Islamabad March 21: A daylong sessions held at National Institute of Transportation, NUST, titled “21st Century Learning Symposium” under the flagship of “Youth Impact” a nonprofit organization.
Speaking at the first session, Mr. Jeffery Sexton, The Minister Counselor for Public Affairs US Embassy to Pakistan, highlighted the significant achievements of US-Pakistan educational programs. He said, professional exchange programs have benefited youth, teachers, professionals of various sectors and projects initiated with the financial assistance in the rural areas have had remarkable results. He urged the trainers, teachers, educators, HODs, Principals and Deans of Universities to focus on experiential learning techniques to meet the modern standards education.
Two International Speakers, Bernie Kelly from Australia and Roger Greenaway from United Kingdom conducted interactive Sessions on 21st Century Learning. Mr. Bernie Kelly, emphasized on adventure based learning, curiosity thinking, game and processing, role play etc. He showed a short film to the participants about experiential learning and importance of social networking to help understand the diverse cultures of the contemporary world. Mr. Roger Greenaway also involved the participants to explore the learning techniques they use while imparting education.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest and Rector NUST, Engineer Muhammad Asghar said, we need to adopt system thinking approaches to address the issues of the day. Our educational system divides students in terms of the field they choose; there are no connections of a student of medicine, engineering, law, humanities, fine art etc with each other, as a result we produce graduates without realizing the impact to society, Engineer Asghar Commented. The entire capitalist system is consumer driven that hardly gives any heed to recycle the large volume of waste it produces, the element of sustainability is missing in our mood of production, he said. Individuals today in the east are as informed as in the west and other parts of the world, innovation in technology has evolved all sector to go for smart products. Human self-empowerment is extremely important, said Engineer Asghar.
Addressing the session, Executive Director of HEC, Dr. Arshad Ali emphasized that universities exist to hold the values of society. The desire of learning is indispensable for educators, and they need to be updated vis-à-vis to the unfolding changes in the world of academia.
Renowned trainer and CEO Microsoft Pakistan, Mr. Nadeem Ahmed Malik said, in today’s world, students are crowed sources. Children use resources more than the parents do, said Mr. Malik. There is no substitute to learning through experiences, students have access to information without the help of teacher, in certain instances, educators seem to be least informed than students, Malik commented.
Mr. Wahaj Siraj, IT & Telecom specialist and CEO Nayatel said, professionals of 21st century are facing multiple challenges due to fast pace technological transformation. In order to meet the modern day requirements, it is mandatory for them to match the pace and remain acquainted with relevant literature; only earning a degree is insufficient.
Addressing the symposium, Chairman Board of Directors, Youth Impact, Naseem Zafar Iqbal said, the conventional practice of learning is gradually being redundant, experiential learning methods have greater impact on students, professionals and society at large.
Mr. Dr.Faiq Sadiq Group Head HBL, also spoke to the occasion.
Mr. Nisaar Moosa, Director Innovative Youth Impact gave a comprehensive talk on paradigm shift in experiential learning methods. He said Pakistan has produced big names in various fields; our instructors should follow the success stories stars, i.e. Microsoft, mountaineering, science, art, literature etc Pakistani professional have made incredible contributions. Today a student sitting in a far-flung area has a facility to acquire information of his/her choice at a single click, Nisaar Moosa commented.
Addressing the session, Mr. Abdul Samad, CEO Youth Impact said, in three years we have been succeeded to cater only eighteen thousand students and professionals. Youth Impact is accredited of holding wilderness conferences which attracted students & professionals from almost every district of Pakistan, Samad said. This symposium has been instrumental to build social networking of academia across Pakistan and through this way we shall be able to millions, Samad said. Trends in Educational Sectors are changing globally, the world is moving through educational revolution to survive, hold our position and move forward. We need to pace with the world, Said Samad while inaugurating the ceremony.
More than 150 dignitaries from Education Sector of Pakistan attended the conference.
Famous Mountaineer and Mentor Youth Impact, Mr. Saad Tariq presented traditional Ajrak and Chitrali Cape to Bernie Kelly and Roger Greenaway.