They facilitate learning based on effective teaching strategies in contextual realities.

For me the best feature of the institute is the well-resourced library because the time spent there in searching for knowledge benefitted me not only as a student but also had a profound impact on my professional development.

Moving towards a bright future

Graduating with the MEd degree was a proud moment time in my life. I have achieved not only an academic credential is also internationally recognized but the educational experience has equipped me to be a teacher who is not only passionate about teaching but also a resourceful, responsible and creative educator. I now aim to work on my professional goals with much more enthusiasm, help other teachers, and dedicate my energies towards improving the quality of education in the country.

Attending AKU-IED is the best decision that I have ever made. Studying at AKU-IED surpassed all my expectations as an institute that provides a rich and dynamic educational experience.

My message to all current and potential students is to “follow your passion, be organized, work hard, and you will achieve your dreams".  As I have achieved my dream of being a graduate of one of the most prestigious institutions in the country!