Thursday April 18, 2024

Distance learning amid pandemic advocated

By Our Correspondent
May 21, 2020

Islamabad:Speakers of a virtual international conference on 'the role of universities and scientific institutions in countering the corona crisis - the reality and solutions' here on Wednesday agreed that online and distance education must be top priority of the educational sector across the world.

They opined that the prevailing pandemic had increased significance of the distance education and joint deliberations to benefit from this mode of education are vital. Around 30 speakers across the world from more than 10 countries expressed their views on the topic.

They discussed topics such as initial procedural steps for universities, institutions’ response to the coronavirus crisis, preventive measures for employees and students of educational institutions.

The participants also discussed alternative educational options to continue educational activities, paradigm shift from conventional teaching to online and strategies of universities about their routine work and coordination with their employees and students.

The speakers included former chairman of the Higher Education Commission Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, educationists, vice-chancellors, researchers and faculty members of the International Islamic University.

The conference was arranged with the joint efforts of the Union of Afro-Asia Universities (UAAU) and IIU with the cooperation of the International Union of Arab Islamic International Schools of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the International Islamic Literature Association, the Dares Salaam Contour University, Indonesia, the Arab Union for Sustainable Development and the Environment and the Union of Arab Women Leaders.

It was chaired by IIU president Dr. Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh. Dr. Al-Draiweesh called upon the education sector to focus on distance learning with a positive use of social media. He said it was the time when everyone was looking towards universities as they were the ultimate hope for society.

The IIU president also highlighted the importance of e-learning, response of universities amid outbreak and future of distance education. He said IIU took the coronavirus pandemic very seriously since its inception and an emergency crisis cell with the help of committees had been devising policies according to the situations.

“The conference has greatly highlighted the importance of the need for the university's response to the global pandemic,” said IIU acting president Dr. Naveed Aqdas Naveed Malik. It was also attended by Prof. Dr. Amal Fathallah Zarkashi, President of the University of Dar es Salaam Contour, Indonesia and Director of the Office of the Union of Afro-Asia Universities, Indonesia who was also Secretary-General of the conference. Prof. Dr. NB Jumani, Educationist and member of the Higher Consultative Body of the Union of Afro-Asia Universities was the focal person of the event.