Teaching quality, leadership crucial for future leaders: British edn expert
Dr Geoffrey Fisher, an experienced British educator, has laid emphasis on quality of teaching and leadership to give students a better future in the highly competitive global environment as the education sector has undergone many changes over the past years.
"I can say the quality of school leadership and quality of teaching both have a significant impact on student achievements - be that in the use of technology or other measures," Dr Fisher, Head of Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad told
it as his place to advise the policymakers in Bangladesh when he does not know the circumstances that Bangladesh education sector is facing.
Responding to a question on Bangladesh, Dr Fisher said he does not think it lacks the quality. "I think it is lacking diversity. Mass learning in Bangladesh and India is done with one method. There is information, learn it and reproduce it."
"They need to learn the information but how it connects other pieces of information and how you can make that connection a constructive and creative way is important. And how do you use technology in such a way you can help protect our world from pollution perspective, from sustainability perspective and from population perspective," Dr Fisher explained.
He went on saying, "What we've to do - we need to continue to work to get better [outputs] and come up with new ways of doing it."
Asked about Bangladeshi students in the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, Dr Fisher said, "We've excellent Bangladeshi students - caring and interesting young men and women who work very hard for their future."
He said they (Bangladeshi students) are interested to develop their own skills, interested to assist others develop skills. "I think, South Asian culture, particularly in Bangladesh and India, has the 'strong family', people represent here the whole family." A similar Aga Khan Academy will be established in Dhaka within the next three years. Asked about what benefits it can bring for Bangladeshi students, Dr Fisher said the academies are founded to be examples of excellence and centres of excellence.
"By providing leadership and examples then we hope to have an influence that is much broader than just through the teachers and students who form part of the immediate community," he said. The educator who believes that education for the future must be a blend of problem solving and creativity skills, said he has seen so many changes in the world. "In education particularly, I would say the changes surrounding now are beginning to really have impact."
Dr Fisher laid emphasis on the needs of the future - what are the teachers' need and mentioned that teachers now challenged by many ways who were never challenged before - challenged by the use of technology in education and other things.
Talking about students, the future leaders, he said, "You have to be prepared to be an ethical, purposeful, truthful leader. Not just leadership."
He said they need to work very hard as they teach leadership, teach other lessons to understand what does it mean to be a leader and practice leadership. "Willing to exercise what you have learned is another key part. We think, we'll see the benefits, may be not today, not immediately."
Asked about lacking in South Asian education system, he said he thinks all countries around the world there has been emphasis on memory."A good learning has been regarded as having a good memory. I think now the emphasis is changing," Dr Fisher said.
He said memory is partly important part of good education but it also involves creativity, it also involves connecting different types of knowledge and understands different sources.
Aga Khan Academy, the fourth of its kind, will be located on a 20-acre of land at Bashundhara in Dhaka and will enroll 750 students with a capacity to expand to 1,200.
Sister Academies have already been established in Mombasa, Kenya (2006); Maputo, Mozambique (2013) and Hyderabad, India (2011).
The Academy will be part of an integrated network of world-class schools of Aga Khan Academies offering an international standard of education to promising students from pre-primary to secondary levels, located across 14 countries regardless of their ability to pay.
Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Resident Diplomatic Representative to Bangladesh Munir Merali hosted a visit to Hyderabad last week to explore the social benefit and impact that an Academy can bring to its local, regional and national context in advance of the establishment of Aga Khan Academy Dhaka in Bangladesh.
A tour of the 100 acre campus and its world class infrastructure was followed by a series of engagements with students; management; faculty and the Academy senior leadership team.
Interactions with students from India, Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Afghanistan as well as those on full merit scholarships from underprivileged backgrounds opened the door to a robust conversation.
Dr. Geoffrey Fisher closed the official part of the visit on behalf of the Academy by expressing his delight at hosting the Bangladeshi government delegation and AKDN Ambassador Merali. -UNB