Razia Khan Jamall
Razia Khan Jamali, the Vice Principal of the Primary Section at Bay View Academy, has been in the field of education for the past 23 years and for her “It’s been a long road but it’s been great.” She has her share of struggles in her profession but believes with the constant strive to learn, one can find solutions to all difficulties and ensure that schooling is meaningful for all students. “I have to keep pace with how children are learning and have to try to keep abreast of the latest methodology. School can be really difficult for a lot of children and it’s our job to make it accessible, fun and draw children into learning. That is a challenge. I have to ensure that the teachers are also kept engaged and motivated. I think when you go through difficult times you feel overwhelmed and you can’t see what lies ahead but I love that when you look back you actually see it brought you to where you need to be.” Razia explains.
Razia is very proud that she earns her own money and for her, financial independence is very important. This independence has allowed her to support her own family a lot through the years, and even after being married, her power to earn for herself gives her a sense of security. As far as emotional independence is concerned, she feels a woman is dependent on others for emotional security by nature. “We like to give a lot of love and affection to others so I don’t know if I can say I am emotionally independent. I need my husband, family, friends and colleagues for emotional stability.”
Miracle Woman, Razia, has a lot on her plate but she feels it is important that sometimes, a woman must put herself first. “I see this with a lot of my friends when they’ve got young kids, they feel totally lost because their day is all about being a good mum but I think in part of being a good mum or being a good woman you need to give time to yourself, take care of yourself and feel good about yourself. Only then can you take care of others. So, I pursue my interests just as going to watch a movie or just spend time with my family and friends. But I also need my work as that is a big part of who I am. That’s something I love doing for me.”
Razia feels strongly about gender inequality in Pakistan and says that it is tremendous. “Some of us may be fortunate enough to not experience it at its worst. It is the little things. On your ID card you have to be identified as somebody’s daughter or wife. You are not a person in your own right which I find a little strange. Those of us who are fortunate enough to travel abroad sense the difference the minute you are in another country. A woman has the freedom to walk anywhere, to do anything, we have certain constraints on us and definitely the majority of Pakistani women face tremendous inequality – sociologically, religious constraints, they are not allowed to live, dress or speak the way they want to. Somebody said to me, which really resonated with me, that when they had gone to Sri Lanka which is so close by, they saw women were completely free, they dressed how they want, they walked where they wanted to, they did whatever they want and he sensed that it was such a big difference compared to our country and for a man to notice that, I just feel that’s so true. We don’t have that freedom or comfort to be out and about,” proclaims Razia.
The beautiful and the very perceptive Razia has to say that “I have been an administrator for 7 years but for me the Miracle of my work was when I was a teacher. That for me is when I really made my connection with my students.” If we have administrators such as Razia at the helm of the education sector of Pakistan, we can surely see a better learning experience and a brighter future for all children going to school.