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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, on Monday, said that there was immense pressure on Prime Minister Imran Khan but locking down the country due to Covid-19 was a difficult decision.

Addressing a book launch, he said that all provinces, unanimously, made decisions in the education sector but the challenges had not ended yet.

He said that the third wave of coronavirus was also a big challenge.

He said that the National Command and Operation Center had united the entire nation during the pandemic.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the poor people were given relief.

The programmes started under the leadership of Sania Nishtar helped poor a lot.

He said that the social media was playing a key role in the country; therefore, Imran Khan faced a huge pressure regarding lockdown.

”We had many challenges in education sector and we had closed school urgently. We decided that four million students will be passed, so we initiated Tele-school which on airs from 08:00 morning to 06:00 evening. Radio School, web portal and mobile app has also been made,” he added.

We have requested the Higher Education Commission to delay the exams, adding many decisions will be taken keeping in view the circumstances, he added.

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has launched an initiative of blended e-learning and an agreement was signed between the Federal Directorate of Education, Knowledge Platform, Tele Taleem and Robotics.

Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online education materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classrooms methods.

In this research-based pilot project different technologies will be used in different levels of education to test and understand the effectiveness of these technologies on the learning of students.

Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood has said the digital and blended learning is the future.

With schools all over the world, redesigning because of Covid-19, blended learning is becoming the new normal.

He said the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training as part of its response strategy to Covid-19 is piloting blended learning project to assist students and teachers in ensuring learning continuity.

Highlighting the significance of the project, he said, after a third party baseline evaluation, the results of the initiative will be shared with all the federating units and this project shall be replicated on national level.

The minister said, the STEM which is also part of this initiative, is an integral part of our education policy.

The STEM education is one of the key parameters on which the quality of instructions between public and private schools differ.

Pakistan is improving this situation by introducing intensive amendments in the national curriculum to incorporate STEM subjects in proper manner throughout a child’s academic journey.

By integrating different tools i.e. robotics kits, IOT kits with science and math curriculum we shall ensure to improve the quality of learning of the students for STEM education.

For this purpose, discovery innovation labs will also be set-up in the schools.

The proposed programme will pilot test blended e-learning methodologies by updating 80 classrooms with technology and providing teachers training about hardware and digital contents. Execution of the project will begin from new session in August 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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