Headline March 12, 2017/ ''' *EDUCATION & ENTERPRISE* '''


NUSRAT BIBI taught in government primary schools for about 35 years. Yes, 35 sterling years, before she retired.

She was head teacher for about a decade and a half out of the 35 years. When I met her, she was very close to retirement.

She had been heading/teaching in the same school for about 15 years by then. This school was in a small village.  All the teachers in her school had been  Nusrat Bibi's  students and  she had taught generations of girls in that village.

Village elders wanted to keep Nusrat Bibi as the head teacher for as long as it was possible. A number of students said that they wanted to grow up to be like Nusrat Bibi  -surely a high compliment for a teacher. 

A number of younger teachers said that Nusrat Bibi had been their motivation to become teachers.

What did Nusrat Bibi do to achieve such an iconic status in the eyes of the villagers?  Nusrat Bibi's own home was a few hours away from the village where she was posted.

She would stay in the school from Monday to Friday  and went home only for the weekends. Since she was in the school in the evenings as well, she provided extra coaching to all those girls willing to learn.

She even taught  post-primary level girls and prepared them for their matriculation examination. All of this extra coaching was done gratis: her main motivation for doing all this was   ''I am a teacher.''

Given her dedication she was also able to get a lot of financial and material support from the village. Girls came in early and helped Nusrat Bibi and other teachers to clean the school. 

A village landowner had provided finances to improve the school building and get functional toilets. Villagers contributed labour and material to whitewash the school periodically.

Even school uniforms, stationery and notebooks for students who could not afford these were provided by the school through funds raised by the community.

Though the primary school was small and still did not have a room for each class. *It was a pleasure to visit the school and see the enthusiasm with which children were learning and were being taught*.

Given the general  state of  public education  in Pakistan, Nusrat Bibi's school must be an exception. And it is.

Though not a unique case, schools like  Nusrat Bibi's form a small percentage of  public schools in Pakistan.

I have been visiting public school as a researcher for a decade and a half at least. Most government schools disappoint. With the first  10 to 15 minutes of entering a school you can get a fairly good idea of whether a school is working well or not.

A school that is working well will have classes in sessions, students would be interested in what they are learning, teachers would be involved in teaching, there would be general order in the school-

And the school premises, by and large, will give the impression that it is being looked after and cared for, Classes, bathrooms and even the students will have a  *cared-for*  look.

Almost all government schools, that I have felt were working well had a person who acted as a Leader in the school .

In most places, it was the head teacher who was the driving force behind a functioning school. 

In a minority of cases it was one of the teachers and/or a community member who provided the impetus for efficacy.

But, without fail, there had to be at least one individual, who worried about the school and went beyond the call of duty to ensure that it was functioning well and was being properly looked after.

Yes, in great, honest and fair thinking, like at  !WOW!  -the World Students Society,  the *role of a leader in our public education system cannot be emphasised enough:

*It is to this great role and  honour that   !WOW!   -the World Students Society is dedicated the  world over. In every country of the world*.

The Honour and Serving of the latest 'Operational Research' on Education, Schools and Leadership continues. 

The World Students Society thanks  senior research fellow, Faisal Bari, at the Institute of Development and Economic  Alternatives and an associate professor of economics/LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan.

With most  respectful dedication to Teacher Nusrat Bibi, and to all the Professors, Teachers, and Students of the world. 

See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

'''Education First'''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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