Pakistani Teacher Aqeela Asifi ranked among Top Ten Teachers of the World

Source:  Daily Times Published in Education on Thursday, March 17, 2016

When Aqeela Asifi was nominated for the “Global Teachers Prize” in 2016, she was also nominated alongside ten of the best and most dedicated teachers from around the world – which is an achievement within itself.

Aqeela Asifi was trained as a teacher in Afghanistan, but unfortunately, was forced to leave her home country when the Taliban took it over in 1992. When she arrived as a refugee in Pakistan, there were no operational schools in the local refugee camp (Kot Chandana camp), and the general conservative attitude of the people meant that educating girls was going to be a very difficult task.



She has received a lot of international recognition for her strides in the field of education and female empowerment. In 2015 she won the “UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award” and a $100,000 grant to continue her effort to education the masses and to help pay for her education projects. After winning this award she exclaimed, “When I began my mission to educate Afghan girls, I could not have imagined that one day it will win me this award. I cannot express my happiness”.



Aqeela set up her first school in a borrowed tent and worked hard to overcome the resistance and negative attitudes of people in the society. Today, there are nine schools in the camp with countless female teachers and over 1,500 students, including 900 girls.



Aqeela’s school has produced over 1,000 graduates (mainly Afghan refugee girls, but also local Pakistani children). Some have become doctors, engineers, government officials and teachers in Afghanistan.