Overcoming Fear with Understanding
Pehount is a picturesque village located a few miles ahead of the lush valleys of Patriata, Muree. Despite its small size, the village contains numerous success stories, all based on hard work and dedication. Among these cases, Akhtar Parveen’s story is particularly inspiring.
The 55-year old is a devoted school teacher in Islamabad Model School for Girls (IMSG) Pehount. With a master’s degree in education and many years of teaching English and Social Studies behind her, Ms. Akhtar is a skilled and experienced teacher. Her presence in IMSG Pehount is invaluable as the school suffers from an acute shortage of teachers. Additionally, the students and teachers of the school had little knowledge of effective uses of computers and other IT gadgets for educational purposes.
As a result, the school was initially reluctant to adopt technology and feared the consequences would not be positive. Akhtar Parveen, however had a vision, which can best be summarised by the saying that “there is no illusion greater than fear”.
Ms. Akhtar’s learning mindset and enthusiasm for innovative teaching practices led her to embrace the Digital Learning Centre set up by Knowledge Platform at IMSG Pehount. After the teachers’ training session, Ms. Akhtar managed to arrange for her own laptop to practice at home. Her motivation and effort enabled her to achieve computer literacy and proficiency in using the Digital Learning Centre in a short period.
After becoming an expert herself, Ms. Akhtar’s next challenge was to make her students comfortable with the learning technology. Ms. Akhtar worked tirelessly to ensure the students learned to use the digital solution effectively. The students’ initial fears and apprehensions melted away because of the spirited and relentless training given by their teacher.
Ms. Akhtar then widened her circle of influence by engaging with the community outside the school, particularly the sceptical parents of some of her students. She helped dispel the mindset that technological tools were a waste of time with no tangible benefits by counselling parents about the constructive uses of technology. During parent teacher meetings, she gave demonstrations of the learning solution to the parents to help them understand the specific ways in which their children were benefiting. This investment and outreach turned out to be very helpful and most of the parents eventually became firm believers in the potential of the learning solution.
Within 6 months, all 10 students in Ms. Akhtar’s class were able to use the system independently. While providing feedback, she mentioned how the Digital Learning Centre has enhanced her students’ basic concepts of English through interactive activities and games in the classroom.
Ms. Akhtar continues to work with dedication, and her fearlessness will ensure that the village of Pehount and its students will continue to benefit from digital learning technology.