A two-day International Conference on “Paradigm shift in education: Post pandemic approaches in teaching, learning and assessment (ICPSE-2022) has kicked off at Sindh University’s Elsa Kazi Campus, Hyderabad which was organized by the Faculty of Education, in collaboration with the Sindh Higher Education Commission here on Monday.

The inaugural ceremony of the conference was held at Mumtaz Mirza Auditorium of Sindh Museum Hyderabad, which was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro.

On the first day of the conference, Associate Professor of Department of Education, Ball State University Indiana, USA Dr. David J. Roof and former Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Malaysia Dr. Ravi Chandran Moorthy participated as keynote speaker.

Addressing the function, SU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro said that the conference was aimed at highlighting the changes and other reforms introduced in the education sector at the international level after COVID-19, in which the participation of international guests was encouraging.

He directed the conference organizer and Dean Faculty of Education Prof. Dr. Abdul Sattar Almani to get the presented research papers translated into Sindhi & Urdu and disseminate the same to the general public through newspapers so that the teachers of universities, colleges and schools could benefit from the conference.

He said that the recommendations of the conference would be forwarded to the federal and provincial governments in order to assist the policy makers in making changes in the policies related to education especially after COVID19 pandemic.

He said that due to COVID-19, there was a lockdown all over the world including Pakistan, in such a situation it was not easy to impart education but the varsities across the globe started online classes with the help of technology.

Dr. Kalhoro said that after submitting the best research proposal, Dr. Almani had won the conference from Sindh HEC; upon which, he acclaimed him and hoped that the teachers of the Faculty of Education will continue to receive such academic projects in future too.

Addressing the event, Dr. Abdul Sattar Almani said that the conference could not have been held without the help and support of the Vice-Chancellor. “Education was severely affected by COVID-19, but the online approach to teaching & learning made the impossible possible and we continued the learning process, which helped reduce the educational loss,” he said and added that they had learnt a lot from the online learning and teaching methods.

An Associate Professor of Education Faculty at Ball State University Indiana, USA Dr. David J. Roof said that in Pakistan, COVID-19 particularly affected children, especially female students, who lived in rural areas of the country, where they had no access to technology, especially the Internet.

He said that the broadband service was expensive in major cities of Pakistan, although 51% of Pakistanis still did not have access to the internet, yet only people residing in urban areas had easy access to it.

Former Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Malaysia Prof. Dr. Ravichandran Moorthy said that the education system suffered a lot due to the coronavirus and there was a clear effect of COVID-19 in Malaysia as well.

He said that after achieving independence in 1957, Malaysia focused on the agriculture sector and emerged victorious in it and later its focus was shifted on information and communication technology.

“That is why, Malaysia is moving forward in the field of development, growth and progress”, he said and added that higher education had a key role to play in nation-building.

He said that there were problems in imparting education at the outset of the emergence of coronavirus, but later with the help of technology, online classes were conducted, which was a recognized system in the world then.

After the opening ceremony of the conference, various sessions were started in different fields of education at the Faculty of Education, Elsa Kazi Campus Hyderabad, where local and foreign scholars and researchers presented their research papers on 6 important topics in education. The conference will also continue today.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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