Education in Pakistan – A Tribute to Shama Nawaz

In the recent turbulent times, it seems all eyes are focused on the upcoming elections and the political chaos gripping the country. Everywhere we look, we find dissatisfaction and negativity, be it to do with the socio-economic plight or the wave of suicide bombings plunging the normal life of many a city into darkness and despair. The need of the hour then, is to inject a vein of positive hope – of a look to the future with promise, one that we must not allow to be tainted with the blood of so many futile deaths – but rather to use as a means to learn from, that the only way to achieve one’s goals of a sound nation is to rise above the chaos and attempt to guide the youth – the future leaders of tomorrow.

And to that end, we wish to honour the most powerful of tools and aides we have at our disposal – Education. The Quaid, father of the nation, rightly laid stress on acquiring an education, and himself is an exemplary model of learning and the heights its can lead one to. The need for literacy is the only solution for the progress of any nation. And for this purpose comes in the role of quality educational institutes which nurture and harness the youth of today. The hallmark of many a good educational institute is its teachers – those selfless individuals that strive to enlighten the minds of our young generation. Where a school is the bedrock for the growth of a child, a teacher is its building block.

So this week we wish to salute one of the teachers of this nation, Ms. Shama Nawaz, an outstanding teacher, advisor and counsel, at Froebel’s International School, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, for her dedication and commitment to the cause of education.

Ms. Nawaz is one of Froebel’s International School’s renowned faculty members. She heads the department of English Literature and is regarded as An outstanding teachers and advisor for the O’ and A’ level students at both the Islamabad and Rawalpindi campuses. She joined Froebel’s back in 1996.

The past 12 years have been a rewarding experience marked by several milestones. These include world disctinctions, a student who has had a collection of her own stories bound and printed by Alhamra and many acceptances for students into some of the best colleges and universities in the world including Oxford University. Ms. Nawaz is actively involved in all aspects of the schools’ activities. She is in charge of the annual Dramatic productions, enabling students to learn not only in the classroom but on stage as well. Recently, the school put up Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest, which was very well received. Earlier productions include the works of classic playwrights such as Shakespeare.

Ms. Nawaz also started off the yearbook at the Rawalpindi campus of Froebel’s, and has served as an advisor for the yearbook at the Islamabad campus. She has also played an active role in training students in debates, drawing on her own debating experiences at school and college. Her exceptional abilities as a teacher and motivator are evident form the fact that she has touched the lives of each and every one of her students, most of whom are in touch with her even today, including many from her very first batch at Froebel’s. Her guiding philosophy remains principally set in the notions of nurturing and educating, providing counseling where needed and working towards the shaping and moulding of each child to his/her optimum potential. According to Ms. Nawaz, “the difference you make is an achievement in itself”. An extremely creative individual, she feels the progressive thinking administration at Froebel’s gave her the creative license, allowing her to enrich the students experience with new and innovative teaching methods.

Each year at Froebel’s brings with it a fresh new approach, with a variety of views discussed as well as encouraged from the students, the aim being to hone and polish them as individuals. The institute plays a major role in this regard by encouraging activities such as the Froebel’s annual student trip to India for the “Fusion Festival” in which 26 schools participated, with Froebel’s being the only school from Pakistan. The trip provided a platform of integration between the two neighbouring countries, allowing students from this side of the border to visit and learn about the other. Ms. Nawaz accompanied the confident Froebelian’s demonstrating the quality of education and nurturing they receive from their institute and teachers, making their country proud.

Shama Nawaz is an asset to education in Pakistan, to Froebel’s and indeed to all of her students, past, current and future. Pakistan could use more people like her.

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