Friday, June 14, 2013


Dear friends,

Just to inform you that I have moved to my new website

I will be blogging regularly on my new site from now on where my my blog address there is

Hope to see you there:)

shahid siddiqui

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ayesha Farooq: First Pakistani Fighter Pilot

Ayeah Farooq, who belongs to Bahawalpir, Punjab, is the first Pakistani fighter pilot. Congrats Ayesha. She  is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade - there are five other female fighter pilots, but they have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tele Film 'Be-Had': My Reflections

By Shahid Siddiqui

Last week I happened to watch 'Be-had', a telefilm, starring Nadia Jamil and Fawad, produced by Momina Duraid and directed by Asim Raza. Now that we have a number of channels in Pakistan, the frequency of TV plays is also enhanced.  With this proliferation, the quality of most of the plays is diluted. A quality play requires a gripping story, crisp dialogues, good acting, and intelligent directions.  Unfortunately we do not find this combination in a number of plays that are aired on TV channels because of the monopoly of certain production groups.

Watching Be-had was a pleasant experience as one could see a good script (Umaira Ahmed) with great acting by Nadia Jamil and Fahad and intelligently directed by Asim Raza.  The story revolves around Masooma (Nadia Jamil) who lost her loving husband, Hasan, in an accident.  Her daughter (Maha) was  only 10 when Hasan died and suddenly Masooma and Maha found themselves in a world where they were all alone.  Masooma was the whole universe for Maha and Maha was the only focus of Masooma's life.  Masooma wanted to give every bit of herself to Maha- time, care, attention, and love.  This not only alienated her socially but impacted her career negatively as she could not go to professional development workshops just because she didn't want to leave her daughter alone.  
Nadia Jamil and Fawad gave one of the best performances of their life.

As they say, where there is love there is fear, Masooma was over protective about Maha and would treat her as a little kid.  Maha, now a grown up, girl of 15, also became overdependent on Maha.  She hates men and she won't let anybody come  in their world.  Jamal, joe (Fahad), a younger brother of her friend meets Masooma accidently in her office.  He had taken up a job of marketing manager in the city.  Joe is a lively person and very soon Maha (Masooma's daughter) accepts her as welcome guest in their home.  Masooma tries to look for a bride for Fahad but he does seem interested in marriage.  One day, however, he takes Masooma to to a surprise visit to his spacious home and, sitting on stairs, proposes her.  Masooma was shocked as she was five years older than Fahad.  She shares with her daughter about Fahad's proposal who gets upset as she never wanted her mother to share her love with anybody else. One day when Masooma was away and Fawad was at their place Maha thought of a plan and started screaming and ran out of the door where she met with Masooma, giving her mother the impression that Fawad made had bad intentions about her.  This incident shatters all plans and Masooma pushes Fawad out of her home.  After six months Maha apologises to Fawad admitting that she did that because she feared that her mother would not be giving her as much love as she used to give before marriage.  In the end Masooma,who has already seen the evidence of Fawad' innocence on close circuit camera, also joins them and the film comes to an end.

The script of the play was strong with a message that over protection of children cripples them mentally and they cannot face the challenges waiting for them in real life.  We see the attributes of conflict and action which  are so important for the success of a play. The action is more in the inner worlds of characters where they fight with themselves. The dialogues are crisp and at times imbued with good humour.

The real success of story, however, is its enactment.  A good script, with poor acting, cannot create the impact on audience.  In case of Be-had Nadia Jamil and Fawad gave one of the best performances of their life.  Nadia did full justice to the central role (Masooma) assigned to her.  Here acting was quite  natural. There were situations which could trap her in 'overacting' but she remained so real and natural. The beach scene where Hasan mentions of his death Nadia's acting was superb.  Similarly the lunch scene where she praises Maha's Salad and wants Fawad as well to admire the trifle made by Maha, was so natural.  Another great scene was when Masooma (Nadia) shares with her daughter about jamals proposal. Her expressions, gestures, delivery of dialogues aptly communicated to the viewer what she was feeling. Congratulations to the production team that provided the viewers a quality tele film with good script, great acting and creative direction.

Economic Survey of Paksitan 2012-13

Rereleased on 11 June, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First Annual Social Sciences Conference at Lahore School of Economics

February 28-March 1, 2013

Day 1: Language, Literature, and Education: South Asian Context (Report: Javeria Siddique)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Education, Inequalities, and Freedom

Shahid Siddiqui 

Education, Inequalities, and Freedom, is an extension of critical educational discourse in Pakistan.  It underscores the role of education as a powerful socio-political phenomenon that is linked with power, politics, hegemony, resistance, and freedom. The book suggests that how education, which is believed to be a tool of emancipation, is in fact involved in further widening the socioeconomic gaps in the society.   The book calls for a major shift in the concept of knowledge, pedagogical practices, and assessment norms prevalent in our schools. To tackle the enormous challenge of social change, schools need to reposition themselves by making use of other social institutions and linking their pedagogies to non-formal and informal sources of knowledge.  The book is divided into nine thematic parts which include Education and Politics; Inequalities and Stratifications; Education and Development; Teachers, Control, and Freedom; Language and Power; Politics of Educational Reforms; Education and Hegemony; Myths and Slogans; and Exploring Alternatives. 
What education experts say about the book:
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui is one of the most serious thinkers about education in contemporary Pakistan. He combines deep understanding of theory with empirical research which makes his work engaging for scholars as well as interesting for the general public. He has special interest in issues of inequality, gender and power-differentials which makes his scholarship interdisciplinary. I am sure the book in your hands will be a milestone of scholarship on education in the context of the social issues of the country which you will enjoy and reflect upon for the years to come.
Dr Tariq Rahman
Distinguished National Professor, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.
This book is a significant contribution to educational theory and a must-read for all those engaged in the important process of the making and distributing of knowledge.  The book is an addition to the growing body of work on the critical theory of education.  It underlines the fact that knowledge, its manufacture and circulation are ultimately political processes that cannot be divorced from society and the dynamics of social power.  This book challenges the dominant liberal and religious paradigms of education by raising issues of power, ideology and resistance that underlie educational systems. 
Dr Rubina Saigol
Writer and Researcher in Social Development
As an act of culturalization, education is multidimensional in its nature and impact. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui is among the very few in Pakistan who have a broad and deep understanding  of the issues and challenges in education, both in theory and in practice. His incisive articulation is a great help to those who wish to comprehend the complexity of the educational landscape in its fullness.
A.H. Nayyar
Lahore University of Management Sciences

Shahid Siddiqui’s book is an excellent attempt to challenge our world view about education, teaching and learning and explore alternatives for transforming education. It introduces a number of innovative ideas which are critical but constructive and revolutionary.  Dr Siddiqui’s book is a welcome addition in the domain of critical education keeping in view the dearth of critical perspective-based publications in Pakistan.  I am certain that academics, students, researchers and policymakers in the field of education will benefit enormously from the wisdom shared by the author.  
Dr Muhammad Memon
Director, IED,The Aga Khan University Karachi

Conventional wisdom has it that education is an equaliser. By providing everyone knowledge, information, skills  and the power of critical thinking, education is supposed to level the playing field. However, that is not what is happening in Pakistan. In this book, Shahid Siddiqui highlights the far from ideal state of education in Pakistan today. Unfortunately the disparities are glaring.
Zubeida Mustafa
Journalist and Educationist 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rethinking Education in Pakistan

New and Expanded Edition

Shahid Siddiqui

For details please visit:

Expert Reviews

Dr. Shahid Siddiqui is one of those rare academics who dare to think outside the grooves pre-determined by the milieu of our educational system. He does this by combining impressive erudition with original ideas and analysis. I recommend his work to all those who want to understand what is new in teacher education and applied linguistics in Pakistan.

Dr Tariq Rahman
National Distinguished Professor, Quaid e Azam University Islamabad

Two central themes underlie Professor Siddiqui's latest, highly insightful book. His wide-ranging analysis goes beyond the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ to probe more deeply into the many ‘whys’ of education in Pakistan today. Further, he maintains a clear focus on the central role the informed classroom teacher can play as a powerful, and often neglected, front’line change agent in education. ‘Rethinking Education in Pakistan' fills a glaring void which educators at all levels will find compelling.

Alan E. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Brock University Canada

Dr Siddiqui in his book, Rethinking Education in Pakistan, emerges as a spokesperson for the learning community. He uses relevant metaphors to reinterpret education phenomenon in the wake of increasing demands of today’s complex world, especially, globalization, free marketing, pluralism, and advanced technology.
Dr Muhammad Memon
Director, IED,The Aga Khan University Karachi

Rethinking Education in Pakistan, has presented novel perspectives in education.

The Nation

The writer has been successful in debunking myths surrounding the theory and practice of public education.

The Dawn