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June 1, 2020

Authority on education Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai passes away


June 1, 2020

Prominent educationist Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, who served as the chairman of both the matriculation and intermediate boards of the city and held other prestigious posts in the education sector, passed away on Sunday. He was 76.

According to a message that was circulated by his brother Masroor Ahmed Zai, who is also an educationist, Prof Anwar died at a private hospital where he had been admitted due to an illness. However, the message did not disclose the illness.

The funeral prayers for Prof Anwar were offered after Asr prayers in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 1 at the Hassan Bin Sabit Mosque near the University of Karachi. The prayers were attended by his relatives, people from various walks of life, students and educators. He was laid to rest at the Yasinabad graveyard.

He is survived by a son who is a CSP officer and a daughter who is a doctor by profession. His wife had died three years ago. Prof Anwar was born in Jaipur, India in 1944. He earned master's degrees in various disciplines, including English, Urdu, sociology and education. He also acquired educational degrees from Germany and United States.

Starting his educational career as a college teacher in Hyderabad, he served on many prestigious posts in the education sector. He also worked as the project director for several World Bank projects.

At the time of his death, he was associated with the Ziauddin University Examination Board (ZUEB) as its executive director. Earlier, he had headed the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi, Board of Secondary Education Karachi, Sindh Textbook Board Jamshoro, and Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Mirpurkhas.

Prof Anwar also served as the director education Karachi and an additional secretary of the provincial education and literacy department. He also worked at the Urdu Dictionary Board.

The late educationist was considered an authority on the educational issues of the country. Working in the field of education in Pakistan as well as other countries over decades, he had developed a unique insight into the education system.

Prof Anwar was also a prolific author. He penned short stories and travelogues, and also wrote on Seerah and other subjects. His books include Dard ka Rishta, Des Pardes, Aankh Samander, Qalam Goyad, Dil Dareechey, Naqoosh, Afkar, Bisween Sadi Delhi, Adbe-Latif, Ibarat Aahang and Nai Qadrain and Apnon Key Darmyan.


Political leaders, educationists and bureaucrats expressed grief over the demise of Prof Anwar. They prayed to God to grant patience to the bereaved family.

Among those who offered condolences included Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Organisation Restoration Committee head Dr Farooq Sattar, Pak Sarzameen Party Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal and Arts Council President Ahmed Shah.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail in his condolence statement said Prof Anwar was one of most prominent educators in Sindh who served education throughout his life.

Ziauddin University Chancellor Dr Asim Hussain said as the executive director of the ZUEB, Prof Anwar worked tirelessly day and night. He called his death an irreplaceable loss for the entire educational sector.

Acting Vice Chancellor of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology Prof Dr Arif Zubair said the late educationist was a pioneer of several educational institutes. He established many schools and colleges, and played a great role in setting up examination boards in Sindh, Prof Zubair added.

NED University of Engineering and Technology Vice Chancellor Prof Sarosh Hashmat Lodi said Prof Anwar’s services for education will forever be remembered.

Former education secretary Ashfaq Memon recalled the late educationist as a knowledgeable and humble person. “He worked with me as the director education Karachi when I was secretary education Sindh. He was a very dynamic officer who worked with utmost devotion and dedication. His sudden death is a great loss,” Memon said.