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Home Our Team
Falak Shaikhani
Founder & Director
Falak Shaikhani, the founder of The Aster School, is extremely passionate about making a positive difference in Pakistan’s education system. Her drive to contribute to education in Pakistan led her to conduct extensive research around early childhood education. After completing her Bachelors in Economics at the University of Warwick in 2015, she pursued a Masters in Finance from the London School of Economics, after which she also worked as a consultant with Deloitte London. Her time abroad has introduced her to innovative and exciting learning techniques and methodologies, and she developed particular interest in the education systems of UK, Sweden and Finland. She has surveyed more than sixty schools in Pakistan and abroad, and has met educationists from all over the world to realize her dream of providing quality early childhood education in Pakistan. During her time in Europe, she was especially inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach She believes firmly in the value of quality education, as she knows that it can change lives. Falak received training in early childhood education from Finland, UK and Dubai, and is also completing a Certificate of Educational Leadership from Harvard University. She is deeply inspired by the Finnish and Reggio Emilia approach, as well as the Early Year Foundation Stages (EYFS) approach in the British curriculum, both of which place student needs and abilities above all else. As founder, it is her objective to provide quality education through incorporating the best, most innovative pedagogical techniques in early childhood education from around the world. “Nothing without joy!” is a phrase that succinctly captures her vision for little learners having a happy childhood and a successful future. It is because of her belief in joy that she loves travelling, exploration and adventure, and would like to make Aster an institute that embodies her love for discovery. She also loves animals, and believes in extending joy to all creatures, big and small.

Her motto can be described as follows: “Whatever it Takes!” Falak is committed to giving her all in making Aster a joyful, nurturing place. Our entire team also believes in giving their all — whatever it takes!

Kashan Iqbal
Director
Kashan Iqbal holds an ACCA, and is the acting director at Alpha College and Alpha High-School in Karachi, Pakistan. His experience as an individual driven to provide quality education at the primary and secondary levels in Pakistan makes him a valuable asset at Aster. It is his vision that a child should be provided quality education from an early age; a great foundation, in his opinion, goes a long way. This is why he is committed to extending his experience to the development of a strong early years curriculum that can ensure a child’s success in the future.
Mughees Bilwani
Director
Mughees Bilwani is an entrepreneur by profession. While his semester abroad at Monash University in Australia, he was exposed to very non-traditional teaching methods which encouraged him to explore it more. Mughees loves to try new things, he is an avid supporter of the use of technology and strongly believes in investing in Innovative Education Methods.

In his personal life, he is an adventure seeker. He plays all kinds of sports from cricket to volleyball to squash and prioritizes living a healthy lifestyle. He believes that people learn the most through real life experiences which has influenced his philosophy for education: learning is not limited to a certain age, it is ever-flowing and continuous. Being a precious member of The Aster School he ensures that everything we offer is serving a purpose for the child.

Nawaid Ali
Director
Nawaid Ali, also a director at Alpha College and Alpha High-School, has been involved in the teaching profession for over 20 years. He is one of the most well reputed Physics instructors in Karachi – because of his invaluable experience and expertise as an educator he has been an integral part of Aster’s growth. It is his belief that every institution should provide a fulfilling and nurturing environment to students, so that they may grow in every way possible. As such, he is passionate about building Aster into an institution that provides precisely this growth, in wonderful and joyful ways.
Omer Altaf
Director
Omer Altaf holds an ACCA, and as a director at Aster, is devoted to help both the institution as well as the students at Aster evolve. He is also on-board at Alpha College and Alpha High-School as a director. His passion as an educationist, and his drive to develop engaging pedagogical models in Pakistan has helped Aster immensely in evolving as an institution. As a father, he remembers that he was very happy on the first day his daughter went to school – later on, being an educationist, he realised that although she was doing well, she had the ability to do something better. It was then that he realized the value of innovative pedagogy in early years, as it can instil valuable skills in a child for a rapidly changing world. Aster is the place where he believes that his daughter would get the education that she deserves. He is currently the director of Alpha College and Alpha High-School.
Salman Mustafa
Director
Salman Mustafa holds an MSc in Economics, and has worked with a number of prestigious educational institutions in Karachi, such as the Beaconhouse School System and The City School. He currently also acts as the director at Alpha College, and is committed to extending his expertise towards early childhood education in Pakistan. For him, his work as an educator is a choice before it is a profession. It is his belief that by actively working towards alternate, innovative teaching methodologies and spaces, educators, such as those at Aster, can drive a crucial change in the country’s education system.
Shehroz Iqbal
Director
Shehroze Iqbal holds an ACCA, and now works as an educationist in Pakistan. He is affiliated with Alpha College and Alpha High-School as a director. For him, the idea behind Aster is to bring about a revolution in the education system in Pakistan. He believes that the early phase of a child’s education is the most critical part of any child’s growth and education. He recognizes that the current system in place for early education has a lot of flaws and is not suitable for our rapidly changing world. As a director at Aster, his plan is to develop a system that can help children to achieve their maximum potential as an individual by incorporating the latest innovations in the education industry worldwide. As an educationist, he believes that this one of the greatest contributions that institutions should strive for, for the youth of our nation.
Zarak Mushtaq
Director
Zarak Mushtaq believes in developing an education model which is less of an imposition of age-old, unquestioned traditional teaching methods – as an educationist, and a director at Alpha College and Alpha High School, he is driven to work on pedagogy that is based on the fact that every child is different. As such, it is his vision for Aster, that early childhood education should nurture a child’s creative expression, so that they may explore their individuality and grow into their unique personalities in a healthy and happy way.

Our Advisors

Njeri Richardson-Carty
Advisor
Njeri Richardson-Carty is the CEO of Branches Of Learning Inc., an education consulting firm on the beautiful island of Anguilla. Her career has been geared towards the empowerment of children, teachers and parents; specifically children with special needs, training and mentoring new teachers, education leaders, and parent advocacy. She holds a BSc in Elementary and Special Education, MS Ed in Multicultural Education with a concentration in Literacy Instruction, a MEd in Educational Leadership and Supervision and numerous speciality certifications. She is known as a creative instructional strategist implementing research based strategies and best practice in innovative ways. She has over 15 years of international teaching and training experience. She is an education visionary with a passion for innovation in the field of education and is the founder of BIG On Learning, a Non-Profit Organization, creating, supporting and promoting innovative education initiatives and solutions in the Caribbean region. As one of founding members and Vice President of The Valley, Anguilla Business Professional Women’s International Affiliate, she is committed to their mission of, “developing the professional, business and leadership potential of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill building, economic empowerment programs and projects around the world.” She lives her motto of “adding value through education.”
Njeri Richardson-Carty
Advisor
Njeri Richardson-Carty is the CEO of Branches Of Learning Inc., an education consulting firm on the beautiful island of Anguilla. Her career has been geared towards the empowerment of children, teachers and parents; specifically children with special needs, training and mentoring new teachers, education leaders, and parent advocacy. She holds a BSc in Elementary and Special Education, MS Ed in Multicultural Education with a concentration in Literacy Instruction, a MEd in Educational Leadership and Supervision and numerous speciality certifications. She is known as a creative instructional strategist implementing research based strategies and best practice in innovative ways. She has over 15 years of international teaching and training experience. She is an education visionary with a passion for innovation in the field of education and is the founder of BIG On Learning, a Non-Profit Organization, creating, supporting and promoting innovative education initiatives and solutions in the Caribbean region. As one of founding members and Vice President of The Valley, Anguilla Business Professional Women’s International Affiliate, she is committed to their mission of, “developing the professional, business and leadership potential of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill building, economic empowerment programs and projects around the world.” She lives her motto of “adding value through education.”
Elena Chukhlantseva
Advisor
Elena Chukhlantseva is an educator, who has a strong academic and practical experience in early childhood education and care in multicultural and multi-language settings. She completed her Master of Education at the Stockholm University in Sweden, and the University of Tampere in Finland. A large share of her expertise is in developing and implementing early childhood education curriculum for a bilingual centre based on the EYFS, Te Whāriki and the Finnish Core Curriculum for ECEC. She has also gained a valuable experience in working with children with behavioural and learning difficulties. Her pedagogical interests connect to themes of learning by doing, learning through movement and multimodal learning. She has also provided training to international experts visiting Finland as well as in China. Her strong belief is that shared experiences and curiosity make a difference to learning.
Rebecca Hillman – Reggio Emilia Approach
Approach Consultant
Rebecca Hillman has been a Teacher and practitioner of the Reggio-Emilia Approach since 1999. She grew up in the United States of America and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Florida International University. After being exposed to the Reggio-Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education, she immediately recognized it as an incredibly effective way to help foster the learning, imagination, and creative expression of young children. In addition to working in Early Childhood Centers in both teaching and administrative roles, Rebecca has taught English to children and adults in Europe. She now lives in Madrid, Spain, and enjoys sharing the values and joy inherent in the Reggio-Emilia Approach with her colleagues and other Educators throughout the world.
Rebecca Hillman – Reggio Emilia Approach
Approach Consultant
Rebecca Hillman has been a Teacher and practitioner of the Reggio-Emilia Approach since 1999. She grew up in the United States of America and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Florida International University. After being exposed to the Reggio-Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education, she immediately recognized it as an incredibly effective way to help foster the learning, imagination, and creative expression of young children. In addition to working in Early Childhood Centers in both teaching and administrative roles, Rebecca has taught English to children and adults in Europe. She now lives in Madrid, Spain, and enjoys sharing the values and joy inherent in the Reggio-Emilia Approach with her colleagues and other Educators throughout the world.
Tayyaba Saleem
Advisor
Tayyaba Saleem is a qualified AMI Primary Trainer. She got her Montessori Diploma at the 3 to 6 level in 1998 from Montessori Teachers Training Centre (MTTC) Karachi, affiliated  with AMI Holland.  She has had a lot of success and appreciation in her field as a result of her friendly and empathetic nature that allowed her to understand and relate with those around her.

Her love and passion for teaching motivated her to work at Seedlings Montessori as an Assistant to the Directress. From 1992 she worked there for 7 years and has been attached to this field since then. After Seedlings, she started working as a Montessori Directress at Montessori Children’s Centre ( A school run by MTTC) and also helped in training of teachers at the training centre serving  this institution for 16 years.

During her services at MTTC and due to her love and passion for Montessori, she pursued the AMI Training of Trainers Programme and acquired the status of an AMI Trainer in 2015. In 2016, she conducted the first AMI Assistant course in Morocco. During her stay there she got an opportunity to work closely with the children in Ecole Montessori, Casablanca. She has always been passionate about spreading her knowledge which inspired her to conduct several seminars for teachers and parents to spread awareness about Montessori Philosophy.

Currently, she is pursuing her passion by participating in Montessori work in different parts of the world through consultation and delivering workshops. Further more she has also conducted multiple workshops for Pakistan Montessori Association.

Present day, she has been honoured by The Aster School as a consultant to work together with them in creating a suitable and conducive  environment for children and to provide them with valuable learning and life experiences.