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ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC), Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed has announced that the students from flood-affected areas, enrolled at public and private universities, would get fee deferral for two semesters to mitigate their problems.

Talking to APP, he said all public and private universities were working to facilitate people of the flood-hit areas, adding that veterinary universities had also been directed to support livestock in these devastated areas. “We are also working out a proper plan for compensating the universities in the flood-hit areas.”

The HEC chairman said: “Since technology and education are interlinked, we have to opt for policy to promote technology in the education sector of the country. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the idea of smart classrooms and technology did help in continuing the educational process sans any pause.

“In the coming years, due to revolution in the IT sector, we will not have a formal need of buildings, and rather phones will be sufficient for acquiring and disseminating education. The future education will be online and there would be lab practices through virtual simulations.

“We will adopt optimum world practices to ensure quality education through online and latest technology, and around 10 to 15 percent budget allocation is mandatory for each university for distance education system, which will be increased to 50% after some time with a proper plan and consultation of all private and public universities.”

Dr Ahmed said the HEC had also launched programmes related to artificial intelligence and cyber security in many universities, including the Air University, NUST, and the UET, while other universities would also get these programmes soon.

He underlined the need for promoting skills education across the country, terming it more valued than simple educational degrees. He further added that skills education was playing important role in development of the country.

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