Friday, September 25, 2015

How Mina Stampede Happened and How to Avoid it: Hajjis Traffic Management System:

During my hajj of 1996, we were in a segment of road in approximately the same area where Mina 2015 stampede occurred. We experienced how a stampede-like situation begins to build as hajjis begin thronging towards jumaraat. I can still feel the tension developing in the air, the silence of lull before the storm, the panic on the faces of the people, their deep anguished breathing, their anxious glancing to the left and right, their groping for space forward and backward, and the fear and nervousness writ large on their faces, and that waiting as if for a cue to really fly off the handle and start the domino that would lead to the stampede. The apprehension building on the faces of the people as they start coming closer and closer and start pushing more and more. Fortunately, there was no stampede, we avoided it because we along with large number of other hajjis were able to escape out of the road segment where the congestion was developing. We managed to enter the adjoining muktab by creating an opening in its perimeter wall and which, fortunately, in those days were not as tightly blocked for non-muktab hajjis as they are today. From that  muktab, we ejected out to the other parallel road, and from there we retreated back and postponed our attempt to jumaraat for a couple of hours.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Managing English Teaching Outcomes in Universities: An Experiential Learning Case Study of ESL/EFL

My recollections as Vice President and Dean about ensuring the learning outcomes of English courses at PAF KIET from 2002-2012. 

Around ten to twelve years ago in our academic discussions with the President of the institute where I was working at that time, we would often worry about raising the English skills of our students. President of the Institute was Air Commodore (R) Khalid Husain who hailed from the Engineering Branch of PAF and who had been in senior positions in training and development wing of PAF. One day he mentioned that the new inductees in PAF are mostly from rural areas who have never been to English medium schools, and have had no or little exposure of English speaking environment. However, within a few months of their joining the PAF training academy, they are speaking fluently in English. How can we ensure that students of universities also start talking and writing in English within a few months? We agreed that  there was merit in this expectation, and we need to try to design systems that can ensure a similar level of outcome.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Anti-National Language Policy leads to Rule by Rich and Corrupt Elites

One of the major reasons that has led to the continuous deterioration of economy and culture in Pakistan can be attributed to the anti-national language policies by the status-quo troika. This status-quo troika consisted of rich ruling elites in the bureaucracy that quickly joined hand with the establishment and the landed aristocracy during the rule military dictators to keep the common people away from the corridors of powers. The instrument of this machination was the use of English, the language of the colonial masters (gora sahebs), to extend the colonial rule during post-colonial era through their replacement with indigenous brown sahebs, the rich English speaking elites [1]. The recent supreme court judgement by CJ Jawwad Khwaja [2] is a bold attempt to correct this wrong perpetuated over the last 68 years and to strike at the root of the status-quo's power.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

6 Trends that will Determine your Career Success in the 21st Century

There are six major trends that are going to determine the careers of graduates in the 21st century:
  1. Shortening of the life cycle of organizations and businesses.
  2. From life-long full-time employment to short term, contractual, project-based engagements
  3. From teaching to learning
  4. From knowledge acquisition to enterprising creativity and innovation
  5. From management to leadership. From managed employees to self-driven autonomous decision makers.
  6. From choosing a career vision to choosing your purpose
[Based on my Orientation Speech for new students at IoBM on September 5, 2015.]