Quality Performance in Academic Programs
By: Khush Funer Murtaza
INTRODUCTION & ABSTRACT
Instructor, The Aga Khan University, Professional Development Centre, North, Gilgat.Quality is doing the right things right and quality education leads to an excellent student education. The future of the country depends on a quality education being provided in every school and it plays a major role in students’ learning.
Quality education therefore implies looking into what desirable changes the school wants to make in each student through quality performance. But unluckily in Pakistan in education (academic programs) quality performance is limited. Mostly it is commissioned due to the interest of the donors and hence is generally directed towards the funding agencies. Keeping in mind the importance of quality education the Aga Khan University-Professional
Development Centre North (AKU-PDCN) was established in 1999 which aims to improve the quality of education in Gilgit-Baltistan through providing academic support in various programs e.g. Whole School Improvement Program (WSIP), Advanced Diploma in Education: Primary Education (ADE: PE) and Certificate in Education: Educational Leadership and Management (CE: ELM) for the teachers of Government, semi government and private school system. More specifically, AKU- PDCN’s mission is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools,
build local capacity with a particular emphasis on gender awareness, develop partnerships with education providing systems, and above all, serve as a Centre of Excellence and Quality in Gilgit- Baltistan. These academic programs help not only in the establishment of continuous teacher professional development mechanisms and processes, but also provide opportunities for various stakeholders to work together with high quality and performance through sharing their experiences in the process of implementing the school improvement initiatives.
Moreover, the field -based nature and the follow-up mechanism of the programs provide further professional support with high quality performance to the project schools. This ongoing quality professional support is intensive and regular and aims to encourage the teacher community to reflect on new practices as well as on developing positive professional development culture in their respective schools. This paper attempts to illustrate the background of WSIP, ADE: PE and CE: ELM programs and how it provides high quality professional development opportunities for the teachers of Gilgit- Baltistan of Pakistan through AKU-PDCN. The paper also highlights the lessons learnt and challenges faced in the process, and conclude with a suggestion for a possible and preferable way forward.