Home / Interview / Education – the biggest tool to counter extremists’ thoughts
Dr. Rauf-i-Azam, Vice Chancellor University of Education

Education – the biggest tool to counter extremists’ thoughts

UE VC Dr. Rauf-i-Azam says curricula for the primary and secondary school is not unsatisfactory

Interview by Shabbir Sarwar

Transcribed by Raheel Anwar

Photography by Sameer Shahbaz

Education is the biggest tool that can help us to counter extremists’ thoughts but our curricula for the primary and secondary school is not geared accordingly as there is confusion in the mind of people, who develop that curricula, write the text books and learning materials. We need to clarify what kind of society we want whether it should be religious or a secular, or what kind of values we want to inoculate in our children.These thought were shared by University of Education Vice Chancellor Dr. Rauf-i-Azam during an interview with The Educationist.

UE has 20,000 students in all campuses and 400 full- teachers time with one-third PhD from Pakistan and abroad. Rest of teaching needs are fulfilled through visiting faculty. We are working hard to improve this ratio through increasing numbers of PhD faculty.

The Educationist: Please do tell us about your early life and education?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: I was born in 1966 in a small village namely Sakhokay of District Sialkot where I lived thirteen years of my life and complete my middle (secondary school) education. My father was in army so we moved with him to Quetta where I did my Matric and first-year. Then we moved to Rawalpindi, I got admitted to Sir Syed College Rawalpindi for F.Sc. and B.Sc. Later, I got admission in Quaid-i-Azam University and completed MSc Mathematics in 1990 and M.Phil in 1992 from there. I got a scholarship namely SnT (Science and Technology), this scholarship was  offered by Ministry of Science and Technology, initiated in early 80’s; with an objective to send hundred selected scholars to developed countries for PhD. I was selected for this scholarship in 1992 and I went to Japan for my PhD in 1994 and completed the degree in 1998.

Since coming back in 1998, I have been working with different universities, mostly in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. In my last job, I was heading Agricultural University for the last 10 years.

The Educationist: When did you join University of Education and what are your major achievements?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: I joined this university on August 28, 2015 and since my joining we have done lots of things…..reverted the focus of university to teachers’ education, revised our curricula to bring more development in it, introduced education courses in almost all our Bachelor’s including some of Master’s degree curricula. We have trained about 3,000 college teachers from all over Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan; trained some principles of government colleges; implemented scholarship programmers of the Punjab government and we are working on large project which have been submitted to HEC to strengthen the facilities of different campuses of this university.

Meanwhile, one of our campus have become a university itself, i.e. Education University of Okara and some of its development projects are in process. Research is also being promoted in this university. First time in the history, we have submitted various research projects to different funding agencies i.e. HEC and some foreign agencies including USAID, British funding agency and European Union e I think their fruit will start coming in few months or a year.

The Educationist: What are key barriers or issues while taking steps for reforms in the university?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: There are certain issues as shortage of professors, senior faculty in many disciplines, even our attempts to recruit or attract senior faculty are not succeeding because of less availability of deserving people. Additionally, I think models of compensation must exist, particularly for the public-sector university which enables them to compete with private sector universities. Private-sector universities are very relaxed while recruitment and they also offer higher-level appointment to faculty. For instance, a person not qualifying to become an associate professor at a public-sector university is employed as a professor at private university; they also offer distinctive salaries, so we need to create an attraction and more opportunities for faculty. As we have campuses across Punjab, problems in terms of facilities and faculty in remote areas is a specific challenges for this university.  We have to spend on them to improve and up-grade their facilities. These are actual challenges we are looking forward to resolve. .

Q: What are the key stats of your faculty and what is the student-teacher ratio?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: Well, the student-teacher ratio is not much impressive right now. We have about 20 thousand enrolled students across all campuses, whereas, full time faculty is around 400 with one-third PhD from Pakistan and abroad. Rest of teaching needs are fulfilled through visiting faculty. We are working hard to improve this ratio; through increasing numbers of PhD faculty. Similarly, improving student-teacher ratio, but right now it’s a big challenge because full time faculty means that you have higher financial burdens on university and more offices are required to house them in university. So we are working on such expansions to higher more faculty on permanent basis. Shortage of qualified teachers in market is also a major problem.

The Educationist: Some private sector universities like LUMS opened the School of Education and they are attracting international donors, why do not public sectors universities attract smartly?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: We also do that…. these private universities work on a small scale with a diverse fee-structure. As for as funding is concerned, I think it’s not a big problem as other allied facilities. For instance, you need a lot of good faculty to offer high quality education. Faculty is something which you can’t prepare within few months or years, as it’s a long term process. Then they should have a system that help in retaining that faculty. So we are working on all possible avenues, of course, it will take some time to mature.

The Educationist: What do you feel about funding in the education sector?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: We need a continuous investment in higher education for a very long time. Since many years, academics are demanding at least four percent of GDP to be invested in education but we are not getting it. Students must be provided with   facilities of 21st century; so that they can experiment and practice what they have learnt but that’s not the case. Similarly, my university tends more focuses on teacher’s education and when you prepare teachers with text books that come from the West and trained according to the system of the West. But when they go to the colleges or schools of this country where they don’t find any facilities then they consider book is irrelevant…; this leads to many problems in our country. Because we should have real life as close to books as possible. But that is not a case. We have to work on whole educational sector to advance our facilities and infrastructure. If we want to improve the quality of education we must work on all these dimensions.

The Educationist: Is there any role of the Education University in curricula development of primary, secondary and other standards?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: No, there is no formal role because curricula development process is handled by the government and university has no direct or formal role in it. Our faculty get involved in some formal consultations, we do some research and write some reports but I am not satisfied as these reports and findings do not practically impact curricula development or the text books development.

The Educationist: Currently, Pakistan is in a wave of terrorism as Operation Rad-ul-Fasad (fight against terrorism) is continue. In your opinion, how can we link education to counter the terrorism?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: Well! I think education is the biggest tool that can help us to counter extremists’ thoughts but, our education is not succeeding because our curricula for the primary and secondary school is not geared accordingly. There is confusion in the mind of people, who develop that curricula, write the text books and learning materials. We need to clarify what kind of society we want weather it should be religious or a secular, or what kind of values we want to inoculate in our children. We should develop material not having any contradictions embedded in it, right now it is not so. The teachers think differently; the text book are written differently, parents want to teach something else. So, distinctive sources of input with conflicts and contradictions applied on minds of children resulting as a confused nation. On the one side, we tell student to work hard if they want to succeed in life, but at the same time we tell them no need to work hard as it is already decided somewhere else about their destiny.

The Educationist: Semester system demands higher level of honesty from teachers. Are our teachers really at the level to implement this system? Did it damage student-teacher relationship?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: Our education system, right from its beginning has less education and is more about preparation for examinations.  Whatever we teach or learn is focused on good grades in examinations. Hence, we don’t learn, study or teach we prepare for examinations. For instance; students of Matric or Inter go to academies where they get prepared for examinations. Every day they are tested and are not much provided with feedback on those tests, hence learning is out of the system. Similarly, when those students come to universities they only focus to get good grades and try to manipulate the system. Success of a teacher is determined from the grades of his/her students. If I’m teacher and my students are getting good grades that means I’m unsuccessful; and when I myself have to give the grades, I would certainly want to be successful. So, this is something that is inbuilt in the system.

But semester system has its positive aspects as at secondary or intermediate levels learning activity takes place for five or six months,  whereas in semester system; there are two semesters in a year with an active learning and teaching in the form of regular lectures,  assignments, presentations, quizzes, or tests. But it must be more learning and less examination orientated. There must be some better ways of assessing outcomes of learning, but it requires trained and educated teachers committed with their profession.

The universities are being created every day but there is a consistent shortage of faculty in all universities. We see in old high-profiled universities where departments are headed by assistance professors even by lecturers – it is the way to run a university. We have highly qualified and experienced faculty and we should prevent them to go abroad. To improve overall system, incentive or reward for more committed faculty must be introduced.

The Educationist: What will you say about HEC teachers’ evolution system ?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: Well, there are good and bad (things) about teachers’ evaluation. We do it every year but in a public-sector we can’t account teacher with poor performance. The system protects the bad performance not only due to politics; but also the rules and regulations make it very difficult to punish or ask a teacher with bad performances. Once a person is hired in a public sector, he will subsist up to thirty or thirty five years. There must be a cleansing system for bad performers, but it is very difficult right now. Teachers’ evaluation is a process but it doesn’t give intended outcomes particularly for the regular employees.

The Educationist: In the end, what is your message to students and teachers of the University of Education?

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam: I would say, whatever we are doing, must do with best of honesty and capabilities. If a teacher do not love teaching he should join some other professions. Similarly, a student must seek knowledge with the best efforts. It’s not tough to find any information as Internet has made easy for teachers and students to assess all sources of knowledge. With a positive learning orientation and commitment, we all should work hard to prepare ourselves for a better future.

Comment Using Facebook

Check Also

A dean needs to model a “can do” attitude says Dr. Umbreen

Some students are using different ways especially different softwares to steal others’ research work’ By …


  1. I got what you mean , regards for putting up.Woh I am glad to find this website through google. “Being intelligent is not a felony, but most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” by Lazarus Long.

  2. Right here is the perfect webpage for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that’s been discussed for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  3. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i am happy to show that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much without a doubt will make sure to don’t forget this website and give it a look on a constant basis.

  4. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be interesting to read through content from other authors and use a little something from their sites.

  5. I read this piece of writing fully about the comparison of latest and earlier technologies, it’s remarkable article.|

  6. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But just imagine if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could certainly be one of the best in its niche. Great blog!|

  7. neata adrian valentin de la Creativ TRD SRL da tepe cu lucrari plagiate si pacaleste studentii.

  8. magnificent issues altogether, you simply gained a emblem new reader. What may you suggest about your publish that you made some days in the past? Any sure?

  9. This was super awesome to read. Thanks for creating it. You made a long-term fan and I’ll return to see more. Thank you for sharing.

  10. After going over a few of the blog articles on your site, I honestly appreciate your way of blogging. I book-marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and tell me what you think.

  11. Creativ TRD SRL si lucrare-licenta.eu se ocupa cu plagiat si tepe cu lucrari licenta. Patronul neata adrian valentin de la Creativ TRD SRL livreaza plagiat.

  12. I’m a huge fan of this blog. I’ll be back to read more sometime soon. Thank you for making it.

  13. This was really awesome to read. Thanks for sharing it. You made a long-term fan and I’ll be back to view more. Thank you for sharing.

  14. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.|

  15. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is also really good.

  16. Someone necessarily help to make seriously articles I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to make this actual put up amazing. Magnificent job!

  17. Creativ TRD SRL pe site lucrare-licenta.eu se ocupa cu plagiat si tepe cu lucrare de licenta.

  18. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also visit this blog on regular basis to obtain updated from most up-to-date news update.|

  19. Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task.

  20. Right here is the right site for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just great!

  21. Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff prior to and you are simply extremely fantastic. I actually like what you have received right here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is really a terrific web site.|

  22. inselaciune lucrare-licenta EU, neata adrian valentin , sc creativ trd srl

  23. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  24. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

  25. Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my website something like that. Can I take a part of your post to my site?

  26. all the time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post which I am reading at this place.|

  27. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back from now on. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice weekend!|

  28. Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

  29. It’s an remarkable article in favor of all the internet visitors; they will get advantage from it I am sure.|

  30. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.|

  31. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more about this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t talk about such topics. To the next! Many thanks.

  32. Awsome article and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  33. Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.|

  35. I absolutely love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my very own site and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  36. I’d like to find out more? I’d care to find out more details.|

  37. Everyone loves it when people come together and share ideas. Great blog, continue the good work.

  38. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any manner you may take away me from that service? Thanks!

  39. Very good blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Cheers!|

  40. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  41. Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!

  42. I get pleasure from, result in I discovered just what I used to be having a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye|

  43. I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  44. En iyi sosyal medya platformları arasında yer alan Instagram üzerinde birçok hesap sahibinin en temel hedeflerinden biri

  45. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down the road. Cheers|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.