CHI - There is no doubt that the real heroes and the men of crisis of Pakistani nation are mostly remained out-screened but played decisive role in building the nation and also to put it out of the crisis.
Tragically, such characters are unanimous among the majority, while the nation comes to know them when they are no more in this mortal world. One such is the case of Reaz, a great educationist and social reformer of his era, who died last week due to cardiac arrest.
The history was not the same with Reaz Ahmed, as people belonging to literary circles had always saluted his meritorious services and visionary ability regarding his mission to brighten the education as best part for the development of society. He continued his struggle and planning to introduce something extraordinary in the education sector, beneficiary for the children of poor masses and downtrodden people.
It may be noted that Reaz Ahmed had also worked with the founder of Orangi Pilot Project, Akhtar Hameed Khan who was a great development activist and a social star, who worked always for the betterment of people regardless of their cast and creed.
Reaz Ahmed born on October 27, 1951, in District Darbhanga (BIHAR) in India. He completed his primary and secondary education in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and did his BSc (hons) from Dhaka University. During his educational tenure, he was very active in promoting social and educational activities. When he was a BSc student, he wrote a mathematics book named Sets and Elements for university students.
During and after the riots of 1971, he established a tuition centre for poor and needy students. He was very much active in civil defence during the 1971 war. In early 70s, he migrated to West Pakistan (Pakistan) for further education. In 1974, he with his family, shifted to a very remote and underprivileged area, Orangi Town, where he realised the need of an educational institute in that area. So, he established a coaching centre naming 'Reaz Coaching Centre.
Later on, with the help of his friends, he established a pilot school in Orangi Town with a name of Aziz-e-Millat High School (Faran High School) in 1978. Unfortunately, the Kachhi Aabadi of Orangi Town was totally neglected by the government in establishing schools for literacy and education promotion. His efforts resulted a network of more than 773 schools.
He believed in 'changes which come through joint efforts and through the approach of facilitation, which resulted to achieve highest literacy rate, 70 per cent, in Kachhi Aabadi.
In 1994, after achieving highest literacy rate in Orangi Town, he initiated quality education aspects and approached British Council. British Council commissioned a consultant John Keleher to promote his well-versed approaches for the education sector. As per his recommendation, teachers and school managers training had been started and more than 1,000 teachers were benefited from it. Teachers trainers were developed by involving AKU-IED.
In 1994-95, he also pioneered computer education in Orangi Town with the help of TVO, that later resulted in providing computers and training to 40 schools. In 1997, through his efforts, two VSO volunteers Lisa Bruinwin and Julian Carnell were commissioned for quality education for two years. In 1999, he debated and approved the Multiple Choice of textbooks and wrote a series of mathematics books for classes 1 to 8 (Get Ahead Mathematics), and also facilitated to develop 'Get Ahead Science, class 1 to 8. Both books were approved by the Federal Ministry of Education and published by Oxford University Press.
Reaz debated on many documents in educational conferences and seminars. His recognised papers are LSMC (conference held at PC, jointly organised by the Department of Education, Government of Sindh and the British Council), Private School for low income group in National Seminar on Education organised by Director Army Education in 2000. He organised many seminars and conferences on major educational issues.
He visited USA two times in 2000 and 2002 as a part of NGO management (USIV) and CRI respectively.
Since 2003, he was involved in advocacy towards ESR and public school reforms. He was the founder member of the CMIS-Committee for Monitoring and Improvement of CDGK schools. The committee was formed as a result of a public private partnership between the biggest business body of Pakistan, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and City District Government Karachi (FPCCI-CDGK).
The ideology of sustainable development at the public school through empowering the school management committee and empowerment at local level was his best subject and he was one the activist advocate of community and strong school relationship.
He also presented a School Management System to DCO and Educational Secretary, modifying the current one and highlighting the gaps. His proposal is under consideration. He was also involved in ILO and IWPR projects in his last days.
On Friday, the CMIS had organised a condolence gathering at its office, in which Quran Khawani was held and his friends, family members and others expressed their views about his personality and struggle.
They paid rich tribute to Reaz Ahmeds services and endeavours at grass root level in education sector as his books on maths and science are an important part of curriculum and are being delivered to educate the children.
May Allah rest his soul in peace in Heaven and let the nation follow his steps towards his dreams of an educated nation.