Leadership challenges in creating inclusive and equitable quality education for all: the possibilities in public schools in Chitral, Pakistan

Author: Kousar Khan

Khan, Kousar, 2021 Leadership challenges in creating inclusive and equitable quality education for all: the possibilities in public schools in Chitral, Pakistan, Flinders University, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

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This study explores the experiences and perceptions of female educational leaders in attaining the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal-4 (SDG-4), ensuring inclusion and equitable quality education in the context of Chitral, Pakistan. Pakistan is a signatory member to the UN global agenda for Sustainable Development Goals; however, Pakistan is still some way from reaching a satisfactory level of sustainability, particularly in the field of education. The country ranks in the top three worldwide in out of school children, most of whom are girls.

It is important therefore to investigate the phenomenon of educational inclusion through the experiences of educational leaders (school head-teachers) who are in the frontline providing access and quality education. This research was undertaken with two female public-school head-teachers in the District Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The experiences of these head-teachers are important because in the broader context of Asia, gender is under researched in educational leadership. The head-teacher experiences uncover many barriers that limit the inclusion and quality of education for children, specifically girls in Pakistan. A qualitative case study approach was employed to investigate the phenomenon of educational inclusion. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone and document analysis also undertaken. The findings of this study indicate that these head-teachers are trying to incorporate a relational focus to their leadership role to bring about social transformation in girls’ education. To do so, these women seek to create inclusion and quality in education by developing relationships with the wider school community, leading advocacy and awareness initiatives, improving institutional practices and encouraging a culture of collaboration. However, their challenges include social and gender stereotyping, early marriage, a lack of facilities and educational resources and administrative policies. These challenges hamper their efforts in achieving inclusion and quality and so there is a need for sustainable collective efforts to rethink policies and practices in the context of leadership and education Pakistan.

Keywords: inclusive education, quality education, equitable education, leadership

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Supervisor: Dr. Bev Rogers