BY IQRA SHAFIQUE, MUHAMMAD DANIYAl, TEHREEMA TANVEER, SALMAN SHEIKH & MUHAMMAD WASEEM
LAHORE: Punjab University Law College is the oldest institute of law, even older than PU itself, and a large number of law colleges are affiliated with it. The Educationist spoke to PULC Dean and Principal Prof Dr Shazia Qureshi, who said education was the most important area to focus on for a developing country like Pakistan. She said education was the engine for growth in all sectors. “The education that we provide here is an amalgamation of modern trends in education and strong traditions. It is beneficial for the youth to successfully cope with the fast evolving social and economic international environment and get into mainstream. Countries like Singapore and Malaysia developed themselves due to their heavy investment in education, she said. Following are the excerpts from our discussion with her:
The Educationist: Please tell us about your family and early life.
Dr Shazia: I belong to a middle-class family based in Rawalpindi. I was born on 26 July in Rawalpindi. We are two sisters and three brothers.
The Educationist: How were you in your academia?
Dr Shazia: Education was my foremost priority during student life. I studied with struggle and determination. However, I am an average student.
The Educationist: Were you interested in co-curricular and extracurricular activities besides education?
Dr Shazia: Co-curricular and extracurricular activities are very important and polish leadership qualities in you and increase self-confidence. When I was young I use to play Badminton, Table Tennis and Squash.
The Educationist: When you were young, were you serious or naughty?
Dr Shazia: I was neither serious nor a naughty girl when I was young, but I still remember one of my stupid act. When I was young I use to tease my elder sister, who was at that time becoming a doctor, once I also spoiled her practical notebook by writing “Masalay wali Chhalli” (Spicy Corn).
The Educationist: Do you take interest in literature?
Dr Shazia: Yes, “ShahaabNama” is my favorite book. I am also impressed by the Philosophical thoughts of Alama Muhammad Iqbal.
The Educationist: What is the purpose of education according to you?
Dr Shazia: Education teaches us the purpose of our being. It creates awareness but we need to give attention to our educational departments. Education doesn’t mean to get degrees but to enlighten a mind with knowledge.
The Educationist: How does worsening law-and-order situation impact education in Pakistan?
Dr Shazia: The worsening law and order situation and strikes are detrimental to education. Good faculty tends to avoid cities and areas where such problems exist. The politicians and the government must address this problem and take measures to remove these impediments.
The Educationist: In Pakistan parents want their children to become either engineers or doctors, so how you took interest in Law?
Dr Shazia: After FSc I came to know that I will be unfit in medical. In our society, everything is connected with justice. This was the only thing that used to motivate me that everybody wants to be a doctor or engineer, so I thought I should go for Law, which seriously needs improvement.
The Educationist: Why you opted to become a law teacher instead of going for law practice?
Dr Shazia: Teaching is the profession of Prophets. In our society, as a teacher women can get more respect when compared to other professions.
The Educationist: Illiteracy is hindering our nation’s progress. What are its causes and remedies?
Dr Shazia: Literacy is considered the major propellant of progress in this century. Nations have made great strides in the acquisition of knowledge. Now, only literacy cannot progress a nation; rather higher education and advancement in knowledge acquisition at a fast pace are the essential ingredients of progress. The remedy requires paradigm shift in our strategy and significantly higher budget allocation for education at all levels i.e. primary, secondary, tertiary and higher.
The Educationist: What you think about present political scenario and political leaders?
Dr Shazia: Politicians must give preference to the national interest instead of their personal benefits. Until and unless they start thinking above their ego and personal interest, Pakistan cannot progress.
The Educationist: Being the wife of Vice Chancellor and Principal Law College, how do you keep balance in your personal and professional life?
Dr Shazia: As we both are connected to the teaching profession, so we understand each other very well. Being in a same profession, home and college look alike.
The Educationist: What do you do in your leisure time?
Dr Shazia: We cannot reject that the world has progressed a lot due to IT. So I keep myself busy on internet and finding out new inventions and innovations. I also watch channels like National Geographic.
The Educationist: In your view, which relation is the most beautiful?
Dr Shazia: Mother is a beautiful relation and nobody can replace this relation.
The Educationist: What message you will give to students?
Dr Shazia: Students must avoid shortcuts as per an American proverb, “You cannot cheat nature as it takes revenge”. No matter how long is your journey to the destination, but one can cover it with determination and struggle.
Photo by Iqra Shafiq