Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun on Tuesday said that promotion of industry-academia linkages was key to resolving social problems and uplifting the country’s economy. He was addressing the inaugural session of 7th International Conference on Research in Education (ICORE-19) titled “Teachers Education: 21st Century Challenges” on Tuesday.

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Professor Niaz Ahmad, Faculty of Education Dean Professor Dr Abid Hussain Choudhary, Institute of Educational Research Director Professor Dr Rafaqat Ali Akbar, faculty members, students, delegates from the USA, UK, Philippine, KSA, France, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland and New Zealand and researchers from all provinces of the country participated in the conference.

In his address, Raja Yasir Humayun said that academia must come forward and play its role like it was being done by the universities in the first world countries and the government would extend maximum support in this regard.  He said that academia was main advisory body in all developed countries and the research being done at universities was not only being used by the industry but by the government institutions and development sector as well. Raja Yasir appreciated PU vice chancellor Professor Niaz Ahmad on promotion of research culture and giving academic input for socio-economic development of the country.

PU VC Professor Niaz Ahmad addressed the conference and said that quality education mainly depended on the quality of teachers and graduates. He said that since good raw material produced quality products, therefore quality education and training must be imparted at schools so that universities could produce good graduates. Professor said that higher education sector in Pakistan was facing serious challenges as there was about 1/50 student-teacher ratio against the national standard of 1/20 and international standard of 1/10. He said that we were facing a shortage of PhD teachers and only around 35 percent teachers at universities in Pakistan were PhD. VC said that hardly 10 percent applicants could get admission in higher education sector in Pakistan while there was 100 percent enrollment of applicants in higher education in advanced countries. He added that there was need to develop a mechanism for flawless construction of question paper and evaluation of answer books, removing all deficiencies in this regard. According to him it was the duty of universities to create new knowledge which could resolve issues being faced by the country as well as society.

IER Director Dr Rafaqat Ali Akbar said that the conference had been attended by renowned scientists in the field of education from various countries while researchers, educators, practitioners and professionals were also participating. He said that the researchers were participating for presentation of research based knowledge, experiences, new advancements, research results and innovations in the field of education. Dr Ali said that in the conference, about 150 research papers by national and international experts would be presented. He said that the conference would contribute to achieve national and international educational goals and targets.

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