I have worked at different capacities in different organizations. I am serving in the Education Sector for more than two decades. Currently I am the CEO of Association For Academic Quality (AFAQ). I have been associated particularly with the Research Department and have worked for Curriculum Development, Teacher’s Training and School System Development. I have visited almost 40 different countries to observe their education systems. I am privileged of giving trainings in 17 different countries as well. Working as a Curriculum Consultant of World Bank is another feather in my cap. Moreover, I am honored for being a part of the committee that wrote the “Global Standards of Education” in Geneva Switzerland as an expert representing the Government of Pakistan. Mr. Shahid Warsi is the CEO of Association For Academic Quality.
2. How long have you been associated with AFAQ?
Ans. I have been associated with AFAQ since 2003 and I joined AFAQ as the Director Training. Before this I was working in the Center for Education Research and Development (CERD)
3. How AFAQ has grown from just a house in Lahore to a major organisation?
Ans. In 2003 AFAQ was working with limited scope, focusing research and training domains. AFAQ which was only limited to a house in Lahore, now has branches in 30 different cities of Pakistan and has more than 600 employees. Now, AFAQ is a well-reputed organisation in public and private sectors and even all over the world as well.
During the last 20 years, AFAQ has played an important role in the development of education and now every year teachers attend the seminars conducted by AFAQ. Recently, AFAQ has helped principals of Pakistan to groom professionally through a well-designed course held in UK (Ireland) and in the same spirit AFAQ has arranged another tour to Japan for principals to compare and improve their own educational systems.
4. Tell us about the countrywide reach of AFAQ.
Ans. AFAQ has a well organised branched system that spreads out in 30 cities all over Pakistan. We conduct trainings in 90% of the Districts of Pakistan through our teacher training programs and special seminars.
5. Enlighten us about significant attainments and products offered by AFAQ.
Ans. AFAQ offers a wide range of books for students from pre-nursery to grade 8 ad along with that, we have children’s literature including encyclopedia and readers. Encyclopedia published weekly with the latest research and discussion on particular topic covering “Countries, Animals, Inventions and Personalities.” We also have teachers support materials, digital resources and different models that are provided to the school for their development. AFAQ has also provided the Federal Center of Education with their 70 to 80% publications.
6. How much emphasis you put on the element of learning?
Ans. We are quite focused on it and most of our readers have eBooks. We have also introduced augmented reality in a contract with Russia over the past two years.
7.As you know education is shifting to STEM, so what role does AFAQ play in the aspect?
Ans. Our various activities are related to STEM education but STEM based education system does not provide a concrete foundation and diverse curriculum. Keeping all these flaws in view, AFAQ decided to develop its own curriculum supporting STEM education.
8. What type of courses and diplomas does AFAQ offer?
Ans. There are more than 150 training modules available consisting of quality improvement, school leadership, TOT programs, pedagogy, character building and subject based training. We offer 3 and 6 month courses on effective teaching and leadership. There are more than 100 titles offering diplomas.
9. How do you define the qualities of a good teacher?
Ans. A good teacher should have a relevant subject command with an effective plan to convey his/her knowledge in a strategic way to students. They should improve creative thinking skills in students so that they can strive best in the 21st century.
10. What role AFAQ is playing in making Pakistan progress towards a better education system?
Ans. AFAQ is playing a major role in providing quality education, where the improvement steps taken by the Ministry are given by AFAQ
11. What message you would convey to the readers of our magazine?
Ans. I would to take this opportunity to appreciate the team to highlight the aspects relevant to education and its importance in this day and age. My message to the readers of your magazine is to bring their learning into reality as implementation is the key to success.