Haya Jahanzeb: Advocating and Empowering Progressive Education
Haya Jahanzeb
Haya Jahanzeb | Manager | Digital Learning Technology and Science

As one move up in their organization and take on higher leadership positions, their success will depend less on what they know and rather more on their ability to positively impact others. This ability to influence is an essential leadership skill. Such leaders motivate employee commitment and use that knowledge to leverage performance and positive results.

It is through building trust, actively listening, and practising authentic self-promotion that leaders are able to influence others. However, we at The Knowledge Review after closely observing many leaders concluded that there is an additional behaviour that distinguishes a leader from an influencer; it is, relentless self-ownership. This behaviour separates a leader who may get others to act from a leader who manages to attract perpetual motivation. A relentless self-owned leader will understand his or her mistake when one point out it to them, own it and will be willing to consider other possibilities. They believe that both personal and professional growth is a two-way process.

Believing the same and our quest to find such a leader landed us at Roots International Schools Pakistan Official. The below conversation with Haya Jahanzeb, the Manager of Digital Learning Technology and Science of the school enlightened us on how her contributions are changing the educational sector of Pakistan. Read further to discover her pursuit of using technology to offer an immersive academic experience.

How did you become an educational influencer? Tell us the inception story.

I started my career as an educator in 2014. I started as Art Teacher, after 3 months, the Branch Head enrolled me into ICT wherein I used to link science and Math with technology to make it fun and informative. My Branch Head was very impressed with my technique and gave me the opportunity to teach science and Math for grades 4-7. In 2014, I submitted my self-nomination for Microsoft Innovative Educator Program, and I got selected as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert 2014-2015. As MIE Expert I worked with Edcamp Foundation USA to organize Pakistan’s first Edcamp with the help of Flipgrid, GoNoodle, and Roots International schools. That Edcamp was a huge success we set a new training trend in Pakistan after that Edcamp I helped other Pakistani educators in organizing Edcamps in their cities and even online.

After becoming MIE Expert my most favourite activity for every lesson was Skype collaborations and Skype field trips, I created some Skype collaboration as well and due to my work, I became Pakistan’s only Skype Master Teacher in 2015 and till today I’m the only Skype Master teacher in Pakistan. Due to my hard work and projects in 2017 my school administration promoted me to head office as a Subject Lead. As a subject Lead, I developed mathematics books for grades 1-5. These books’ content was fully based on trans-disciplinary and CPA approach. I also developed a curriculum of Advanced Computing and Enterprise for a primary school in this subject we are teaching students to develop an App-based business. I also worked in the documentation of our school LMS software In 2018 Microsoft invited me to education exchange conference E2 at Singapore as MIE EXPERT to represent Pakistan and to showcase my work. After E2 I visited 11 cities of Pakistan to train educators and to share my work. In 2019 they appreciated my hard work and selected me as one of 4 MIE FELLOW from Pakistan. I was honoured to be part of a panel discussing ‘Women in STEM’ at Microsoft Edu Day at Lahore and Peshawar. This year I was invited to the Microsoft educator exchange conference at Sidney as well but this time I was invited as an educator community’s leader.

According to you, why institutes should invest in digital learning?

Each and everything around us has changed; we moved from desktop to laptop, from face to face gossips to WhatsApp. We can’t use the 19s technique to get students ready for the 21st century. Today’s students are surrounded by gadgets and technology. A kid sees mobile before teacher than how the teacher is going to engage a student with such exposure with chalk and duster.

Technology has made teachers work easier and interesting. Who would know that we would be teaching from our houses one day? Yes, today because of our school’s LMS teachers can share resources, take a class, or even take exams online. We have been working on 21st-century skills for a long time, we can’t develop these skills without leaving behind traditional teaching style.

Institutes have to equip their teachers with knowledge, and technology to prepare their students for future challenges. Today each organization has replaced their regular workplaces with online workspace, are my students ready for such workspace? Each educator should ask this question to themselves.

Kindly share some examples, how do you bring digital learning into a classroom? Also, share your roles and responsibilities at Roots International.

Roots International school is a Microsoft Showcase School. Each Microsoft selects school on the basis of their work in transforming classrooms with technology and gives them the status of showcase school. We’ve been doing research on transforming classrooms with technology, we developed our curriculum on the basis of 21st-century skills, and we are the only school in Pakistan that is teaching App development and entrepreneurship in Primary school. In 2018 we started our online summer school with Microsoft tools and our school LMS. Our LMS is based on gamification and skill-based evaluation system.

In your opinion what are the benefits, technology has brought on in the field of education?

To be very honest technology has made teachers and students work easier and more interesting. In past teachers were loaded with a lot of tasks and research work was very limited and difficult, which now technology does for them. Who knew that one day we would not be able to put a step out of our house? Well, it happened and no problem as with our school’s LMS teacher could assess students more effectively. Skill-based evaluation helps them to find out weak areas of students where they have to work. Technology helps teachers in keeping their resources safe.

What aspects of your job are the most challenging and how do you overcome them?

Finding a good change is one and implementation of it is another. It’s very difficult to make people accept the change. Teachers are not ready to come out of their comfort zone on the other hand parents are also not ready to accept new methods of teaching they want the school to teach their child in the same way in which their teachers have taught them. It’s a big challenge to make them understand that they were been taught to succeed in 19s now we’re teaching students to succeed in future full of innovations.

What advice can you give to graduates who seek to become influencers in the field of education?

Education is the most difficult field but at the same time most important too. You’ll be working on the raw material for other industries. Future doctor, surgeon, artist, entrepreneur, or software developer will be sitting in your class and it will be in your hands to make them a good citizen. Basically, a classroom is the future of your country one mistake can cause a huge loss in the future. It’s a great field you learn something new on a daily basis. As you are aware of the fact that all fields whether it’s related to health or industry are using technology to improve performance and quality of their services and products just like that educationist has to integrate technology in education to enhance the learning experience.

Kindly share what have you planned for the forthcoming years.

Right now, I’m working on integrating remote learning in our school and on resources for online learning. I started a channel on YouTube to help other educators in the integration of technology and to share some of my technology integrated lessons with them. I train teachers on a daily basis about technology in education. Right now, I’m taking Remote classes of O level to keep students engaged during holidays. I’ll be representing Pakistan’s educators in Microsoft Educators Exchange Conference 2020 at Sidney.

Recent Posts