ISLAMABAD-The 6th international conference on Research and Practices in Education started at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) with aim to emphasize the need on developing education framework for 2025.

The inaugural session was presided over by the Dean of the Faculty of Education, AIOU, Prof  Dr Nasir Mehmood, while the renowned educationist and former Vice Chancellor, AIOU, Prof  Dr Shahid Siddiqui was the chief guest. Education experts while presenting their papers emphasized the need to prepare the education framework of 2025.

The speakers said that ‘Education’ was the greatest weapon to bring about positive change in society, therefore there was need to formulate a common policy to review the method of education, upgrade teacher education and curricula and introduce an educational system based on moral values.

The speakers congratulated Allama Iqbal Open University, especially Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Zia Ul-Qayyum for his efforts to connect education with the overall development of society and to deal with social and economic challenges.

Two foreign delegates - Dr Jason Laker, Professor of Higher Education, Student Affairs, and Community Development, San José State University (SJSU) and Dr Faith Muirhead, Senior Associate Director of the Professional Development Centre at the University of Delaware, Newark, USA - were the foreign speakers of the opening session, while Prof. Dr Irfan Ahmed Rind from IBA Sukkur university was the national speaker.

Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui, in his keynote address, said that the main purpose of education and training was to train the collective minds of any society and enable them to cope with the demands of the present age. He said that education was a medium of delivery, but it was related to change.

The mind can be controlled through good training, Dr Shahid said, adding that time was changing very fast, and “we need to redefine the role of education as a tool of change, step-by-step with the pace of time.”

Dr Nasir Mehmood said that unfortunately, today, Pakistan was 60 years behind in the field of education.

He said that taking education as a movement, [it] needs to be associated with the job market, the requirements of industries, the improvement of society, and the upgrading of the quality of life.

The two-day conference will continue on September 27, with detailed discussions on education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics (stem education), and some other important areas for sustainable development.

Earlier, the conference coordinator, Dr Afshan Huma explained the aims and objectives of the conference in detail.