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19 March 2019

Developing Critical Mass for Educational Reform in Chitral

CHITRAL:  Since its inception in 2003, the Aga Khan University’s Professional Development Centre in Chitral (AKU-PDCC) has been offering a variety of high quality innovative programs for building the capacity of schools and key stakeholders in Chitral, other parts of Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  Over 2600 teachers, head teachers, and education managers have thus far attended various Certificate and short courses offered by this institution.  PDCC. has also developed a number of schools as model in multi-grade teaching and ECED.  Its faculty have engaged in research and published a number of articles and book chapters in various national and international journals and books.  PDCC has recently won a very competitive research grant award from Higher Education of Pakistan to study the role of civil society institutions in promoting cultural diversity and pluralism in Chitral.

A colorful ceremony was organized at PDCC to celebrate the successful completion of two Certificate Courses in ‘Educational Leadership and management’ and ‘Primary Education’.  A total of 39 head teachers and teachers graduated from these two courses.  22 out of 39 were from government schools.  Executive District Officer primary and elementary schools  Muhammad Siraj was chief guest on the occasion while there ceremony was presided over by  Sultan Mehmood  Regional Program Manager  Hashoo Foundation.  The ceremony was attended by educationists, leaders of the civil society institutions, and teachers community.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Mir Afzal Tajik, Head Outreach AKU-IED and Head PDCC highlighted key issues and hurdles in the way of improving the quality of education in the district.  He also highlighted how these courses have helped the graduates to address these issues and thus bring about positive changes in their schools. He urged that bringing about positive changes in schools is possible but the head teachers and teachers have to initiate the change. The purpose of these courses was to develop the ‘change agents’ needed to initiate and lead the change.

 Siraj Muhammad, EDO Education  Chitral, thanked AKU-PDCC for its continuous efforts to enhance the capacity of schools and to develop leadership and change agents for schools in Chitral.  He urged the graduates to implement what they have learnt in the courses and assured them of his full support.  He particularly thanked PDCC leadership for their cooperation with the government education.  He also advised the graduates that they should work with full enthusiasm and diligence.

 Sultan Mehmood and others also lauded AKU-PDCC for its valuable contributions to capacity building of key stakeholders in Chitral.  Mrs. Commandant Chitral Scouts while talking on the occasion expressed her great sorrow on trend of cheating. She said that mostly graduate and post graduates students could not speak transparently and they are very poor in general knowledge. Although they have degrees but no knowledge it means that they use unfair-means in examinations or warm palm of Board and university staff. She said that during recruitment of Chitral scouts some 31 candidates were pulled out from test hall because of involving in cheating. She said that our head teaches and teachers can bring positive changes. She appreciated decision of provincial government to bound government schools teaches to enroll their children in Govt. schools not in private one so as to couscous about the future of their own children and they will teach honestly to their students.  At last    Certificates were distributed amongst the graduates.    

Gull Hamad Farooqui has contributed to this story from Chitral,Pakistan.
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