Showing posts with label Zeenia Satti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zeenia Satti. Show all posts

Saturday 18 April 2020

Revolution in the Making as Globe Turns to Online Education - Zeenia Satti

For the first time in history, the world is implementing an entirely new teaching model – online education. Necessity is the mother of this invention but unlike other adaptations to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, this one could last. It is a new pedagogical approach and when it develops fully, both teachers and students will find it indispensable.
In Pakistan, every educational institution should have a department dedicated to advances in learning and should conduct R&D for developing further expertise in using new technologies in education to make adaptation easier.
Though online education is called distant learning, it is actually a more intimate experience than class room learning, where a large number of students sit at a distance from their teacher. Online learning screens show a student’s close up, show facial expressions, display the name of the student in a box under the face as the student talks, making it easier for teachers to know students by their names. Students, who sit at home in their comfort zone are less shy of speaking than they are in class rooms inside a school building. Discussing Zoom, Harvard gazette writes, both students and faculty have been discovering all of its benefits. Break out groups and chat rooms are enabling much of the small group interactive pedagogy.
For science education, where labs are necessary instruments of learning, classes are being deferred during corona emergency till students have access to lab facilities. It is this aspect of online learning that requires development of sophisticated virtual programs that create lab like environment for students and teachers both. I see it happening one day.
For Pakistan, the benefits of online learning are enormous. Students and teachers save time commuting to and from schools. They also save capital that is spent on transportation, uniforms, school bags, etc. Families can save substantial portion of their earnings that is spent on children going to school. National savings rate can rise, making more capital available for industrial activity. All the time consumed in getting ready to go to school can be diverted to research and learning. Online learning is of great environmental benefit as it cuts carbon emissions from vehicles used to drive children and staff to and from schools. Carbon emissions have become one of the greatest hazards of our time and cutting down will continue to be the priority of human beings.
Online learning is also the best method of preventing drug trafficking and drug addiction in youth. Educational institutions are places where drug pushers find their markets. Peer pressure, curiosity about popular drugs and social conformity are prime causes of addiction in Pakistan. In online learning, students stay home, research on the internet, take care of the elder members of their family and spend quality time with their seniors. The latter have student’s best interest at heart. They can exercise parental controls to monitor internet usage by young adults and keep them out of harm’s way.
During corona emergency, an unintended consequence of online learning is community-connect on how to respond to the pandemic. Online learning not only allows students and teachers to care for those at home who are at higher risk, the forum can be utilized discussing how society can equip itself for responding to emergency situations. Chat rooms can become forums where personal situations are discussed to establish patterns that underlie issues, and ideas can be discussed to find innovative solutions.
One day, online learning will be able to break the ‘school’ barrier and become more inclusive. The practice may one day establish an online learning community in Pakistan that is nation-wide. Globally, it can erase the north-south divide in education. Already, some of the great educators in top western universities have made themselves available to impart free education to students in developing countries. This movement is likely to grow in strength and will withstand capitalist tendency to make profit by imparting exclusive education. It is, in fact, a great revolution in the making that owes its existence to triumph of higher human ideals, upheld by great philosophical minds of our time, who want to uplift humanity from the darkness of ignorance and find it most satisfying that they can reach out to far off corners of the globe and can impart enlightenment to people with less resources.
Online education is the only means to breaking exclusive barriers in education system of our country. Imran Khan has specifically focused on this problem, in the book he authored during his political campaign and in his policy emphasis after becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan. A remote teaching hub can create teachers’ teams for different subjects and an inclusive online community of students and teachers can be built across provinces and far flung areas of the country. The urban rural divide can shrink, to the benefit of human resource development in the entire nation. The hub can be designed around a subject, instead of a school.
Online education can only improve the ethics in educational practices. Because of its transparency, teachers are likely to be more motivated to be accurate in their content and competitive in their methods. Abuse of students by teachers is not possible online.
Online education is not vulnerable to terrorism, school shooting, and other disasters such as earthquake or epidemics and pandemics.
Online education will free governments from having to spend on bricks and mortars to educate their people. Only higher professional learning institutions can be built to draw students to a premise. For all other school and college level education, from Kindergarten to Bachelors, online education can be availed as the system of education that gives results without costly investments that have nothing to do with development of human brains. Eco systems in rural areas would benefit because most trees in rural areas are felled to make roads just to access educational institutions. National energy consumption demand would be eased. Money saved from having to construct school buildings can be utilized for providing other services, including tele health.
For post-colonial world, online education is a great way to cement national bonds and keep divisive ethnic prejudice at bay. In greater humanity, it can be means to overcoming racial prejudice and propagating humanitarian justice. Online education can allow for instant translation. Imagine a child in Europe, conversing, up close, with another child of same age somewhere in Africa and both growing up learning ideas together.
Virtual libraries are easier to manage, easier to access, and cheaper to avail. Think of how many trees would be saved if humanity stopped printing books?
The benefits of online learning are many and far out-weigh disadvantages. The only disadvantage in online learning is system’s vulnerability to hacking. Online learning would have to evolve to safeguard against hackers.
Online education is a global revolution in the making. While describing this transformation in learning, I must say that history is ending – and is about to be made.
My country should take this revolution very, very serious. Here, there are to be found solutions to some of the most enduring problems in our education system.

Saturday 11 January 2020


Former Harvard teaching fellow, Zeenia Satti lives in Islamabad, Pakistan, where she works as Executive Director at Pakistan's People Led Disaster Management, a disaster risk reduction organisation. She is also a geopolitical/security analyst and consultant. 

Zeenia Satti has studied Middle Eastern Affairs and Economics at Harvard University, MIT, and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA.

She has taught International Relations at Harvard University, Massachusetts and Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

Friday 27 December 2019

Division of Punjab, administrative necessity for political progress - Zeenia Satti

Punjab must be divided into more provinces. It is ridiculous to have a province as large as Punjab, where majority of citizens have to travel more than fourteen hours to get to the provincial capital at Lahore, and in the process, are forced to deplete their health and their capital both. 

Punjab is the dominant province in Pakistan, area and population wise. It has come to acquire a “domineering” position in the perception of other provinces in Pakistan. It breeds ethnic antipathy and causes feeling of ethnic suffering amongst other, larger in size yet far less populated provinces. Punjab’s management is becoming difficult due to its size and will become increasingly more so in coming years as its population grows. 

Punjab is politically suffering from a ‘bloating’ sickness which is giving birth to attitudes that are beginning to divide its population. All of Pakistan has a population of 207, 774, 520, of which Punjab alone has 110, 012,442! Compare that to population in Pakistan’s other provinces, the rate of growth of same, and you cannot help getting frightened about where Punjab is headed while it keeps getting blown up all the time? In modern times, a citizen should not have to travel more than two to three hours to get to the capital of his/her province. 

This conventional wisdom lies at the heart of administrative management of populations in all civilized countries. Why do we, in Pakistan, keep sticking to the British era administrative designs, when we have outgrown the same in terms of population and resources? We must not continue to treat Punjab as a monolithic entity frozen in time and space. The unit is absorbing way more than it can hold and is hampered by its own bloating. It must shed its weight by giving birth to new provinces to restore healthy functionality.


Friday 20 July 2018


Pakistan's People Led Disaster Management Movement, (PPLDM) is based on the belief that disaster management should be in the hands of the people, not just the state.Those most vulnerable to natural disasters are most motivated to undertake risk reduction measures and imagine innovative ways of surviving natural disasters.

Climate change dictates that we reinvent societal existence through collective endeavor. PPLDM will grow from strength to strength because our chief resource is "knowledge based endeavor."​Our mission statement is "Knowledge and endeavor are endless resources." Our job is to ring the alarm whenever we see a potential disaster in the making by attempting to motivate both government and the people to take positive steps to reduce the risk. We are in the process of revolutionizing disaster management in Pakistan.


PPLDM’s first activity related to promoting public education on disasters in Pakistan is the upcoming publication, “PAKISTAN’S DISASTER RISK ANALYSIS.” To be published in both Urdu and English, the book is a comprehensive account of all the major disasters Pakistanis stand the risk of facing.

PPLDM’s founder Zeenia Sadiq Satti started advocating for earthquake risk reduction of Rawalpindi city in 2014, even before PPLDM formally existed as an NGO. A walk down the city and observation of its structures led her to conclude there was dire need for earthquake risk reduction at three levels:

  • Hazard mapping of Rawalpindi city to ascertain the level and scale of risk
  • Teaching of CBERM (Community Based Earthquake Risk Management) skills
  • Retrofitting of critical life-saving structures such as hospitals and building that serve as transitional shelters.

  • Contact

    Field Address : Parhinna Gallery, Kamra, Kotli Sattian, District Rawalpindi 

    Email :



Events of July 13, 2018 (Mastung Attack and arrival of Sharifs at Lahore) exhibit intelligent design against Pakistan. Sharifs were either complicit or were played like fools by enemy intelligence in this matter. PEMRA head must resign and proper inquiry must ensue. Please watch the video analysis by Zeenia Satti

Sunday 12 November 2017


Daughter of Ex Brigadier Sadiq Khan SattiZeenia Sadiq Satti is a geopolitical and security analyst based in Islamabad, Pakistan.

She has studied International Relations and Middle Eastern Affairs at Harvard University, MIT, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA. She is a former Harvard teaching fellow.

She is the Founding Executive Director of PPLDM, Pakistan's People Led Disaster Management. She lives and works in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Previously she worked as a security analyst, an energy consultant and analyst of energy geopolitics based in Washington DC.

Click here to visit her Facebook page

Click here to visit her website

Click here to follow her on Twitter

Click here to visit the website of PPLDM




Pakistan's People Led Disaster Management Movement , (PPLDM) is based on the belief that disaster management should be in the hands of...