Event Date: 4th February 2023


I have come a long way from my early thinking on Language Rights and Mother Tongue as Medium of Instruction concepts. Though I still whole heartedly believe in these as necessities and aspects of a child’s human rights plus essential ingredients for healthy cognitive development processes in our children, I see the source, genesis, and solution of the problem somewhat differently than how I first conceived it.

In this webinar, I explore the effect of some underlying issues pertaining to societal attitudes in the frame of applied linguistics theories particularly as observed in the Sindhi and Pakistani contexts. I speak about the unintentional and intentional silencing of our youth’s blossoming potential, through linguistic suppression, and the loss in human capital to our nation. With your interaction we try to find solutions and bring forth a bias free and progressive education system.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Ghazala Rahman Rafiq is at present engaged in research projects pertaining to public education in a continually developing and fast changing world that needs fresh education modules which have the potential to encourage societies’ growth through macro and micro changes. She believes we need a new cadre of teachers armed with dynamic new knowledge to take on the task of educating burgeoning generations of young citizens of Pakistan.

Until recently she was the founding director of the Sindh Abhyas Academy (SAA, 2012-2021), an institute that focused on Sindh Studies involving research and teaching, about all aspects of Sindh, comprehensively, to undergraduates. She is the founding publisher of SAARIJ (Sindh Abhyas academy Research International Journal) wherein she published her seminal paper on the various interpretations of Sassui’s journey, Sassui being the chief heroine of Shah Abdul Latif, Sindh’s greatest mystical poet.

Ghazala Rahman’s schooling in Karachi was at the Grammar School and her college was St. Joseph’s College for Women. She has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology (Honors) from Karachi University with Biochemistry and Chemistry as her elective subjects. She studied for her masters’ degree (incomplete) in Public Health from California State University at Fresno and the University of California at Berkeley until 1979.

In 1980 she returned to Pakistan to found and run her own Creative Schools in Karachi’s various inner-city spaces: Chanesar Goth, Gizri, and others, as well as at Hawkes Bay in the village of Bulejo (French Beach) under the aegis of Hassan Ali Rahman Institute (HARI). From 1979 to 1991 she ran informal schools for dropouts in Southern Sindh including Greater Karachi. From 1980 to 1993, her focus were dropouts and children who were denied a good school due to poverty and discrimination. During this period, she earned her diploma (1986) for early childhood teaching from the Association Montessori Internationale (Holland) after eighteen months of training under the guidance of Mrs. Gul Minwala and Mrs. Bano Rustomjee, the founders of Montesori schools and trainings in Pakistan.

Ghazala Rahman earned her Master’s (2003) and Ph.D; (2010) in Education Leadership and Organization with a second emphasis in Applied Linguistics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Through guidance from Professor Julian Weissglass, she was exposed to Revaluation Counselling theory and practice, and to ideas pertaining to Constructivist Listening for Empowerment and Change. Under the eminent guidance of Professor Jenny Cook-Gumperz (Cambridge University), she was inspired with years of studies on Cultural Perspectives and Global issues pertaining to the area of Applied Linguistics in European Education. From 2005 to 2010 she taught and mentored student-teachers at the Teacher Education Program at the Gervitz Graduate School of Education at UCSB.

Ghazala Rahman is a founder member of the Women’s Action Forum (1981) and remained an active member of the WAF working committee till 1993. She is a member of the Institute of World Culture headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. Her work includes raising awareness, globally, about the humanistic philosophy and lost culture of Sindh and thriving cultures of value that exist around the world.