Ahsan Iqbal stresses need-based education, research
Dr. Mumtaz Akhtar demands 4% of GDP for education and 3% for R&D
By Ali Arshad
LAHORE: Punjab University Institute of Education and Research (PU IER) organized the three-day 4th International Conference on Research in Education (Nov. 23-25, 2016) at Faisal Auditorium new campus. The theme of the conference was “combating contemporary challenges through education”.
Dr. Muhammad Bin Mishal Al Ghamidi from Makkah University, Saudi Arabia was guest of honour of the inaugural session, while Federal Minister for Planning and Development Prof Ahsan Iqbal addressed the concluding session. Other speakers included Dr. Mujahid Kamran, renowned educationists Dr. Muhammad Ahsan and Dr. Norman Reid from UK, Dean Faculty of Education Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Akhtar, Conference Secretary Prof. Dr. Abid Hussain Chaudhry, while researchers from various parts of world and country and a large number of students were present on the occasion.
Addressing the conference, Dr. Mujahid Kamran said that education plays important role in nation building however our rulers since the inception of Pakistan did not pay the tune of attention to the education sector which it deserved. He said that the developed nations spent 1.5 to 3 percent of their GDP on research and development. He said America’s GDP was around 18 trillion and it spent 360 to 540 billion dollars on research and development per year while Pakistan had a GDP of around 250 billion dollars only and was spending only up to 0.2 perc
ent on research and development per year. While Pakistan spends around 1.7 percent of its GDP on education, he added. “Money is always there. It is a question of priority,” the VC said.
Dr. Al Ghamidi said that nations and societies reached the top through education. He said that we must be fond of seeking knowledge and we must utilize all resources of modern world in this regard. Talking on E-learning role in the Muslim World Development, Dr Muhammad Ahsan said that it was unfortunate that according to IINA Report, around 40 percent of Muslims were unable to read and write. Dr Naureen Durrani presented a research paper on “Official Knowledge, citizenship identities and social cohesion in Pakistan”.
In her inaugural address, Dr Mumtaz Akhtar said that the conference’s aims to share latest research and trends in education at international level. She said that the students of the institute would benefit from the experience and research of international researchers. Concluding session: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Prof Ahsan Iqbal said, “the challenge of the present age is that whatever we are teaching and whatever research work we are doing should be according to our needs”.
Dr Mujahid Kamran, Vice Chancellor University of Education Prof Dr Rauf-e-Azam, Dean Faculty of Education Prof Dr Mumtaz Akhtar, Conference Secretary Prof Dr Abid Hussain Chaudhry, Prof Dr Rifaqat Ali, Prof Dr Rizwan Akram, Dr Abdul Qayyum Chaudhry, delegates from various parts of country were present.
Minister Ahsan Iqbal said, t “we are passing through an era of knowledge revolution and if we did not change ourselves with the changing time, we would meet our end. We must explore new horizons of knowledge and must see how we could utilize knowledge according to our needs. Our universities must find out solutions to the problems being faced by all sections of our society.”
The federal minister said that cut and paste knowledge was responsible for our destruction. He said that we were deciding 6 new standards for evaluating universities i.e standard of education, standard of research, academia-industry linkages, university’s contribution towards community, relationship between learning and technology and how socially responsible the university product was and creation of entrepreneurship opportunities.
He said that 11 thousand megawatt electricity would be added to the system in the next two years.
PU Dean Education and IER Director Dr. Mumtaz Akhtar demanded of the government to allocate 4 percent of GDP to education and 3 percent to research and development. Later, souvenirs were presented to the guests of honor and foreign delegates.