November 29, 2023
In the sixteenth episode, we are joined by Khadija Shahper Bakhtiar (BSc 2007), the Founder and CEO of Teach For Pakistan, a national non-profit organisation that nurtures leadership to end educational inequity. She is a Fulbright Scholar with a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences from LUMS, which recognised her efforts with the firm through the 2019 Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Achievement Award.
The organisation provides university graduates the opportunity and support to teach for two years in underserved communities through a structured fellowship programme and develop the leadership skills and contextual understandings to effect long-term, system-wide reform for educational equity.
Khadija first had the idea to launch Teach For Pakistan in 2010 while pursuing a graduate degree at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley. Inspired by the impact and conviction of the Teach For America Alumni to lead change, she returned to Pakistan in 2010 to launch a similar programme locally. She led the Teach For Pakistan programme through its four-year incubation period, recruiting, developing, and graduating hundreds of exceptional leaders working nationwide to accelerate systemic change for equity and excellence in education.
In 2017, Teach For Pakistan launched as an independent organisation and currently has 160 fellows teaching 10,000+ students across high-need public schools in rural areas around Islamabad. Currently, 215 Teach For Pakistan alumni are lifelong champions for every child’s right to participate in quality education and are reshaping curricula, influencing policy, supporting teacher recruitment reforms, leading thriving schools, and innovating through cutting-edge ed-tech.
Teach For Pakistan’s leading partners include the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, the Federal Directorate of Education, and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Armed with a decade’s worth of grassroots experience and invaluable systemic insights, Teach For Pakistan is returning to Karachi this year, ready to reignite the movement in the city where it all began. In strategic partnership with the School Education and Literacy Department, Sindh, the organisation is primed to make an even greater impact in high-need schools.
Khadija has also led Teach For All’s teacher and alumni leadership development work with partners in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.
She has experience with organisations working on women and children’s empowerment, including UN Women in New York City, HomeBase in San Francisco, Rozan, and the Center of Gender and Policy Studies, Islamabad. She also serves on various Boards and advisory groups, including the National Education Foundation, Punjab Examination Commission, Teach for All’s Network Advisory Committee, and the Bardasht non-profit school in Tarnol.
Join the chat with Khadija as she shares her story of establishing Teach For Pakistan, reflects on her journey and the newer horizons beckoning us.
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