A book launch webinar was held in collaboration with the Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), Pakistan, and Deakin and RMIT Universities Melbourne, Australia.
The book “COVID-19 and the (Broken) Promise of Education for Sustainable Development: A Case Study from Postcolonial Pakistan”, published by BRILL, deals with some of the key issues of education, curriculum and teacher education in Pakistan in the context of COVID-19, said a press release.
The book was written by three Pakistani researchers – Dr Javed Anwar Shahwani, Dr Sher Rahmat Khan and Dr Mir Zaman Shah, who recently completed their PhDs from RMIT University in Australia. Their supervisors were Professor Peter Kelly and Dr Seth Brown, and a senior researcher Dr Scott Philiphs. Mir Zaman and Sher Rahmat belong to Chitral.
The book charts the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that it has had on the lives of young people and their communities, education systems, the teaching profession, and the responses by governments, NGOs, and donor organisations in Pakistan.
Drawing on theories of postcolonialism, feminism, and neoliberal globalisation, the authors explore the development of Pakistan as a postcolonial nation-state and examine the legacies of colonialism in education systems and policies, teacher education and development.
The Pakistani authors bring extensive knowledge and experience to this case study of the ‘broken promise’ of education for sustainable development.
This mix of theoretical insight and practical experience promises to produce significant policy and development impact in post-COVID-19 Pakistan, South Asia more broadly, and in other postcolonial development contexts around the world as it develops a critique of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a global and more local framework for development.
Professor Peter Kelly of Deakin University chaired the event. Dr Farid Panjwani, the Dean of Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), introduced the book and highlighted its potential contributions.
He underlined the different ways the book can contribute to the discourses of education and teacher education in Pakistan. Dr Panjwani pointed out the Constitutional promise of education in Pakistan and the challenges in realising that promise. The three Pakistani authors spoke about the book.
They highlighted the background of writing the book, its major themes and its possible contributions and impacts.
Dr Hafeez Ahmed Jamali, the Director General of Balochistan Civil Service Academy Quetta, shared his views about the book and discussed how it might contribute towards reconceptualising teacher education in Pakistan. He pointed to the importance of how this book elaborates on the postcolonial context of Pakistan and why this is important for understanding the current education issues, challenges and possibilities in Pakistan.
Mr Ghulam Nabi Marri, an Economist with the UN-International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), also spoke about the book. He discussed some of the salient features of it.
He emphasised that the book’s use of storytelling is compelling, and the book makes significant contributions by setting the direction of research in education in Pakistan.