Nations Future Lies In Skills Education, Vice Chancellors Meeting Affirms

Three Days All Pakistan Vice Chancellors’ Committee Meeting Held At PC Bhurban Has Highlighted The Importance Of Skills Education

Three days All Pakistan Vice Chancellors’ Committee Meeting held at PC Bhurban has highlighted the importance of skills education. Almost every speaker in the conference advised academic leaders to prepare their institutions for meeting the challenges of the post and lingering-COVID-19 world.

The meeting was inaugurated by the Honorable Minister Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, with the launching of “A Framework for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Pakistan” jointly prepared by the British Council and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, as a part of the PAK UK Education Gateway. The State Minister for Climate Change, Ms. Zartaj Gul’s “Tree 20 proposal/Tree 10 bill,” shared her ministry expectations from the academia and HEC. She also stressed the importance of digitalization skills. Both these projects need specific behavioral skills for staying safe in the infectious, environmental challenges and creating clean and pristine environment for coming generations.

The second day of the meeting included an address by Mr. Usman Dar, SAPM on Youth Affairs. He appreciated the role of skills imparting institutions and particularly the National Skills University Islamabad in Prime Minister Hunarmand Pakistan initiative. A discussion on the Undergraduate and Ph.D. program Education Policies was highly contentious. Both proposals were met with severe criticism from the stakeholders, i.e. public and private sector higher education institutes. However, the Executive Director of the HEC assured to refine both policies in alignment with global standards with an appreciation for all involved in framing these policies.

The third day was the most exhilarating and futuristic. Presentations by Rector NAHE, Prof Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali, and Ms. Maryam Riaz, Project Coordinator, Higher Education Development Project (HEDP), a World Bank-funded project, outlined HEC sponsored programs enhancing teachers and learners’ skills. Representative of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) highlighted essential skills enhancing graduates’ employability in the national and international markets.

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director, HEC, presented a summary of all events and future directions in light of this meeting. All Vice Chancellors and meeting participants appreciated her efforts with a round of applause and standing ovation. Chairman Vice Chancellor Committee Dr. Muhammad Ali thanked HEC on behalf of all Vice Chancellors and proposed quarterly meetings of academic leadership.

Academic institution leaders, including Prof. Mukhtar, Vice Chairman, National Technology Council, and Vice Chancellor of the National Skills University Islamabad, have congratulated the entire team of the HEC for this important event in the country under the leadership of Dr. Shaista Sohail.

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