Interview with Mr Abdul Waheed Khan — Director Administration, Quaid-e-Azam Group of Schools and Colleges
Over the period of last fifteen years, Mr Abdul Waheed Khan has worked in different capacities by starting his career as an English teacher, as a head teacher, as a Principal and currently he is working as the Director Administration of the Quaid-e-Azam Group of Schools and Colleges (QGSC). He has got passion for learning, teaching and academic-administration. He is quite glad for the recognition and the trust that the QGSC and the community have put in for his untiring efforts.
PAGE: TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE QUAID-E-AZAM GROUP OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, PLEASE:
ABDUL WAHEED KHAN: The Quaid-e-Azam Group of Schools and Colleges is one of the leading education providers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa established in 1990 and is on the map with ten thousand students in thirteen branches in Swabi, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda and Peshawar.
From last 27 years the Group has been celebrating several accomplishments, recognitions and achievements and we are geared up to keep the momentum going as we create new memories, reach for new goals and overcome new challenges. Students and their parents have very high trust level in our system for they know our matchless successes in achieving excellent grades and top 20 positions in the SSC and FSc Board Examinations and for winning seats at the country’s reputable medical, engineering and professional universities.
PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON STANDARDS OF EDUCATION IN KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA IN PARTICULAR AND PAKISTAN IN GENERAL?
ABDUL WAHEED KHAN: Different factors contribute in setting and maintaining standards for education in any country like government education — budget, infrastructure and facilities, professionally trained teachers, disciplined students, cooperative community, proper check and balance system and the list goes on.
If we look at the first fifty years of Pakistan all above mentioned factors contributed negatively thus putting this country at the world’s lower level in terms of quality education and standards, and on top in terms of illiteracy rates and students’ drop-outs. Also, the race by students, parents and the education providers for achieving high marks in Boards or winning seats in a few professional colleges have given rise to just a system of memorization with no conceptual learning.
In the current decade, the comprehensive reforms by the federal and provincial governments will enhance the standards. Worth-appreciating are the KP’s government steps like manifold increase in education budget, setting up new schools, colleges and universities, merit based selection of teachers, the OMR examination system, biometrics attendance system for teachers, teachers’ training and granting scholarships to deserving students.
PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORTS IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES AND HOW ARE YOU PROMOTING IT IN YOUR GROUP?
ABDUL WAHEED KHAN: Participation in organized sports offers the chance for youth to enhance their physical and social skills. We always try to maintain a balance that matches the students’ maturity, skills, and their interests with their sports participation.
Sports offer students a change from the monotony of their daily lives. Our Activity Days for schools and colleges are designed to be fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding. We want young students to engage in sports and in an active lifestyle. For this purpose we provide the facilities for both indoor and outdoor games, including volleyball, badminton, table tennis, cricket and football.
Every year a special Sports-Gala is arranged where the matches among all of our branches are played, followed by an exciting ceremony to award the winning teams and best players. This year one such great festival was arranged at our Swabi Boys College attended by thousands of our students and general public.
PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON QUALITY OF TEACHING IN PAKISTAN. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE FURTHER?
ABDUL WAHEED KHAN: In Pakistan, we are just at the start of the transition from the traditional teaching approach towards the modern teaching approach. Here, teaching mainly aims at passing marks, high scores and top positions instead of true learning and demonstrations. Now, the students, teachers and educational institutes alike recognize the fact that quality of teaching and learning is another thing especially when they compete with other students in the international universities or with supervisors in some research based projects.
Modern research says that all students can learn and every student must be taken on. ‘The Whole Child Education’ approach in order to improve the content learning, analytical skills, verbal communications and problem solving skills.
In the QGSC we have adopted the modern teaching-learning approaches as we think them compulsory to achieve high quality of teaching.
PAGE: YOUR COMMENTS ON THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR IMPARTING EDUCATION:
ABDUL WAHEED KHAN: Modern technology is playing a key role for imparting education in shape of interactive classrooms, digital libraries, subject’s tutorials and a lot more.
I personally think that with the introduction of the ICT in the QGSC our administration, teaching staff and students have gained dramatic results in terms of students’ learning, engagement, motivation, independent learning, parental learning, student and staff attendance and punctuality and extending the students’ learning time. For the more personalized learning, laptops, notebooks and tablets are increasingly pervasive in the classroom.
PAGE: YOUR COMMENTS ON TALENT IN PAKISTAN:
ABDUL WAHEED KHAN: Pakistan is a very fertile land with extraordinary minds and talent. Pakistani students have always impressed the world with their high performances like in the O-level, A-level or at degree programs abroad whenever they are in competition with international students.
Also, the Pakistani scholars especially the HEC scholars for MPhil and PhD in the world top ranking universities have had a very high degree-success ratio.
Some of the hundreds of recognitions and awards-winning Pakistani are for example Prof. Atta-ur-Rehman founding Chairman of HEC; Abdul Salam, the Nobel laureate in Physics; Ayub Ommaya for invention of medical drugs, Mahbub-ul-Haq for developing Human Development Index and the list goes on. We are proud of them.