Education vital for progress of country: Education Minister

ISLAMABAD-Caretaker Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Mr Madad Ali Sindhi has said that education plays a vital role in the progress of a country. 
Addressing a conference on the topic of “Revolutionizing higher education: reconciling required & acquired learning” held at International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) here on Tuesday, the Education Minister said that the digital revolution has changed the learning methods, while hurdles of time and place for education are no longer an issue. 
He emphasized the use of technology in teaching and learning.
  The Minister opined that education is the best way to make society strong, stable, and prosperous. Madad Ali Sindhi was of the view that education must be a top priority of our nation.
This international conference is being organized by the Faculty of Education of IIUI in collaboration with IQRA University and Intentional Centre of Excellence.  Around 50 papers are being presented by national and international scholars in the conference.
The participants of the conference debated on reimagining a traditional degree path and integrating skill-based education in higher education, which may help in address the issue of how to change lives by addressing long-standing educational issues such as inequality, learning poverty, economic insecurity, and the exclusion of youth from the job market who are not in degree programmes.
Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), said that no country may progress unless it invests in education. He said that Youth have the potential to change the fate of a nation. He added that Pakistan has won maximum scholarships for Europe in previous year. 
“Things have changed, we have to buckle up and catch up with the rest of the world,” said Dr. Mukhtar adding that technology and AI based learning are the prime choices to excel.  
He referred to the global pandemic saying that it exposed the conventional education, while he also apprised of the response of HEC. He called for equal opportunities for all three sectors of education mentioning primary, vocational and higher education.
Rector IIUI, Dr. Samina Malik in her address said that training of the teachers in the light of contemporary requirements of teaching is a prerequisite for a successful education system.   She opined that innovative approaches and modern modes of teaching are necessary to compete the rest of the world. 
Dr. Samina also lauded the role of HEC in revolutionizing higher education with the help of modern modes of education and requisite training.  
She hoped that the conference would help in bringing recommendations to devise strategies and policies for innovative approaches and modern techniques in teaching.
In the inaugural ceremony of the conference keynote addresses were delivered by Mr. Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder and CEO Nutshell Group and Prof. Dr. Graham Spickett-Jones. 
The conference was also addressed by President, IQRA University, Karachi, Dr. Nassar Ikram, Vice President, Academics Prof. Dr. Abdul Raheman and Dean Faculty of Education, Dr. Muhammad Sarwar.
 “Youth bulge is a challenging threat as 28 million kids are out of school and deprived of vocational training in Pakistan that is beyond alarming,” said Azfar Ahsan. 
Dr. Graham stressed upon effective use of media with a close liaison with the education sector for shaping the future through education. The conference will conclude on Wednesday, 29th.
The participants of the conference in various sessions, panel discussions, paper presentation and workshops in these two days are exchanging views to explore the global and institutional collaboration and harmony for transforming higher educational curriculum, practices and outcomes. It also includes extended discussions on the transformative power of education and the future of our youth. 
The expert will also draw on research-based evidence to learn from the integration of skills-based approaches in higher education.

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