Pakistani musician and humanitarian Shehzad Roy gave an interview to newspaper Kaleva. Please scroll down for translation.

“Shehzad Roy wants to take Finnish model of teachers education to universities in Pakistan. “The quality of education won’t change before the teachers are high-quality too,” he says

Pakistan is looking for advice for teachers’ education

Pakistani singer and humanitarian thinks the Finnish education model is unbelievable.

“The education system in this country is truly unbelievable”, says Shehzad Roy. In his home country Shehzad Roy is a famous musician but the reason for his visit to Oulu is not to perform his music. He is here with his wife Salma Alam and they are searching for advice and support to train teachers in Pakistan.

His wife has worked e.g. with educational issues at the World Bank and Shehzad Roy has talked for better education through various charity concerts and events around the world. And they have a common goal and that is to build a good education faculty for teachers in Pakistan. “The biggest problem in Pakistan is that there is no quality education for teachers. People think that if you are good in mathematics or English, you can also teach well”, he says.

During their visit in Finland they met representatives from Faculty of Education of University of Helsinki and University of Oulu. They also had a chance to follow teaching live in a class room. “I am very impressed. This class room could have been a university, I think. Children were working peacefully without any pressures and the way that teachers were teaching, even their body language, was just outstanding.”

“The Finnish model won’t be transformed into Pakistan overnight”, Shehzad Roy reminds. “It’s very difficult to take something from here directly to Pakistan and first we need to get the decision makers to understand that education done in the right way is the way to better life.”

He believes that the Government of Pakistan is open for new ideas also in the education sector but the change takes time. One his major achievements lately is the change of law related to corporal punishment in schools in Pakistan. “Still in 2012 teachers could hit children at schools. Our charity organisation campaigned strongly against the old legislation and finally the new legislation was approved.”

However, all problems in the Pakistani educational system are not linked to legislation. He sees challenges also in general attitudes. “There is a big attitude challenge with public schools. Parents in Pakistan often think that their children won’t get a job in the future if they go to public schools. The reality is that private schools are not so much better”, he says. “Also general attitudes about private schools are changing. Public schools have won awards in knowledge and sports and that makes parents to see that schools are not bad.”

They live with their 3-old son in Karachi, Pakistan and both wish to get good education for their child. “Birth of my own son made me to think even more. In my position as a musician it would be stupid not to use the great opportunity I have to campaign for such important issue.” He believes his son could go to public school in the future. “I hope that our son would go to public school which would be even more high-quality in the future.”