The Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) has launched its newest academic offering: a one and half year Bachelor of Education (BEd) programme. This was launched as part of the commemorative activities for this year’s International Day of Education.
Faced with daunting tasks in Pakistan’s educational landscape riddled with disparities in educational standards, gender inequality in access to education, inadequate school facilities, and an insufficient number of qualified teachers, the new programme seeks to address these challenges by providing capacity development to aspiring teachers and those in the early years of their teaching careers.
Articulating the aims of the new programme, Professor Farid Panjwani, Dean of AKU-IED, noted that it seeks ‘to make a significant educational impact by enhancing teacher status, increasing employability in both public and private sectors, providing international opportunities, and elevating the overall quality of teaching and learning.’ He observed that the ‘programme is more than an individual academic pursuit; it is envisioned to serve as a model of excellence in teacher development, contributing not only to the advancement of education in Pakistan but also beyond its borders.’
One of the BEd programme’s defining aspects is its flexibility, which allows those who are currently working full-time or part-time to study for the degree. The inclusion of practicums, where student teachers (STs) will be placed in various schools, is an important part of the process.
The new programme, like all existing AKU programmes, is founded on the same commitment to access to quality education.
Associate Professor Kim Insley from Institute of Education University College London, UK, remarked, "AKU-IED is embarking on developing a programme designed to empower teachers in schools to solve their own challenges in the classroom; to be critically thinking and reflective practitioners."
With governments’ renewed commitment to teacher quality, as evidenced by measures such as Sindh’s teaching license policy in 2023, AKU-IED's BEd programme seeks to address these challenges head-on.