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CAI-Trained Teacher Profiles

A CAI supported teacher training was held January 1 to 17, 2016 for 74 teachers (14 male and 57 female) from seven different districts of Gilgit, Baltistan. Many traveled for days to attend, some with their young children in tow. Some have had previous CAI-sponsored trainings and are already working as CAI-paid teachers, but many have had no training at all. Some have educated parents, others have illiterate parents. Some live in villages where education for girls is valued, others do not. Some are part of CAI affiliated schools, others are from remote communities with schools that are supported by other means.

As different as many of these teachers are, from different families and villages with different customs, especially as it pertains to education for girls, they are all driven to develop their teaching skills in order to provide quality education to the children in their communities. Here’s a look at some of the teachers CAI-Gilgit worked with during this winter training session, including their biggest struggles as teachers, what they hope to learn, and why they think bringing quality education to remote areas is important.

Nasima Afzal

Age: 29

Status: Married

Village: Kirmin

School: Scholarship student

Nasima is a scholarship student of CAI-Gilgit and has recently completed a Masters in Behavioral Science. She wants to become a teacher and have her own classroom of kids in her village, and when she does, she hopes to focus on math and English.

CAI: Why do you want to become a teacher?

Nasima: Teaching is a holy profession in my village. The people here need a good teacher, especially for Early Childhood Development (ECD) classes, so that’s what I would like to do.

CAI: What do you find most difficult about teaching?

Nasima: To understand the students and handle them.

CAI: How will the training help?

Nasima: I have never taught or learned about ECD. Now I am learning many things about it, and it will help me when I will start teaching in my village.

CAI: How have good or bad teachers changed your life?

Nasima: In my initial school life, I was inspired by a teacher named Mubashir. He taught us politely, and his behavior was very good towards the students. From that time, I decided to be a teacher like him.

CAI: Why is bringing education to remote communities especially important?

Nasima: Because they also have the right to get an education and spend their lives in the modern age.

Nadia Kouser

Age: 23

Status: Married, with a 2-year-old daughter

Village: Gohar Abad Chilas Diamar

School: Al Syed Becon school

Nadia is currently a teacher in her village school, which is supported by CAI-Gilgit. With 20 kids in her classroom, she is currently the only teacher and is most passionate about teaching English. Although she has received a college education, she has never had any formal teacher training until now. Also, she is the first female to graduate from college in her family.

CAI: Why do you want to be a teacher?

Nadia: Teaching is a suitable profession in our culture, and it is the only profession for women in our society to choose from. So, I wanted to be a teacher like other women in my village.

CAI: What do you find difficult about teaching?

Nadia: It’s been difficult because I was a completely untrained teacher, so I was just copying one of my past teachers. Also, I cannot get the stationeries

[notebooks and school supplies] on time.

CAI: How will the Gilgit training help?

Nadia: I have learned many things here, like the stages of development, and it will help me to understand children.

CAI: How have good or bad teachers changed your life?

Nadia: I was studying in Gilgit city until grade 10, and I was inspired by one of my teachers named Anika. She was from Astore, and she was teaching English to our class. Her way of teaching was very good, and because of her I have improved my English reading and writing. Today, I am able to teach English to my students better than other subjects.

CAI: Why is bringing education to remote communities especially important?

Nadia: To change the minds of illiterate people, and for the development of communities. It is important to motivate the communities first towards education.

CAI: Do you face any difficulties in order to go to school?

Nadia: No, my family allows me to go to school and teach. But I am facing difficulty in having teaching aids, stationary and other needs of the school. I have many students whose parents cannot even afford their uniforms, so I will request that CAI-Gilgi provides uniforms and books to my students.

CAI: Do the parents come to you to discuss the progress of their children?

Nadia: No, they never come to me. I invite the mothers, but they are not interested in their children’s education because they all are illiterate. They are not aware of the importance of education, especially in our district where the education ratio is very low.

Shamshad

Age: 24

Status: Single

Village: Shimshal

School: ECD Center Amin Abad Shimshal

With a Master’s in Education, Shamshad is currently a teacher at a school that is supported and paid for by CAI-Gilgit. As one of three teachers at her school, they have a total of 41 students. Her parents both have basic levels of education, and she is most passionate about teaching ECD subjects.

CAI: Why do you want to be a teacher?

Shamshad: I enjoy teaching, and for my masters degree I chose the subject to serve my village and community.

CAI: What do you find difficult about teaching?

Shamshad: Because of the support of CAI-Gilgit, there is not any difficulty in school, but more with handling students and the lack of parents’ attention to their children. I face problems with those students the most.

CAI: How will the training help?

Shamshad: This is my second training with CAI-Gilgit. Because of these trainings, I have gained my pedagogical skills, classroom management skills and skills for handling students with multiple intelligences. Now I am using appropriate materials according to the student’s level.

CAI: How have good or bad teachers changed your life?

Shamshad: When I was doing my studies in Sedna College Ali Abad Hunza, I had teachers named Salim and Qamer. I was inspired by their teaching, and because of them and their encouragement to speak English, I improved my English. Now I am able to speak fluently. Foreigners visit our village, and it is easy for me to talk with them, and I have also been able to work with a group as a research assistant.

CAI: Why is bringing education to remote communities especially important?

Shamshad: Because the world changes rapidly in terms of education, health and economics. The most remote and farflung areas are neglected by the government, so we have to focus on these areas because education is the key to change.

CAI: Are your parents aware of the importance of education?

Shamshad: Yes, they are well aware of the importance of education, and they advise us to get a quality education.

CAI: Do you invite parents to school to share the progress of students?

Shamshad: Yes, I have made a baseline for the students. At the end of each month, we have meetings with parents. Some parents visit regularly to ask about their children, but many of them are not taking much interest.

Khanum Zehra

School: Dawn Public school Shuta Haramosh

Village: Haramosh

Status: Married

Age: 22

As the first female in her family to pursue a college education, Khanum has earned a degree in Computer Science and is working as one of four teachers in a school based out of a house that serves 75 students. Although she is untrained, so far she has enjoyed teaching math, a subject that comes easily to her.

CAI: Why do you want to be a teacher?

Khanum: In my village there are not many educated women. Some families who are aware about the importance of education send their daughters to school, and I am lucky that my father is an educated person and allowed me to go to school and college. According to our culture, teaching is suitable job for women, and I want to educate the girls of my village.

CAI: What do you find difficult about teaching?

Khanum: I was totally untrained, and it is difficult for me to motivate the students toward the topic. It is also very difficult to understand the psychology of different students.

CAI: How do you think this training will help you?

Khanum: I have learned many things, like how to make a daily routine for an ECD class, how to manage a classroom, how to motivate the students and work with multiple intelligences. I hope that by the end of training I will be able to teach my students in a better way.

CAI: How has a good or bad teacher changed your life?

Khanum: Sir Zahid, one of my teachers in college, guided me towards teaching, and I was inspired by his teaching methods.

CAI: Why is bringing education to remote communities especially important?

Khanum: Because if the people or communities in remote areas remain illiterate, they will not be able to survive in the modern world. Education is important to help remove all ethical problems.

CAI: Do you face difficulties in order to go to school?

Khanum: No, because my husband allows me to go to school, and he is an educated person too.

CAI: Is your community aware of the importance of education?

Khanum: Most of the people in my village, especially mothers, are uneducated. Before, educating girls was not a concept, but people are becoming more aware of its importance, and they want to send their daughters to school too.

CAI: Do you have a proper building for classes?

Khanum: I am teaching in a private community school, and there is not a proper building; the management hired a house to run the school out of.

CAI: Do you get all the materials that are needed for teaching?

Khanum: No, in that school there is lack of stationery and other needs. We have some furniture that the principle of school brought from an NGO. Also, there is not any material for ECD class.

CAI: Who supports your school and pays your salary?

Khanum: School management takes fee from the students and manages all the other needs.

Nida Batool

School: Paradise Public School Pakora

Village: Pakora Astore

Status: Single

Age: 22

Based in a two-room house, Nida is the only teacher at a school for 30 students. Like many other remote schools, her’s lacks resources and materials, and what they do have comes from a foundation that supports education. Nida is an untrained teacher, and she has earned a college degree like her elder sister, who is also a teacher. She is most passionate about teaching Urda and Islamiat (Islamic religious studies).

CAI: Why do you want to be a teacher?

Nida: Since childhood, I have seen good people in the form of teachers, and I was inspired by my own teachers. So, I decided to become one myself.

CAI: What do you find difficult about teaching?

Nida: Handling the students of different age levels is difficult for me, because I am a single teacher in my school. Once a month, I have to invite the parents to discuss the progress of their children, and I am still not confident enough to do that. It is difficult for me to talk to the parents.

CAI: How will this training help you?

Nida: I haven’t had any teacher training before, and all of this is new. I hope that at the end of training I will be a professional teacher, and I will be able to teach my students in a good way by making lesson plans and interesting activities.

CAI: How has a good or bad teacher changed your life?

Nida: A teacher name Akhter, one of my colleagues, helped me and gave me ideas for teaching. I was impressed and thankful for him.

CAI: Why is bringing education to remote communities especially important?

Nida: Because nowadays education matters for everything like earnings, for living according to the level of the modern world, to bring about change in the lifestyles of people and to make the people responsible characters of their communities.

CAI: Are your parents educated?

Nida: My father is an educated person, but my mother is illiterate.

CAI: Is your community aware of the importance of education?

Nida: They are much more aware than before.