Headline March 13, 2017/ ''' EDUCATING ALL *EDUCATION* '''


*WELCOME TO BBC*  : Welcome to  www.bbc.com, my all time favorite first read. And I have never missed any publishing over all these many, many years.

I have agreed with just about as many write ups, researches, as I have differed with. I have always protested up my sleeve but have never ever been disrespectful to the outstanding contribution of BBC's varied and global network.

At school, one beautiful Sunday, in an inter district cricket match, I was asked to go in to bat at one down. We had lost our opener on the third ball of the first over. 

The fast bowlers got after me, and a gave me a torrid time. Pitching it in short and bowling body-line. These were zero helmet days, no chest guards,no elbow guards. I stood up to the pace attack, pulling myself in line. I scored 78 not out, and in turn made myself a man.

My principal, God bless him,   Hugh Catchpole Esq,  M.A, Oxon History, Christchurch College, Oxford,  a star-all rounder himself for his county Surrey, asked me over to his house for   some  cricketing stories  and refreshments. 

Over a drink of lemonade, butter cookies, and some Cadbury Chocolates, he talked Cricket and introduced me to *BBC's World Broadcast on his radio*. Since early, 60s, I have never missed it ever since.

As I was blessed with the honor and  helped somewhat, to care for him in his old days, and when I helped lower him to his final resting place, as per his will, at Cadet College, Hassanabdal, Punjab, Pakistan, I gave him a salute.

Hundreds and thousands of students in both India and Pakistan had lost a beloved teacher of English language, and a true caring father. It is to his ever lasting memory, that this work is dedicated.   

The World Students Society, the exclusive life-long ownership of every single student in the world,   most loving called, !WOW!,  stops to pay its humble respects both to Mr Hugh Catchpole Esq M.A. (Oxon) and the   BBC.

To all the great students, who visit this site, tell me what the very recent news say about the state of the world, when  *the greatest human disaster in history*  looms in some of the African countries, Sudan, Somalia, to begin with.

But one news delights, me just as it is bound to delight the entire planet: That in great and growing number of  grannies in India, have decided to return to school and education. 

A small piece of that beautiful happening, can for surely be claimed by !WOW!. After all, it was the first and premier organization in the world to have honored many, many posts to Grand Parents.

*AT PROUD PAKISTAN* : the first conceptual host of !WOW!  -the World Students Society, it is certainly worth repeating all over again that:

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 schools in Pakistan.

I have been visiting public schools as a researcher for a decade and half at least. Most government schools disappoint.

Within 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 session, 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 a minority of the 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 beyond the call of duty to ensure that it was functioning well and was being properly looked after.    

Where institutional structures and organisations are stronger, where standard operating procedures are well specified, and where adequate human and material sources are available and expectations clearly identified and well understood, the role of a leader might be less important.

*But in weaker areas, like our  public education  system, here in Pakistan, the role of a leader cannot be emphasised enough*.

In our bureaucracies, it is not easy to identify potential or actual leaders, train and nurture them and then facilitate them to acquire positions where their leadership skills can be put to good use.

Most bureaucracies encourage  risk-averse  behaviour, reward mediocracy and status quo and reward them on the basis of seniority rather than performance.

Our public-sector educational bureaucracies are no different. Teachers are predominantly promoted on the basis of seniority.

Performance incentives are something present but they are,  usually, not strongly linked to promotions and positions of leadership.

Until a few years ago, it was the  senior-most  teacher in a school who would be made  the head teacher. Now, it seems that Punjab has changed the policy and it is the most educated teacher in a school who is given the responsibility of being the head teacher.

But even now, it is not about leadership qualities.

*There is no real effort on the part of the respective departments of staff development to identify potential leaders; there are no effective trainings on leadership/management and there is effective recognition for being a leader as well.*

Given the fact that it is very unlikely we will be able to strengthen institutional structures and provide adequate resources to our schools in the foreseeable future-

It is imperative for us to focus on 'leaders'  who can organise school management effectively under trying conditions,  marshal resources from the community and harness the energy of the pupils to ensure effective teaching.

But this requires a major  bureaucratic shakeup  in the way we identify, train and nurture potential and actual leaders:

A task that might just be beyond the ability and/or incentives of our educational bureaucracies.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Pakistan   and the World.   See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' !WOW! For !WOW! '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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