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April 17, 2020

PHEC to help campuses promote online teaching

Lahore

April 17, 2020

LAHORE :Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) will facilitate universities and colleges to develop comprehensive plans, implementation strategies, and capacity building programmes for the promotion of online teaching and courses.

In an online meeting of the PHEC committee constituted to discuss the policy guidelines regarding online education in affiliated colleges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided that short-term, medium-term and long-term plans shall be devised to strengthen the blended, distance and online education system on a permanent basis in the province covering access to MOOCs, Coursera, and EdX.

The committee also agreed to initiate, without delay, a comprehensive training programme for the capacity-building of faculty and staff of Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) through online facility using MS Team, Zoom, Moodle and other software.

It was decided that universities would facilitate other HEIs, including affiliated colleges, regarding operating with Learning Management System (LMS), online course materials, lectures, assessments, knowledge sharing, and IT support. For this purpose, focal persons as well as IT committees in HEIs would coordinate with colleges and provide data for mapping and need assessment for joint collaboration.

The committee also suggested that quality benchmarks and good practices of the technologically advanced universities, around the globe, should be adopted and support should be sought from the online learning system of Virtual University, the University of the Punjab, and others to improve their capacity and online support to affiliated colleges.

It was agreed by the committee members that Specific Committees would be constituted for the promotion of Research and Development, and for a comprehensive LMS and software.

The committee emphasised on strengthening academic think-tanks and constructive debate to promote knowledge sharing, and collaborations among HEIs over online and blended learning, as well as creating awareness on health and safety guidelines regarding the current pandemic.

Chairman PHEC Prof Dr Fazal Ahmed Khalid chaired the meeting which was attended by the committee members and vice-chancellors of different universities.

PU contests: Punjab University (PU) on Thursday announced organising a variety of online co-curricular competitions and offer free online courses to engage people in positive activities at home in the prevailing situation due to the outbreak of COVID 19.

Giving details, Prof Niaz Ahmad said engaging people at home in healthy activities in order to ease their mental stress and keep them physically fit was one of the most important components of war against COVID-19. He said PU Directorate of Students Affairs would organise various co-curricular competitions in which people from all over Pakistan would participate.

Prof Niaz Ahmad further said PU College of Information Technology (PUCIT) would also offer free-of-cost online computer courses for all Pakistanis and people would learn technical skills and generate business for themselves. He said it was necessary to take care of the mental and physical health of people who were at home due to lockdown.