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What is Teach For Afghanistan’s message for the students in the COVID-19 period?

An Interview with Gulbadin Saqib Alumni of Teach For Afghanistan in Nangarhar

Our Teach for Afghanistan Alumnus (Gulbadin Saqib) from Nangarhar province graduated from the first batch. He is a self-learner, passionate about his job and loves to contribute towards his homeland. He believes that the fundamental and curial portion of today’s digital world is human’s young generation. To have a brighter future, we have to invest our energy and time in educating the young generation. Currently, he is working with the advisory board of Nangarhar education directorate as an academic advisor. He is using his talents and skills to deliver standardized teaching through television for students. Mr. Saqib’s recent achievement are his class teachings broadcasted on Sharq TV channel and being the manager of educational programs with Inikas TV in Jalalabad city. He mainly teaches school subjects and delivers his teaching session in a very friendly way.

Our fellow coach Mr. Hamid Noori spoke with Mr. Saqib to discuss the impact of TAO fellowship on his career and the importance of teaching and learning through television for students.

Hamid Noori: What is your message for the students in the COVID-19 period?

Saqib: My message to all the Afghan students and the young generation is to be calm and stay at home. We will overcome this world pandemic and will start our daily life as before. I want to add that this is a time that we should empower ourselves to become a better person and learn as much as we can. The best place to learn the school subjects are watching the Inikas and Sharq TV station in Jalalabad city that provide teaching for all the school subjects.

Hamid Noori: What is your current contribution to the afghan students?

Saqib: Currently, I am working on the revision of the curriculum of school subjects to become standardized and answer the needs of current education. As the lockdown has occurred in Jalalabad city and all the students are at home. I joined the Inikas and Sharq TV station in Jalalabad city to teach students Science subjects.

Hamid Noori: What inspired you to join Teach For Afghanistan’s fellowship program?

Saqib: While I was in the last semester of the university, I heard about the contribution of TAO from my senior university friends that TAO is supporting the education sector especially helps teachers and students. I always wanted to work for the education sector and I was looking forward to a place that I will be able to support students and discover new skills and opportunities. I found TAO as the best platform to start my career and reach on my aspirations. Fortunately, I joined the fellowship program of TAO and I served there as a math teacher in one of the public schools of Nangarhar province.

Hamid Noori: Tell us about your experience while you were a fellow? 

Saqib: I could say, the fellowship period was one of my life’s best times that not only I use it for students but also it enabled me to become more passionate about remaining a teacher. I should add, the most important parts that TAO has contributed to his fellows; were the training and the two years of ongoing support. The training expanded my abilities and the ongoing support had furnished those abilities to become life long learning. Additionally, it was an awesome experience I found TAO much dedicated towards education equity in Afghanistan; especially the work they are doing for female teachers and capacity building of them. As most of the schools in Nangarhar province, face a lack of female teachers, which affects female students dropout. I can say, TAO is like sunshine for female teachers, for female students, and for those schools that suffer from the lack of qualified teachers in Nangarhar province.

Hamid Noori: How is the influence of TAO on your professional career and personal life?

Saqib: I found Teach For Afghanistan the place for growth and full of opportunities. From the start point of my fellowship, I learned much about educational psychology, pedagogy. After that, when I first went to my teaching class I found teaching the most beloved job plus challenging. As you know teaching is not an easy job to do. You are facing different students from a diverse group of families and backgrounds. I want to share that I faced many challenges during my teaching because I was a fresh university graduate. I was not too familiar with practical teaching. Luckily, I was noting down all the challenges that I was facing and would share it with the TAO support desk to show me the right solution for each of the challenges. TAO has given me many trainings regarding the capacity building of teachers. The other important support that TAO has given me is the sharing of teaching toolkits and templates of lesson plans with full guidance from fellow coaches and training managers. All of human being is in the process of learning each day and each time. I gained a huge portion of experience from TAO. They prepared me for all the challenges outside jobs at the market. Plus other training of TAO, I found the leadership and management training useful and those lectures helped a lot in getting into the position I am today.