President for promoting virtual education in varsities

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed that universities across the country should opt for virtual education in order to promote talent and skills of the students.

Addressing the 13th convocation of Virtual University, the president said that in view of the evolving technology trends, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had devised a policy that was still waiting for final approval, under which all universities would be allowed to impart 30% virtual education to its students.

He said international educational institutions were rapidly shifting from traditional brick and mortar university system to the virtual education system.

In the United States, he said, more than 50% of the courses in every university were now virtual and they were also improving quality. The president said he had always been the proponent of online education and had been stressing that it should be promoted to disseminate knowledge in remote areas of the country.

He said the reason for less development in most Muslim countries was resistance in adopting the new technology. “The change will be possible only after ensuring timely adoption of the evolving technology,” he remarked.

Giving the regional statistics, the president said in Pakistan only 10% students managed to get enrolled in higher degrees, while in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ratio was at least 25%.

He regretted that around 28 million children were out of school in Pakistan, while in the regional countries, there was almost 100% enrolment in primary classes. President Alvi maintained that the reason behind low literacy rate in Pakistan was a lack of leadership and willingness of the whole nation.

The role of every citizen was equally important in that regard. He said when he became the president, the total annual enrolment in the Virtual University was 28,000, but it was quite encouraging that it had increased to 55,000 this year.

He pointed out that the university was managing its affairs from own resources and not seeking any financial support from the government. The president advised the children to adopt good ethics and morality, and always advocate for love and peace in the society.

“We should always take care of the poor, the down-trodden and the persons with disabilities,” he added. Referring to the atrocities going on in Gaza, President Alvi said the ethics and morality had vanished away in the world. Earlier, President Alvi awarded medals and degrees among the students.

Virtual University Rector Professor Dr Arshad Saleem Bhatti said the university was playing a key role in the promotion of online education in the country. He said the university had been witnessing steady increase in the enrolment of students since its inception.

Some 55,000 new students got enrolled in the university during the current year, he added. Dr Arshad said the university was opening its campuses in remote areas to provide quality education to the students near their homes. He said the Virtual University was establishing partnerships with international educational institutions.

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