LSE launches Sabiha Mansoor’s new book on education
LSE Rector Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry termed the book as an ‘academic intellectual autobiography’
By Tayyab Kamboh
LAHORE: The Punjab government instead of working on the brainchild of former president Sartaj Azia regarding establishment of Danish Schools, the Aitchison for the poor, should have given annually 200 scholarships to the children of poor people in College to bridge in the educational gap between the haves and have-nots, said Dr Sabiha Mansoor, former vice-chancellor of the Lahore College for Women University and currently professor of English at the LSE.
She was exclusively talking to The Educationist after the launch of her new book titled ‘Challenge Education Pakistan: Reflections of an Educationist’ at a ceremony held at Avari Hotel.
The book based on three chapters and 138 is published by The Lahore School of Economics (LSE). Some of the important chapters included language and education, faculty development in higher education, women as agents of change and the challenges of university leaderships.
Replying to a query, she openly criticized the policies of the government on establishing Danish Schools and giving Laptops to undergraduates’ students of public sector universities, after clarifying that she had no political affiliation to any party. She categorically said that there should be tradition of the proper applied researches for the betterment of the society contrary to the research for the self-promotion of teachers.
She said poverty, extremism and terrorism were a result of the flawed educational and economic policies of the country.
She said “After almost 70 years, Pakistan still needs to take a long, hard look at the quality of education offered, questions of access and equity, the lack of professional development among faculty and the absence of a viable policy for language in education.”
She asserted that the figures of population growth was horribly on inclined and violence was increasing in the society. But we did not see any reforms on proper education to the society at different stages. She said ironically that every time government brought new policies after rejecting the old ones by saying they all were pathetic and cut off the funding of previous ones by implementing the new ones without any feasibility.
When asked about the dual language (Urdu and English) confusion for the children in Pakistani education system, she agreed that ‘it affects the creative sense of students and their main focus remains on the translation’.
Earlier, addressing the ceremony Dr. Sabiha Mansoor said, she had transferred her whole experience of 40 years professional life in the book. She emphasized that she had looked critically at the history of higher education policies in Pakistan, particularly during the last decade, and pointed out where policy makers had had failed to deliver.
LSE Rector Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, Kinnaird College Principal Dr Rukhsana David, former principal of National College of Arts Salima Hashmi, Former Government College University vice-chancellor Dr Khaliqur Rehman, Beaconhouse National University Professor Dr Tariq Rahman, Dr Fareeha Zafar, director at the Society for the Advancement of Education, many famous educationist, writers, scholars and rights activists were present on the occasion.
Ms. Sabiha has maintained that academic autonomy is vital especially in universities, where corruption and nepotism have crippled institution’s ability to function as they should.
Prof. Tariq Rehman said, “One part of book talks about her personal experience while the second part is about the problems facing the higher education sector in Pakistan. I recommend every teacher and student to go through the book as the author has talked about the education sector of the country in detail,” the professor commented, he added.
LSE Rector Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry said that the author had done a deep analysis of the educational policies of the country, and termed the book as an ‘academic intellectual autobiography’ written by an insider who had witnessed the educational policies very closely.