FSTC visits Pakistan

Published Date: 
2 May 2019


AFAQ management welcoming FSTC delegation at Lahore Symposium

Members of Delegation:

1. Professor Salim TS Al-Hassani, President FSTC-UK

2. Mr Muhammad Hafiz, Trustee FSTC-UK

3. Dr Zubair Bandukda, Associate Fellow FSTC-UK


Mr Talib Karim, President IoBM Karachi and Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, President FSTC discussing one of the education resources

Background

Balanced Education Pakistan (BEP) was an initiative started by FSTC-UK in 2017 with an aim to blend and enhance education projects in conjunction with existing programmes within Pakistan.

One of the main reason FSTC-UK chose Pakistan as its next target country is because not only due to its vast multicultural population, but also its huge achievements in shared cultural and Muslim heritage as well as historical achievements in science. Hence, a balanced and integrated education programme needs investing and implemented to ensure that this rich heritage of what Pakistan was founded upon is remembered and made more aware of in the public domain, media and educational institutions and, more importantly, in the minds of the new generation.

BEP was launched formally at an event in Manchester on 25 March 2017 and a number of key donors and supporters of FSTC-UK were invited. A dedicated fund was created to financially support this initiative to which the invitees kindly donated. The funds collected were ring-fenced to ensure that they could only be used for BEP project.


One of the tables at the Lahore Symposium hosted by AFAQ 

Unfortunately due to changing political situation in Pakistan and staff movement at FSTC-UK, the project had to wait until August 2018 with the introduction of Dr Zubair Bandukda as an Associate Fellow at FSTC. Dr Zubair brings over 20 years of experience in Higher Education both in Pakistan and UK.

After careful consideration and initial discussions with stakeholders in UK and Pakistan, it was decided earlier this year that a FSTC delegation comprised of Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Mr Muhammad Hafiz and Dr Zubair Bandukda  will visit Pakistan in March 2019 to meet potential institutional academic partners. Symposi titled Balanced Education: Science From All were given in Karachi,  Lahore and Islamabad. These symposia were accompanied by various meetings.


Side view of the symposium at IoBM-Karachi

Symposia on Balanced Education in Pakistan

As part of the Balanced Education Initiative, FSTC launched a series of Symposia in Pakistan, titled Balanced Education : Science From All in Karachi Lahore and Islamabad.

The first symposium in Karachi was hosted by Institute of Business Management (IoBM) at their Executive Management Excellence Centre (EMEC) on 16 March 2019. Mr Talib Karim, President of IoBM chaired the inaugural morning session attended by over 50 participants including academic leadership and faculty members of IoBM, head teachers and science teachers from various schools and colleges in Karachi, curriculum developers from organisations such as The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and L2L Academy, a delegation from Al-Hijrah Trust and other stakeholders.


Delegate from L2L Academy at the Karachi Symposium  

Dr Irfan Hyder, Rector of IoBM welcomed the FSTC delegation and guests, followed by presentations from Dr Nasreen Hussain (Head of Education Department, IoBM) and Ms Salma Alam (CEO Durbeen). Dr Zubair Bandukda briefed the participants about the mission and activities of FSTC and showed the film ‘1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets’.

Professor Salim Al-Hassani while delivering the keynote lecture shared his knowledge of the role played in science and engineering, by some of the greatest thinkers and inventors in Muslim civilization. He highlighted the absence in school curricula of the cultural, engineering and scientific contributions and the extent of the impact of non-European cultures on humanity. The session was followed by contributions from teachers and educators and the Q&A session was actively participated, all of which emphasised the need for such awareness programmes in the country.


Professor Salim Al-Hassani giving a keynote presentation at the Symposium held at Nishat Hotel, Lahore

The second symposium was hosted by the Association for Academic Quality (AFAQ) at The Nishat Hotel Lahore on 19 March 2019. Mr Shahid Warsi, CEO AFAQ was the Chief host; it was attended by over 30 teachers from various schools in Punjab connected to AFAQ. Professor Al-Hassani’s keynote was very well received and all the participants found the material presented interesting and relevant to their subject.

Both the symposiums included an interactive workshop in the afternoon session where the participants and in particular the teachers were given an opportunity to present and discuss their experiences of incorporating additional material into their subject areas. It was unanimously agreed by all teachers that due to pressures of completing the statuary curriculum by the various examining boards, it is almost impossible to deviate from the textbooks. However, complimentary material such as examples of Muslim scientific contributions in the form of assignments, quizzes, laboratory experiments and projects will be a good addition either within the present prescribed courses or as a separate module.


Side view of the symposium at IoBM-Karachi

President FSTC meets President Hamdard Foundation Pakistan

Professor Salim Al-Hassani accompanied by Mr Muhammad Hafiz and Dr Zubair Bandukda during their recent trip to Pakistan visited the Hamdard Foundation office on 15 March 2019 in Karachi. They were greeted by Professor Shabib-ul-Hasan, Vice Chancellor Hamdard University who coordinated the meeting with Mrs Sadia Rashid, President Hamdard Foundation and Chancellor Hamdard University. She is the daughter of Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said, an eminent social scientist and a remarkable humanitarian. Hakim Said was the founder of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf), Hamdard Foundation Pakistan, Hamdard Clinics and Madinat-al-Hikmah – a city of science, culture and education.


Mrs Sadia Rashid, President Hamdard Foundation and University presenting a shield to Prof Salim Al-Hassani

Mrs Sadia Rashid welcomed the guests and briefed the FSTC delegation about Hamdard Foundation’s wide ranging activities in fields of education, health and social work throughout Pakistan. Professor Al-Hassani thanked Mrs Rashid for the meeting and gave a detailed presentation on FSTC-UK activities and in particular, the popularisation of the contribution of male and female scientists from Muslim civilisation and the need for acknowledging their achievements by current educational curriculum. It was agreed that there is much synergy between the work done by FSTC and the mission of late founder of Hamdard Foundation and hence a formal agreement of collaboration is being developed in the form of memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.

President FSTC presented Mrs Sadia Rashid with a complete set of FSTC publications for Hamdard University library. 

FSTC delegation visits TMUC Islamabad

In the final leg of their Pakistan trip, the FSTC delegation led by Professor Salim TS Al-Hassani visited The Millennium Universal College (TMUC) campus in Islamabad on 20 March 2019. The visit was kindly facilitated by Consul General of Pakistan in Manchester, HE Dr Aamar Aftab Qureshi. The delegation was warmly received by TMUC senior management and students on their arrival and given a tour of the impressive facilities. This was followed by a meeting with academic leadership of the college.

In his brief presentation, Professor Al-Hassani highlighted some the contributions of male and female scientists from Muslim civilisation and emphasized the need for acknowledging their achievements by the current educational curriculum in particular the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. He highlighted the aims and objectives of FSTC-UK and introduced the Balanced Education Pakistan (BEP) as the latest initiative of the foundation. The Executive Director of TMUC, Ms Safia Farooqi while appreciating FSTC’s efforts in promoting the Muslim civilisation also thanked Professor Salim Al-Hassani for his visit to TMUC. The meeting concluded on a positive note with both institutions agreeing to further their cooperation in mutually beneficial subject areas.


Certificate Distribution Ceremony at Lahore Symposium organised by AFAQ

Delegates Visiting Iconic Sights

The delegation was toured around some iconic sights by the hosts. Below are some of these:


The tomb of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The tomb is located within the Hazuri Bagh Gardens, Lahore. It was built after the death of Muhammad Iqbal in 1938 from funds raised through the contributions from Iqbal's friends, admirers and disciples. (Source)


The Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, was commissioned by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671, with construction of the mosque lasting for two years until 1673. The mosque is an important example of Mughal architecture, with an exterior that is decorated with carved red sandstone with marble inlay. (Source)


The Pakistan Senate, Islamabad (Source)


King Faisal Mosque, Islamabad. (Source)


General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq' s Tomb, situated in the campus of Faisal Mosque. (Source)