News Feed: Students at SAI
Introducing a New Admissions-Advice Portal for Pakistanis: Help by Donating Just One Hour
THE PROBLEM: Inadequacies of guidance and counseling available to bright students across Pakistan. Unfortunately, only elite Pakistani students have access to guidance and counseling concerning higher education, fellowship, or residency programs abroad. Many bright students fail to get admissions, simply because their institutions or personal networks cannot guide them. This situation is a long-term collective loss for the entire nation.
THE SOLUTION: An online resource, in collaboration with GEO, providing admissions information. We are a group of students from Harvard, MIT, and other universities, who are collaborating with GEO Television Network to address is problem. We are developing a free online portal that will make available country-specific and program-specific guidance on how to ensure a strong application.
THE IMPACT: Increase in foreign-educated Pakistanis who become an asset to themselves, their families, and the entire nation. Shaheen-Pakistan’s online portal will help overcome the current inadequacies of guidance and counseling available to bright students across Pakistan — wherever they may be. We strongly believe that better-educated Pakistanis will be an asset to themselves, their families, and the entire nation in the long run.
|YOUR CONTRIBUTION: Shaheen-Pakistan does not need your money — we need one hour of your time to get your insights. Are you someone who has gone through the application process and gained admission into a university, fellowship, or residency program abroad? Are you willing to spend an hour sharing your insights? Your insights will be collected and consolidated with tips from other people in the same program, resulting in a comprehensive admissions tip-sheet for your program.|
The little time you spend with us on this project can enable innumerable other Pakistanis to avail the same opportunities in life that you have been privileged to access — bright young people who may otherwise fail to gain admission simply because there was no one to guide them.
SHAHEEN-Pakistan Steering Committee
Shaheena Raheem (Harvard). Bilal Malik (Harvard). Mahvish Shaukat (MIT). Zohaib Hassan (MIT). Ali Tajdar (Rutgers). Fatima Abbas (NUS). Rahman Saleem (LUMS).
In conclusion of their tenure as Graduate Student Associates, the SAI GSAs hosted a mini conference last week to showcase key insights from their research on South Asia.
The GSA program fits into SAI’s broader goal of creating a platform of connectivity for students, faculty, and community members who are interested in South Asia. The program gives advanced graduate students the opportunity to connect across Harvard’s silos and connect across disciplines to inform and enrich research.
Panel 1: Religion, Education, Nationalism
Nationalism in Education: How political agendas influence national identity through Pakistani schools (Mariam Chughtai, HGSE)
Sensing the Unseen: How students at a Pakistani madrasah come to believe in Sufi saints (Bilal Malik, HGSE)
Panel 2: Rights, Categories and the State
The Right to Property and Economic Development in India (Namita Wahi, HLS)
Why Food? Thinking about hunger, rights, and the state in India (Benjamin Siegel, History)
“Special Care for Special People”: Health care and categories after Bhopal (Bridget Hanna, Anthropology)
The Origin of the Forest, Private Property, and the State: The Political life of India’s Forest Rights Act (Anand Vaidya, Anthropology)
The third Video Conference of the new SAI Series of Webinars focused on ‘Innovation in Education: Lessons for Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’. Professor Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of International Education and Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Imran Sarwar, Co-Founder, Rabtt (Connection); MPP Class of 2013, Harvard Kennedy School of Government led the discussion with academic sites across Pakistan. In addition, for the first time a Facebook event for the Webinar attracted 120 people to virtually attend the event – our partner, Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission provided a live web link for online streaming so that the discussion was available to anyone with an internet connection.
Professor Reimers started his presentation on ‘Educating to Change the World’ with acknowledging how much education has changed over the last 25 years – the very fact of the Video Conference itself through which sites were virtually connected is a demonstration of how much technology has enhanced access around the world. He said we are in a new era in history when instead of top-down planning individuals and small groups of people are taking on big challenges – it’s a time of great potential change. He spoke of the fact that we need to move from teaching low-level cognitive skills that had been the focus of much formal education in the past to higher level leadership skills for the 21st century by developing adaptable skills to apply knowledge and learning in new ways. He spoke of the great work of Injaz al-Arab under the visionary leadership of Soraya Salti that he has been helping evaluate over the last 2 years and the phenomenal outcomes of the program in developing a sense of agency in youth and the ability to see challenges as opportunities. He also spoke of the ability inherent in all of us to teach and that we can’t expect professional teachers to bear all the burdens of teaching – he exhorted the audience to action. In reply to a twitter question about encouraging business and academia linkages, he spoke of an example from Monterey, Mexico about an innovative approach taken by a University president who asked local government and business leaders how his institution could help them grow – he then led the change to respond to those social demands – exactly the kind of model higher education needs to move towards to be a center for development and innovation in the 21st century.
Imran Sarwar spoke of his experiences along with a friend and colleague from LUMS, Aneeq Ahmed Cheema when they formed Rabtt in the summer of 2011. Listening to his personal story of how he managed family and social expectations in going down his chosen and unconventional path to make a start at changing the reality of children who attend public sector schools was heartening. He exhorted would-be entrepreneurs to not wait to start till conditions were perfect or support was forthcoming – he said, start now and you’ll attract people who think like you to join your work – and that money and finances will also flow to the work you start! He spoke of how privileged children from elite schools live in their bubbles while children in public sector schools are very street smart. Rabtt is working on connecting these two worlds. Professor Reimers reiterated that a progressive society must be more equitable and heartily endorsed Imran’s efforts –at the end he asked us all to free ourselves from toxic mentalities and begin to take responsibility to change social conditions – now!
Mariam Chughai (doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education) ably moderated the Videoconference and handled switching between different sites enabled by HEC’s Virtual Education Project and Erum Sattar (doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School) moderated an active twitter feed on: #SAIEdInnovation
Innovation in EducationPhotos from the video conference discussion on lessons for entrepreneurship in Pakistan.
Co-sponsored with the Harvard Pakistan Student Group
India vs India: Local Strength or Global Growth
March 9 & 10, 2013
Presented by the students of the Harvard Business School & Harvard Kennedy School
For more details and to register: http://www.harvardindiaconference.com/
co-sponsored the South Asia Institute