Teacher Education Conference 2023

Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century: Synergies and Challenges

About the Conference

In keeping with our long-term goal of improving the public education system of Pakistan, Durbeen is announcing, with pleasure, its first international conference on teacher education: Preparing Teachers for the 21st century: Synergies and Challenges. The conference will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of February, 2023, at the Government Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad, in Karachi, Pakistan.

Durbeen is dedicated to bridging the ever-widening gap between public and private education via the creation of world-class teachers for government schools. It is with this in mind that we aim to investigate, on Day One of the conference, the challenges and successes of B.Ed. programs in our country through thoughtful discussion, debate, and dialogue between various educators and other stakeholders, and chart a way forward for all of us.

A variety of speakers will offer, on the first day, reflective contemplations on current practices in the B.Ed. (Hons), and engage in a panel discussion related to the challenges of implementing the B.Ed. (Hons) program.

Day 01

The subthemes of our conference on Day One are:

  1. Innovative pedagogical or assessment practices in implementing the B.Ed. (Hons) program
  2. Challenges in implementing the B.Ed. Hons program in the following areas only, and ways to address them:
  • Curriculum and Student Workload School
  • Partnerships for Practicum and other coursework
  • Student Recruitment

Day 02

On the second day, invited speakers will engage in various concurrent Symposia, each on one of the following themes:

  1. Raising Teacher Quality and Status in Pakistan
  2. Developing Better Teacher Educators
  3. Language of Instruction, Equity and Social Justice
  4. Quality Assurance in Teacher Education

Each symposium has a featured speaker and three plenary speakers to talk about different aspects of the given  theme. These symposia will be followed by a  panel discussion titled “Changing Public Perceptions of the Teaching Profession.” The panelists represent various fields, ranging from education, to social media and the industry in general.  The aim is to bring together a variety of perspectives on this important issue to raise the status of teachers and the teaching profession in Pakistan.

A message from Salma Ahmed Alam, the CEO of Durbeen

Durbeen is proud to host its first International Conference on Teacher Education. Six years ago, Durbeen was founded with the vision to transform teaching into the top-choice profession in Pakistan and to staff all government schools with a top-quality teaching workforce. With this goal in mind, Durbeen took over the management of the Government Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad in Karachi in 2019 and over the past 4 years, we have transformed this into one of the leading teacher education institutions of Pakistan. Through this conference, Durbeen is now establishing a common platform for teacher-educators across Pakistan, so that this community may share best practices and quality research that has emerged in the field and also jointly address the many challenges that continue to hinder the development of a strong teaching workforce.

I hope that the theme of the conference “Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century: Synergies and Challenges” will start a dialogue on the state of teacher education and the core reforms that are needed for the revival of this discipline. This is a great opportunity for teacher educators to showcase their research and practice and learn from each other, and I hope that all participants will walk away with actionable ideas to improve their respective institutions at the close of the conference.

I wish this conference success and hope that Durbeen will continue to serve as a platform for teacher education conferences in the future.

Salma A. Alam

Conference Program



Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ann Childs

Associate Professor of Science Education, Department of Education, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Ann Childs was born in London and obtained her bachelor’s degree and PhD in Chemistry from Birmingham University. She obtained her PGCE from Oxford University and then taught science in state schools in England and in Sierra Leone for 11 years before taking up her post as an academic at The Department of Education at Oxford University. Her current key teaching responsibilities are on the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (the one-year teacher education course for secondary teachers) and more recently she co-wrote and directs the part-time, online Masters in Teacher Education. This Masters attracts teacher educators from all sectors and from all over the world and is designed to develop teacher educators’ professional thinking and practice through a focus on inquiry and research. She also supervises masters and DPhil students in the Department of Education. Her research interests have focused on policy and practice in teacher education, nationally and internationally, and the professional development of in-service and pre-service science teachers. She has had the privilege to work in a number of international contexts with colleagues in teacher education, most recently in Bhutan and Papua New Guinea

Title: The what, why, how, when and who of teacher education: what are the key questions teacher educators face in their everyday work?

The keynote will seek to explore a number of key questions teacher educators face in the design and delivery of their teacher education programmes in initial teacher education at a time when innovation and change is occurring in Pakistan. Questions like:

  • What should be in a teacher education curriculum? Why?
  • How can a programme be best implemented? How much time should student teachers spend on school placement? When should school placements take place within the programme? What are the links between the college/University based work and the school placement?
  • When and how should theory be introduced in initial teacher education? Why is theory important?
  • Who are the teacher educators?

In the key note, drawing on the literature and on case studies in teacher education these questions will be explored, but not necessarily answered, in order to foreground those challenges all teacher educators face and to explore how specific country/contextual factors may influence the way in which teacher education is practiced and developed.

Featured Speakers

Dr. Ann Childs

Associate Professor of Science Education, Department of Education, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. 

Title: Developing Better Teacher Educators

Enormous attention has been devoted over the last two decades to what K-12 teachers need to know and be able to do in order to be effective in their work with students. In fact, to a great extent, ‘‘the knowledge question’’ has driven the field of teacher education (Cochran-Smith, 2001) and dominated the literature. Much less attention at the policy level, however, has been devoted to what teachers of teachers need to know (Cochran-Smith, 2003, p. 6). 

This talk will draw on a model adapted from teacher knowledge and use it to explore the question of what teachers of teachers need to know. In doing so, it will explore questions like what ‘additional knowledge’ a teacher educator needs in addition to the knowledge base they bring as a teacher. It will also consider debates about whether teacher educators need to have been classroom teachers themselves. Finally, it will consider how teacher educators learn, drawing on work from the self-study movement (see for example Loughran, 2004). 

Cochran-Smith, M. (2003) Learning and unlearning: the education of teacher educators. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19, 5-28 

Loughran, J. J. (2004). A history and context of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices. In International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 7-39). Springer, Dordrecht. 

Dr. Ian Thompson

Associate Professor of English Education, Department of Education, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Ian Thompson is an Associate Professor of English Education at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Before joining Oxford, Ian taught English for sixteen years in state secondary schools. He is PI on the AHRC funded project Cultural Artefacts and Belonging and co-PI on the ESRC funded project Excluded Lives: The Political Economies of School Exclusion and their Consequences. Ian is the lead editor of the journal Teaching Education. He publishes in the fields of cultural historical research, social justice in education, school exclusions, English education, and initial teacher education.

Title: Why Language Matters are Social Justice Issues for Teacher Education.

Developing the pedagogy necessary to teach a disciplinary subject to a variety of young people involves complex developmental processes for beginning teachers. Yet just as language and thought have potential developmental functions for those learning to teach, the contexts of language use have critical implications for teacher educators. If effective communication is at the heart of teacher education, then both the language and medium of instruction are of paramount importance. This talk will explore the social justice and equity implications of the contradictions between learning to teach in English as a medium of instruction and the social reality of the use of both English and Urdu in higher education institutions and school classrooms. The talk will touch on contextual issues in Pakistan as well as implications from global practices.

Dr. Khalid Mahmood

Secretary, National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE), Islamabad, Pakistan

Dr. Khalid Mahmood has been serving as the NACTE Secretary since March 2020. He started his professional career as a secondary school science teacher forty-two years ago, and has  a long experience of teaching, administration, and research. He has worked in various capacities throughout his professional career: as an Assessment Expert at Punjab Education Assessment System (PEAS); as the Director for the Division of Education and Center for Educational Research and Assessment at University of Education, Lahore, and as a Consultant/Director Bridging Programs in the USAID funded Teacher Education Project.  Dr. Khalid Mahmood has a PhD in Education from the University of the Punjab.

Muhammad Ali Tabba

CEO, Lucky Cement Limited

Mr. Muhammad Ali Tabba is the Chief Executive of Lucky Cement Limited, succeeding his late father in 2005. Mr. Tabba also serves as the Chairman of Yunus Textile Mills Ltd (YTM), a state-of-the-art home textile mill with subsidiaries in North America and Europe. He is also the Chairman of Lucky Motors Corporation (LMC) and Lucky Electric Power Company Limited (LEPCL). He also plays a pivotal role in providing strategic leadership to ICI Pakistan Limited as its Vice Chairman.

Mr. Tabba is the Chairman of Pakistan Textile Council (PTC), a think tank, advocacy and research-based body. He is also the Chairman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturing Association (APCMA), a regulatory body of cement manufacturers in Pakistan. In the recent past, he has been Chairman of Pakistan Business Council (PBC), a business advocacy forum comprising of leading private sector businesses.

Muhammad Ali Tabba has extensive engagements in many Community Welfare Projects, and serves on the Board of Governors at renowned Universities, Institutions and Foundations. He is the Vice Chairman of the Non-Profit organization, Aziz Tabba Foundation (ATF). The Foundation is working extensively in the fields of Social Welfare, Education, Health and Housing. The Foundation runs two state-of-the-art Hospitals in Karachi; a 170 bed Tabba Heart Institute (THI) which is a dedicated Cardiac Care Hospital, and a 100 bed Tabba Kidney Institute (TKI), a specialized institution, providing comprehensive treatment for Nephro-Urological disorder.

In recognition of his outstanding services and contributions in the social development sector of Pakistan, World Economic Forum (WEF), bestowed the title of Young Global Leader (YGL) to Muhammad Ali Tabba in in 2010. He is also the recipient of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry “Businessman of the Year” Gold Medal Award for 2012- 2013.

Government of Pakistan has awarded Mr. Tabba with the Sitara-E-Imtiaz Award in 2018.

Dr. Muhammad Memon

Chairperson, National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Dr. Muhammad Memon has been serving as an Honorary Chairperson, National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE), Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad since July 2019. He served as Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani Professor at the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), Karachi for more than a decade. He was the first national Director, AKU-IED, Karachi for more than eight (08) years. Currently, he is Professor Emeritus at AKU-IED, Karachi.  He served as Chairman, Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Hyderabad Sindh for more than six years; officiating Chairman, Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education, Mirpurkhas and officiating Chairman, Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Shaheed Benazirabad. He earned his Ph.D. in Education (Curriculum Studies) from the University of Surrey, England in 1989. He attended several intensive courses including the courses on educational change and professional development and project management at the University of Sussex, England, and the University of Philippines, Manila respectively. He is a member of several Editorial Boards of Educational Journals and his scholarly work is published in the national and international journals. Recognizing his academic, research and scholarly contribution to the educational development in the country, various educational institutions have honoured him with awards

Title: Quality Assurance in Teacher Education: A Step Towards Teachers’ Professionalization

Teacher education occupies a central place in any education system due to its role of preparing professionally competent, committed, confident, and compassionate practitioners to educate the youth for their practical life. It is rightly narrated that the quality of teachers doesn’t exceed the quality of teacher education which is a determinant of the students’ achievement.  Transformation of teacher education in the country received a due attention of the several national education policies but it hardly made any impact towards professionalization of teachers. As a result, quality of education has continuously deteriorated. Recognizing the importance of teachers’ professionalization, the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad revitalized teacher education in collaboration with the international donor agency to professionalize teachers. A two-year Associate Degree in Education (ADE) and a four-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed. Hons) were devised which are being offered by the public and private sector teacher education institutions in the country. In order to assure quality of teacher education programmes, HEC formed National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE) to accredit teacher education programmes through external systematic review process to determine whether teacher education programmes have met the national standards. Thus, quality assurance is an indispensable process for maintaining standards. The accreditation process offers opportunities for the providers to use feedback of the external reviewers for improving their programmes through ‘developmental’ rather than ‘confirmatory’ approach. Underlying the national accreditation framework, the council has accredited 520 (185 in private sector and 335 in public sector) and majority of these programmes fall in ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ categories. Only one programme falls in ‘W’ category and 35 in ‘X’ category. A substantial of number of programmes have still not applied for accreditation which has badly affected the overall quality of teacher education in the country. The above data indicates that a large number of teacher education programmes fall in lower categories which warrants immediate attention of the accreditor and providers to raise quality of teacher education programmes for fostering culture of teachers’ professionalization through quality assurance for maintaining standards. This will eventually add more value and prestige to continuously improve the quality of teachers which is a sine qua none of quality education in the country.

Dr. Sajid Ali

Associate Professor and Director of Research and Publication, Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan

Dr Sajid Ali is an Associate Professor and Director, Research and Publications at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan. He holds a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from University of Edinburgh, an MEd in Leadership and Policy from Monash University, and a Masters in Sociology from the University of Karachi. Dr Ali is the recipient of various awards including: A.R. Kiyani Gold Medal – 1997, Australian Development Award – 2003, Commonwealth Youth Leadership Award – 2003, Edinburgh Research Award – 2006, South Asian Visiting Fellowship at Oxford – 2011 and Australian Alumni Excellence Award – 2014. Dr. Ali has taught at Hamdard University, Karachi University and University of Edinburgh. He is the General Secretary of Pakistan Association for Research in Education (PARE). His research interests include globalisation and education policy, new forms of educational governance, policy networks, education reforms, privatisation of education and role of knowledge resources in shaping policy. Dr Sajid is a key member of various policy forums at national and provincial levels; he has contributed in the formation of various government policies, such as: National Education Policy 2009; Teacher Licensing Policy; Sindh Education Sector Plan; Public Private Partnership Act, Non-Formal Education Policy of Sindh 2018 etc.

Title: Raising Teacher Quality and Status in Pakistan – the catalytic role of the teaching license

The research, both global and local, has established that teachers are the most important in-school factors that determine the academic success of school going children (UNESCO GMR, 2005; Bhutta & Rizvi, 2022). Hence, ensuring the availability of quality teachers remains one of the most important endeavors for the policy makers. The quality that teachers would demonstrate to enable students’ learning would earn them the respect of the students and society, and in that way the ‘status of teachers’ is also inter-linked with the ‘quality of teachers.’ In this paper I would like to raise some questions and attempt to respond to them to propose a theory of change towards improving the ‘quality and status of teachers’ in Pakistan. The paper first tries to define what is meant by ‘teachers’ quality’ and what factors determine it. It further explores the factors that determine the ‘teachers’ status’. Explaining the interconnectivity between the quality and status of teachers, the paper explores what can be done by the policy makers, society, media and teachers themselves to improve the quality and status of teachers. Finally, the paper will propose a theory of change to explore how introducing ‘teaching license’ in Pakistan can play a catalytic role in improving the quality and status of teachers in Pakistan.

Panel Discussion – Day 1

Issues and Challenges in implementing the B.Ed. Hons program:

  • Curriculum and Student Workload
  • Student Recruitment
  • School Partnerships for Practicum and other coursework


Salma Ahmed Alam

CEO, Durbeen

Salma started her education career at the S.M.B. Fatima Jinnah government school in Karachi, where she volunteered with Zindagi Trust for 4 years. During this time, she supervised the primary mathematics program at the school and also led the writing, illustration and design of a Grade 1 Math textbook in collaboration with Oxford University Press and AKU-IED.

After graduating from Harvard University, Salma spent two years consulting with the World Bank where she developed and supervised a project for a Human Resource Management Information System for Sindh School Education Department employees and also provided technical advisory and operational support for the government’s communication unit.

In 2017, after returning from Singapore with a primary teaching qualification, Salma was appointed as the CEO of Durbeen. She spent the next 3 years laying the groundwork for a public-private partnership in the Government Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad.


Dr Hafiz Muhammad Imanullah

Professor, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan

Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Inamullah is Professor (Tenured) of Education. He has on his academic and professional record, seventy-two research publications in HEC recognized journals of international repute. He has supervised eleven PhDs and eighteen M.Phil. scholars, and presented eighteen papers in international conferences abroad. He received Best Teacher Award from HEC, has been selected for Fulbright Visiting Specialist program, and participated in International Visitor Leadership program (IVLP). He is member of various organizations/bodies at national and international level.

Dr. Irfan Rind

Head of Department, Department of Education, IBA, Sukkur, Pakistan

Dr. Rind is a Professor and Head of the Education at Sukkur IBA University. He is also working as a Senior Research Fellow for Teachers College Columbia University, USA, and the Center of International Education, University of Sussex, UK. Dr. Rind got his Master’s in Applied Linguistics, and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Sussex, UK. He has post-doctorates from Teachers College, Columbia University, USA, and post doctorate professional development certification from Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. Dr. Rind worked for UNESCO on the “Post-MGDs agenda” in 2012. He conceptualized and executed many national and international projects sponsored by World Bank, USAID, CIDA, JICA, British Council, and HEC. Dr. Rind is a seasoned researcher and published more than 40 research papers/book chapters. He is a member of various national and international committees and has been highly vocal about quality education in general and quality teacher education in specific. Dr. Rind considers teaching as his passion and puts it above all. He has designed and conducted several trainings for teachers and management of all levels of Education. He was awarded the BEST UNIVERSITY TEACHER AWARD by HEC in 2017.

Muznah Faheem

Associate Professor, Government College of Education (F.B. Area), Karachi, Pakistan

Muznah Faheem has been working as Associate Professor, Teacher Educator, Master Trainer and Researcher in the government sector for many years. Her qualifications are B.Sc., M.A., and M.Ed. from AKU-IED in Leadership and Management; M.Phil. and Ph.D. (in progress) from Iqra University. She has done course work as external evaluator in NACTE (National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) and presented research papers in many international and national conferences. 

Ms Rana Hussain

Principal, College of Education, Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan

Ms Rana Hussain is an experienced and seasoned educationist who has worked for the elevation of teacher education in Pakistan for years. She holds a Masters in Education from the University of Toronto and is an active member in the education sector, whereby she continues to contribute to school curriculum and textbooks and education policies. Rana has served as the Head of Academic Programmes at Aga Khan University- Institute for Educational Development, Technical Adviser on the Sind Curriculum Council and Advisor on the Sindh Teacher Education Development Authority. Rana was also the Curriculum Director of the USAID & HEC Teacher Education Programme, called PreSTEP,  in 2009 through which Pakistan’s 4-year B.Ed. degree programme was developed. Ms. Rana Hussain is currently working as the principal of College of Education and Director Schools and Colleges, Ziauddin University. 

Dr Sadruddin Qutoshi

Head of Department, Department of Educational Development, Karakorum International University, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Dr. Sadruddin Bahadur Qutoshi is an Associate Professor of the Department of Educational Development, Head of the Department, and the Director/Head of the Centre for Research and Training in ECD, Karakoram International University Gilgit, Pakistan. He possesses diversified experience in leadership/administration, research, teaching and learning. Prior to joining KIU, he worked as Social Protection Coordinator at UNDP, Pakistan and Principal MCS, Aga Khan Education Services, Karachi, Pakistan.

Panel Discussion – Day 2

Changing the Public Perception of the Teaching Profession


Amir Paracha

Chairman and CEO, Unilever Pakistan Ltd

Amir Paracha is the Chairman and CEO of Unilever Pakistan Limited. He joined Unilever in 2000 as an Assistant Brand Manager, subsequently moving into leadership roles across the company.

He is presently spearheading the “Unilever for Pakistan” vision to empower Pakistanis with meaningful lives and livelihoods at fair wages in addition to Unilever Pakistan’s positive Climate action efforts towards renewable energy and a circular economy. As a passionate believer in equity, and diversity, Amir champions inclusion for gender and persons with disability.

He is the Vice President of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry and serves on the Boards of Shell & Endeavor Pakistan, KVTC, and FPCCI. 

Mosharraf Zaidi

CEO, Tabadlab

Mosharraf Zaidi, founder of the think tank and advisory services firm Tabadlab, has over two decades of experience in analysing and shaping policy in complex political environments. An expert on politics and public sector reform efforts across the region, for five years he was the CEO of the Alif Ailan campaign, working to address Pakistan’s education crisis by making it an urgent and central part of the political discourse at the local and national levels.

Muaaz Ahsan

Director Programming, Brand, and Special Projects, Geo News

Muaaz Ghamdi currently works as Director Programming, Brand, and Special Projects for GEO News. He oversees all GEO programs, and has designed and headed many notable campaigns, including: Zara Sochiye (Hudood Ordinance); Aman Ki Asha; Campaign for AASHA, the Alliance Against Sexual Harassment; Zara Sochiye Taleem Kai Liye, which was a campaign created to raise awareness for educational reforms.

Host of the closing session

Shehzad Roy

Founder and President, Zindagi Trust

Shehzad Roy is a singer and the Founder and President of Zindagi Trust. He received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2005 for his sociopolitical music and his contribution to the field of education reform. He also received the Sitara-e-Eisaar for his contribution to the relief efforts for earthquake in Kashmir. In 2013 The National Assembly recognized his efforts and passed a law criminalising corporal punishment. The high court Chief Justice also repealed section 89 based on the petition by Shehzad Roy and Zindagi Trust. Before that, it was allowed to hit children in good faith. In 2018, he received the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his work in education reform through advocacy, especially for his work to integrate Child Protection into the provincial curricular of Sindh, which will hopefully help the nation protect millions of children from sexual abuse.

In 2021, The Sindh Government approved a new teacher performance evaluation format established by Zindagi Trust. Teachers will now be evaluated on factors related to the teaching profession, like student-centered teaching and active classroom management instead of the generic metrics of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) applicable to all civil servants of a certain grade. He is an ambassador for United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC).

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The solution to better government schools is better government teachers. This is what we do.

Get in touch

Our Head Office is currently situated at GECE Hussainabad; the campus for our pilot project. Reach out to us through any of the ways below. You may also click on any of our social media icons on the left and send us a message there!

Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address:
Government Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad
Federal B Area, Block 2, Karachi
Mobile: +92 331 5550715
Phone: +92 21 99333002