Our second panel will explore the positive developments as well as ongoing problems in Pakistan’s education system. In recent years, Pakistan has faced several challenges in bridging the disparity between education in urban and rural areas. As such, over the past few decades several NGOs have been striving to help the government close this gap and create long term change by giving Pakistani children better access to education. This year, Soch presents our education panel under the theme Reshaping Futures. The panel brings together some of Pakistan’s most dedicated educational activists in conversation with one another to debate and discuss the future of education in Pakistan. Featuring Founder of Zindagi Trust (and prominent pop artist), Shehzad Roy, and Board Member of Developments in Literacy, Ameena Mohyuddin Zia. This panel will explore both the obstacles preventing the spread of literacy in Pakistan and the steps necessary to overcome them.
Singer, Social Worker, Humanitarian
Shehzad Roy is a Pakistani singer, social worker and humanitarian. He started his singing career in 1995 and has recorded six albums since. He has recorded many hit songs such as "Saali," "Teri Soorat" and "Kangna," but is most famous for his 2008 socio-political album Qismat Apney Haath Mein. Roy is also the president and founder of Zindagi Trust, a non-government charitable organization, that strives to improve the quality of education available to the average Pakistani. Roy has recently produced and hosted 2 documentary series, Chal Parha, about the state of public education in Pakistan, and Wasu aur Mein, which follows the travels of Shehzad and a villager and deals with issues like progress, poverty and patriotism in Pakistan. In 2005, Roy was the recipient of the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, which the third highest Civilian Honor awarded in Pakistan, for his excellence in public service. For his organization's rehabilitation work after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, he was awarded the Sitara-e-Eisaar in 2006. He was also selected to be a torch bearer for the 2008 Olympics.
Ameena Mohyuddin Zia
Adjunct Professor, Representative, Board Member
Ameena Mohyuddin Zia is an Adjunct Professor at City University of New York (York College) in New York City and a board member of Developments of Literacy. Developments in Literacy (DIL) educates and empowers underprivileged students, especially girls, by operating student-centered model schools; and provides high-quality professional development to teachers and principals across Pakistan. In addition, she currently serves as a Civil Society Consultative Representative to the United Nations ECOSOC and the UN Consultant for American Pakistan Foundation. Ameena spearheads the APF@UN initiative which is the first of its kind that brings together Pakistan civil society (NGOs, academia, private sector) in the promotion of the SDGs.
Prior to her current employment, she served as a Political Appointee in the Executive Cabinet of St. Louis County Government (State of Missouri) and worked on immigrant integration and inclusive economic and social initiatives. Ameena developed and spearheaded multiple integration initiatives including the Immigration and Innovation Policy Analysis Sub-Committee and the County Executive’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Immigration Outreach and Relations; participated in the Executive Development Initiative of St. Louis County centered on strategic policy development issues of aging in place; concentration of poverty and the emerging millennial population.