E Magazine Issue 01 April 2019 Uncategorized




IBA has always been the top business school in Pakistan, but got pushed to the back of the pack due to lack of infrastructure and administrative red tape. That was until Dr Ishrat Husain took its reins. We find out how he went about the herculean task.
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he primary problem was that not even a single classroom, laboratory or hostel room was constructed since 1965, a time  when US Aid left the country. The enrollment at that point escalated from two hundred students to two thousand students. Even the faculty members did not have a lab where they could sit and research, or prepare their lessons or even engage with students during the office hours. Provision of these facilities is the major pillar of an academic institution. I was aware that I could not attract top-notch faculty members to IBA until I provide them with the physical infrastructure and facilities so that they can feel comfortable. EvenI think no country in the world can make progress unless and until they pay attention to the higher education because this helps in producing leaders for every particular field in the country the students were living in very bad conditions and the laboratories were outdated, classrooms were not of the way that you could bring in the modern delivery mechanisms of methodological tools. For instance  there were was no IT in the whole campus.


In the present times, you need different technological innovations and hence my strategy had four aspects or dimensions; firstly I wanted to invest in the physical infrastructure so that we could overcome the difficulties but also plan developments that could satisfy the future needs. Hence I worked and secured 5 billion rupees for the private sector and completed 30 projects of academic block, offices and these initiatives were just not to satisfy the present needs but also the future needs. The building has been constructed on modern lines and hence you can accommodate new students easily. Also, we have 130 offices for 100 teachers in order to accommodate any new hiring’s. The second aspect of my strategy was faculty development and we started hiring Ph. D. Faculty members, as we had only a few PHD’S back then. At the present time, you cannot just hire MBA’S to teach your students as they are much smarter than the teacher these days. You need to bring teachers who have made some name or contributions and hence we started hiring faculty members with PHD’S and today with the grace of Almighty we have 64 Ph.D.’s and almost 20 among  them are enrolled under the Ph.D. split programmes for women teachers or they are doing their study abroad and the time when they come back at least 85 percent of them will be holding Ph.D. degrees and that is the hallmark of a global institution. The third aspect was a technological up gradation. We wanted to have enterprise resource planning and campus planning solutions. Now teachers give assignments to students electronically, the registrations are done electronically and the tests are also completed and submitted electronically. The fourth aspect was to bring new programs because Karachi needed education in the field of Social sciences, Accounting, Finance, Mathematics and Economics, as they were lacking.

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IBA was just a business school with some Computer Science faculty members. There was a need for new disciplines and hence our graduate and undergraduate program in the fields of Social science, Accounting, Finance and Mathematics were introduced and today we have 4000 students in these departments. These were the four strategic objectives that I achieved by the grace of Allah Almighty in five years’ time frame. I later decided that it is now the right time to let others come because an institution should not depend on one individual and that is why I decided to retire.You said IBA had no faculty up- gradation mechanisms since the 1960s. Why do you think that happened? Do you think it was because of the administrative structure?I don’t want to second-guess their (past administrators) performance and would like to salute the efforts of the previous administration. When I joined IBA I found solutions to the problems instead of cracking out what happened in the past. I was looking only at the period where I had the opportunity to place things rightly. So I don’t care about the problems they were facing and what their considerations were back then.In the past, obsolete administrative mechanisms were in place that often disregarded students. Do you find it to be the case now?

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]M Azam Mahmood Butt has an MBA from IBA and is the editor for Academia Magazine. He has previously been part of the English language news media industry, and also worked in the retail and real estate sectors. He can be reached at[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image][/vc_column][/vc_row]
E Magazine Issue 01 April 2019



Getting Them Early

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Pakistani Twitter is a hotbed of contentious discussion mired by unfortunate invective. But despite this unwelcoming description, it’s an extraordinarily useful place in the most meaningful, but unexpected of ways. I had always used the word factoid incorrectly, assuming meant a tidbit of information – until someone called me out on it. Factoid actually means unreliable information that has been repeated so often that it is assumed to be true. A factoid I have often used without much thought to its accuracy is that Finnish students start school at seven years of age. Which is true, but its misleading. This fact suggests that allowing children time to be children, unburdened by school will still allow them to become the engines of a world beating education system that regularly outdoes many countries bigger, richer and more developed than they are.

But, 97% of Finnish children receive some form of pre-school or daycare between the ages of 3-6. There is a stronger consensus in the past few decades that,  despite debates about the merit of burdening children with schoolwork in later years, getting to children earlier through some form of schooling is enormously beneficial to children as they get older and more  advanced into the education system. Peter Savelyev, a Vander built professor, conducted a study into the The High Scope Perry Preschool Project which tracked the outcomes from a randomized trial of African American children who went to preschool and those that didn’t. The results were remarkable, and had a significant effect on some of the debilitating disadvantages poverty can have on a child growing up. While IQ enhancement was not significant, two socializing factors were significant enough to carry forward into adulthood. The first that the pupils became more academic oriented, and second that they were less likely to turn to crime.

Other studies have shown that educational attainment in middle school, higher attendance and getting qualifications and degrees post high-school all improved in those who attended pre-school compared to those that didn’t. These are very significant results. Pre-school is often derided for being nothing more than institutionalized and supervised child’s play. What is stark about many of these results is that they are strongest for the children from the most disadvantaged of backgrounds. Running pre-school under the same ethos as regular school runs counter to its purpose. Children are taught to be socialized and learn crucial interpersonal skills that not all families and settings can deliver. Play is central to this process because it teaches cooperation, and perhaps more critically, that learning and school is a place where they can have fun. With structured interventions of learning – the preparation for the future is significant.

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“Other studies have  shown that educational attainment in middle school, higher attendance and getting qualifications and degrees post high- school all improved in those who attended pre-school compared to those that didn’t”

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all our children how will we manage making pre-school a possibility. It a valid exercise in cynicism. The truth though, is that we do have money to spend. Its less than we would like, but just look at this statistic, in 2016 Balochistan was spending 20% of its budget on education. It’s a similar case around the country. Pakistan is committing enormous spends to education (conventional wisdom says we aren’t) – but we are just receiving poor results for our money.

The challenge is not just to fund education more, but also to ensure what we already spend yields children who have learned at school, not just attended it. Most of the studies on early childhood education look at centers where there is a high level of professional competence, having early childhood education delivered by the state will do no nothing unless it is of a high quality (indeed, if the atmosphere is not child friendly it Of course, one can be skeptical applying this in the case of Pakistan – surely, since we cant even educate adds to their stress, impacting development).

The good news is that both Punjab and KP have, in the previous term of government, already begun with creating early childhood centers. How good they are is still open to question because they are few and new. In a piece by Baela Raza Jamil which analyzed some of the existing early childhood education centers in the Punjab, she and her team found significant variations in the ages of children within a session – children so young have significant differences in cognitive ability within just one-year age variances. Multi age teaching doesn’t work well at this level. But the demand for state led education provision needs to now include not just education for all – but the provision of early childhood education for young children to address inequality, one of the primary political drivers of the resurgence of interest in education. The future will come from letting children play, in preschool.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Fasi Zaka is a Pakistani columnist, political commentator, television anchor and radio talk show host. He is popular amidst the masses for his satirical views and light- hearted columns and shows on pertinent political and national matters of interest. He currently hosts a radio show for FM 91.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”6944″ img_size=”medium” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”right” style=”vc_box_rounded” css_animation=”fadeInUp”][/vc_column][/vc_row]