By inculcating unconventional methods of teaching, Teacher Aisha Nadeem Sagar helped her school win an international prize, while also simultaneously subverting the dominant paradigm of teaching through rote learning.

Aisha who never wanted to be a teacher has ended up winning accolades for Pakistan in international competitions because she believed in doing something good for education and helping children by educating them rather than encouraging rote learning.

SHE and her students at the Alpha Core School won the 2021 Best Global Annual Report in Pakistan.  The Alpha Core School is a paper recycling business that produces decorative paper, signs and posters in their school science lab by recycling the paper they are throwing in the trash.

All students are from Grade 3 and the idea was to highlight the need for environmentally conscious businesses. As they explain in their Annual Report, ''our production unit is environmentally friendly and emphasises on the 3R principles that are reduce, reuse and recycle.

We are recycling used papers, reducing the threat of deforestation and reusing the used paper.''

Aisha who has been a teacher with the school for the last four years works on project-based learning and helps children understand the concept by practical methods. When she heard of the global programme she thought to participate with her students and help them learn a new experience.

''After a few permissions and formalities from the school administration, I started teaching the students and informing them about the project,'' she said.

To set up a small unit they needed some money, around Rupees 10,000, which could have easily been collected but in an effort to inculcate the value of money in her students, she made them take a loan from the school administration which will be returned from the products they make from the recycled papers.

Among the ten winners, Aisha and her students are the only Pakistani to win the award of $5,000.

Many other countries also participated in the school-enterprise challenge competition, which included Nigeria, Moldova, India, UAE, Romania, Paraguay, Malawi, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Tanzania, Benin, Uganda, South Africa and Nicaragua.

The World Students Society thanks author Yusra Salim.


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