Pakistan to cooperate with SAARC countries on Covid-19 response

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Dr Tariq Banuri has said that all the SAARC member states had similar experiences in terms of the use of different applications and softwares for online education, governance of e-learning system, capacity building of faculty, poor internet connectivity, power breakdowns and need for technological infrastructure.

“All of them have addressed different issues with different degrees of success and all of them will benefit from sharing of information, pooling of resources and collaboration in capacity building as well as research. Pakistan is committed to regional cooperation and would be happy to arrange capacity building programs for regional partners and support collaborative research,” he stated this while chairing an online meeting of the VCs and representatives of the HECs, University Grants Commissions and equivalent entities of the SAARC countries.

The meeting was hosted by the HEC, Pakistan, concluded here on Thursday. During the meeting, the issues pertaining to the online mode of learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic were discussed in detail and the participants shared how the universities and higher education institutions in their respective countries were functioning in the current situation, and what solutions were being adopted to cope with the multifaceted challenges posed by Corona epidemic.

The participants noted that online education was altogether different from conventional teaching and there was a consensus that sharing of experience of the shift to online education would be highly beneficial for all the SAARC member states. They also discussed various approaches being adopted to make sure that the quality of education was not compromised.

Addressing on the occasion, Prof Banuri appreciated the participants for their commitment to enhancing cooperation among higher education institutions of SAARC countries, especially with regard to Covid-19 situation. He thanked the SAARC Secretariat and other participants for their valuable insight and recommendations for overcoming different challenges of online education.

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