You have been working in the education sector for quite long now. How your journey has been so far?
My journey in the education sector has been over 15 years so it has come with some real growth and challenges, but overall if I look back at all these years I am quite satisfied with whatever I have achieved. Media Sciences, when I started was not a main stream education line and took many years for it to be formalized and accepted as an education prospectus for students and parents. But if you look at it now its doing quite well. This change of mindset was not easy especially in our society where preference is still given to certain education streams but I feel that with time and the kind of graduates that were being cultivated the trend started changing and growing.
I would still say that the struggle is not over as the general perception of people in Pakistan is that if you are not a Science student then you must be poor with studies. This is not the case at all and I feel that each individual should be seen for his/her own abilities. Imagine a world without art or creativity, how boring would that be?
As the new Principal of College of Media Sciences at Ziauddin, what changes can we expect?
I don’t know about changes but what I do believe is in offering students good quality education and a platform through which ultimately, they can land their dream jobs whatever those may be in the field of Media. That is my ultimate aim as an educator that students are provided with an environment in which they can learn, grow and experiment and then finally be ready to face the challenges of the real practical world, which we all know is not easy.
What programs Ziauddin is offering for Spring 2021 under the umbrella of media sciences? What students and their parents can expect from this upcoming semester?
Currently ZCOMS is offering 2 Undergraduate programs BS in Communication Design and Media Sciences with specialisations in Film & TV, Communication Design and Journalism and a very recently new and exciting program in BS in Digital Media Marketing.
Education is one of those sectors to hit by the pandemic most severely. How Ziauddin is coping up in these times?
Yes, this pandemic has no doubt been a very challenging time for every sector and education is definitely one of them. I would really say that along with doctors, teachers also need to be saluted for their efforts to keep academics going in these difficult times. Ziauddin took very immediate and efficient initiatives to train their faculty for online teaching and continuous support of workshops and seminars. I feel quite lucky to be part of them where we were provided with so many opportunities to train ourselves with foreign certifications which have really helped us in our delivery of online teaching.
What according to you are some of the pros and cons of online classes?
There is always a pro and con to everything and the list is endless but in these difficult times I would just like to be optimistic here and say that thank God! for the online platforms that have allowed us to continue with education. Imagine if we didn’t have access to all this how much time would have been wasted for all the students. So yes, online education has come with its own set of challenges but over all it’s been a blessing.
What message you would like to give to all teachers and students for this year as still we are in the middle of a global pandemic?
No one was prepared for this, keep at it, we are all doing the best we can!
Why you think students should opt for Ziauddin’s Media Sciences department instead of similar programs being offered by other universities?
That’s a million dollar question! Well, all I can say is that we offer a very good curriculum and have a very strong faculty and most of all since we are not as huge as other departments of other universities, we give each student individual attention and I believe especially for Media Studies this is an be an ideal way of learning when you can get more one on one interaction with teachers especially where practical work is involved.
What according to you is the main USP of Ziauddin’s Media program?
Like I said that we have smaller size of students in classrooms and excellent infrastructure that supports our learning so what could be better than that. I’ve seen how in other places there are like over 50 +students in one class and the poor teacher and students are struggling which compromises the standard of education. That is not the case here at ZCOMS, not for faculty, or for students and this in return creates a very positive and healthy environment for learning.
What changes you would like to see in Pakistani media?
Acceptability of new commers in the market and give them a chance to prove themselves. So basically what im saying is allow the fresh graduates who have really invested in their studies and we the universities that have invested in them to be able to go into the field and do something and prove themselves rather than just being told “ Sorry you have no experience!”
What is your take on some of the most recent Pakistani dramas and movies?
I wish I had so much time to watch all the Pakistani content but I don’t. But I have to say that they have a huge fan following not just in Pakistan but internationally so obviously they are making something that people want to watch. I’m not going to speak about the morality of some of the content as that’s a long debate but I would surely like to see a move towards good digital content as that’s the future for everyone.
What according to you are some of the qualities that a modern day Media Sciences teacher must possess?
According to me Patience, humility, persistency and adaptability, because knowledge can be acquired but these qualities are required not just for a Media Sciences teacher but for every teacher.
What extra-curricular activities students can we expect at Ziauddin’s campuses?
We are now planning some very interesting activities for students of course for the time being it is all going to be online keeping in mind the current situation. This is an era when new ideas and new initiatives are at their peak and we at ZCOMS are really excited to experiment with new ideas, so stay tuned to see how we engage our students in new ways of experiencing the world of Media!
ZCOMS Contact Info:
Contact: 021-35862937 (2294)
WhatsApp: +92 321 3665938
Address: 3rd Floor, Gate No 6, 4/B, Shahrah-e-Ghalib, Clifton, Karachi (75600)