Monday, April 30, 2012

Pakistani University's Open CourseWare Wins Top Award

Pakistan's Virtual University (VU) has won the Outstanding New Site Award 2012 for an Open CourseWare website which was created last year, according to media reports.

The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding courseware and OpenCourseWare sites created in the OCW Consortium community. They also recognize individual leadership in moving the ideals of OpenCourseWare and Open Educational Resources forward. The awards are announced each year at the global OpenCourseWare Consortium's annual conference.

In 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched the world's first open courseware program, which inspired many other universities, including Pakistan's Virtual University, to join the Open CourseWare (OCW) movement.


Founded in 2002, Virtual University of Pakistan has so far contributed 138 courses on a wide range of subjects since joining the OpenCouseWare consortium. These courses include free and open digital publications of high quality educational materials for colleges and universities.





Enabling virtual education is the high-speed broadband expansion led by PTCL which has propelled Pakistan to become the fourth fastest growing broadband market in the world and the second fastest in Asia, according to a recent industry report. Serbia leads all countries surveyed with a 68% annual growth rate from Q1 2010 to Q1 2011. Thailand (67%), Belarus (50%), Pakistan (46%), and Jordan (44%) follow Serbia. India is in 14th place worldwide with a 35% annual growth rate.

 The quickest and the most cost-effective way to broaden access to education at all levels is through online schools, colleges and universities. Sitting at home in Pakistan, self-motivated learners can watch classroom lectures at world's top universities including UC Berkeley, MIT and Stanford. More Pakistanis can pursue advanced degrees by enrolling and attending the country's Virtual University that offers instructions to thousands of enrolled students via its website, video streaming and Youtube and television channels.

The concept of virtual instruction is finding its way to K-12 education as well. Increasing number of Pakistanis are drawn to the Khan Academy channel on YouTube making Pakistanis among its top users. Virtual Education for All is a local Pakistani initiative extending the concept to primary level. 



All of these technological developments and open courseware initiatives are good news for making education available and accessible to satisfy the growing needs in Pakistan and other emerging countries around the world seeking to develop knowledge-based economies of the 21st century. Virtual University deserves credit for leading this education revolution in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

ICT4E in South Asia

Khan Academy Draws Pakistani Students

Pakistan Rolls Out 50Mbps Broadband Service

More Pakistan Students Studying Abroad

Inquiry Based Learning in Pakistan

Mobile Internet in South Asia

Allama Iqbal Open University

Online Courses at Top International Universities

Pakistan Virtual University

Pasi Sahlberg on why Finland leads the world in education

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan Primary Education Crisis

Indian Students' Poor Performance on PISA and TIMSS

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

India Shining, Bharat Drowning

PISA's Scores 2011

Teaching Facts versus Reasoning

Poor Quality of Education in South Asia

Infections Cause Low IQs in South Asia, Africa?

CNN's Fixing Education in America-Fareed Zakaria

Peepli Live Destroys Western Myths About India

PISA 2009Plus Results Report

14 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a David Brooks' NY Times column on online education titled "campus tsunami":

Online education is not new. The University of Phoenix started its online degree program in 1989. Four million college students took at least one online class during the fall of 2007.

But, over the past few months, something has changed. The elite, pace-setting universities have embraced the Internet. Not long ago, online courses were interesting experiments. Now online activity is at the core of how these schools envision their futures.

This week, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology committed $60 million to offer free online courses from both universities. Two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, have formed a company, Coursera, which offers interactive courses in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics and engineering. Their partners include Stanford, Michigan, Penn and Princeton. Many other elite universities, including Yale and Carnegie Mellon, are moving aggressively online. President John Hennessy of Stanford summed up the emerging view in an article by Ken Auletta in The New Yorker, “There’s a tsunami coming.”

What happened to the newspaper and magazine business is about to happen to higher education: a rescrambling around the Web.

Many of us view the coming change with trepidation. Will online learning diminish the face-to-face community that is the heart of the college experience? Will it elevate functional courses in business and marginalize subjects that are harder to digest in an online format, like philosophy? Will fast online browsing replace deep reading?
-------------
The doubts are justified, but there are more reasons to feel optimistic. In the first place, online learning will give millions of students access to the world’s best teachers. Already, hundreds of thousands of students have taken accounting classes from Norman Nemrow of Brigham Young University, robotics classes from Sebastian Thrun of Stanford and physics from Walter Lewin of M.I.T.

Online learning could extend the influence of American universities around the world. India alone hopes to build tens of thousands of colleges over the next decade. Curricula from American schools could permeate those institutions.

Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning. It’s easier to tailor a learning experience to an individual student’s pace and preferences. Online learning seems especially useful in language and remedial education.
-----------
In a blended online world, a local professor could select not only the reading material, but do so from an array of different lecturers, who would provide different perspectives from around the world. The local professor would do more tutoring and conversing and less lecturing. Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School notes it will be easier to break academic silos, combining calculus and chemistry lectures or literature and history presentations in a single course.

The early Web radically democratized culture, but now in the media and elsewhere you’re seeing a flight to quality. The best American colleges should be able to establish a magnetic authoritative presence online.

My guess is it will be easier to be a terrible university on the wide-open Web, but it will also be possible for the most committed schools and students to be better than ever.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/opinion/brooks-the-campus-tsunami.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Recorder story on PTCL:

Having an immense potential to be an instrumental agent in Pakistan's economic growth, PTCL management has set high goals for its self since its inception and is growing every passing day.

That the telecom giant of Pakistan is in transition is evident from the fact that it has posted yet another quarter of top line growth during the ongoing fiscal year.

Most obliging fact being that during the latest quarter ending March 31, 2012, PTCL showed revenue growth of 11.3 percent and scored a net profit of Rs 1.4 billion.

Its operation and effectiveness during the nine months ended March 31, 2012, is herald of business advancement and innovative farsightedness.

With the garland of strengths including PSTN (fixed lines), wireless local loop, broadband, corporate business solutions, carrier and wholesale services, operations performance, information technology, human resource development market communication, customer care, quality and revenue assurance and international business.

The company has firmly continued to grow in the emergent broadband market - both in wire line and wireless segments.

With the 61 % growth in Broadband customers, respective revenues have grown and increased by 77 %.

For the PSTN customers, introduction of various new packages commensurate with the needs of different segments of society as well as rationalisation of the tariff helped in increasing the landline usage thus arresting the revenue decline.

Concurrently, PTCL group revenue turned up to be Rs 28.3 billion which is 9.7% higher as compared to the same period last year.

Harmonising the corporate services also registered an increase of 5% in its revenues.

Of this, PTCL's revenue was Rs 14.8 billion.

Likely, continuing with its vision of providing quality services an increase of 9 percent in company's administrative expenses was recorded which is fair enough.

Though Pakistan experienced the revolution of telecom industry in the last decade, PTCL has been working in this sector from its birth, which was many decades before from the revolution in the telecom sector; while during the last decade, other companies from around the world have jumped into the playing field with PTCL.


http://www.brecorder.com/articles-a-letters/187/1186395/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Pakistan launch of new Nokia phones with Internet access:

In a bid to capture the lower end of the market, Nokia launched two new mobile phones — the Nokia 110 (Rs 3,800) and Nokia 112 (Rs 4,000) — in Karachi on Tuesday.

Designed to appeal to “young, urban consumers”, the devices can be used to access Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks directly, or through the Nokia Browser. Additionally, Nokia 112 features a preloaded eBuddy instant messaging service.

“Today’s mobile phone users want a quick internet experience that allows them to discover great content and share it with their friends – but without being held back by high data costs,” said Nokia’s Executive Vice President Mary T McDowell.

“The new Nokia 110 and Nokia 112 devices combine browsing, social media, apps, world-class entertainment and long battery life,” she added.

Commenting on the consumer habits in Pakistan, Vice President Near East Nokia Imran Mahmood said “our vision is to give the youth of Pakistan their first internet experience on a Nokia mobile device. And we are very pleased to have made great progress in this direction with our rich, affordable and power packed portfolio”


http://tribune.com.pk/story/379103/nokia-launches-two-new-phones-in-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Telenor to help empower new digital generation in Pakistan, reports Daily Times:

LAHORE: Telenor Pakistan has launched a nationwide project that would help empower a new digital generation in Pakistan.

Telenor Talkshawk I-Champ is a knowledge-based initiative that aims to provide learning and training to young people to enable them to become future proponents in the digital age. Telenor will partner with Government of the Punjab and hold Internet workshops for class 8-10 students in 150 schools in the semi-urban and rural areas of Punjab. To mark the initiative, a launch event was held at Children’s Library Complex, which was attended by a large number of school children, their parents and teachers.

Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan said government of the Punjab was committed to providing its citizens with quality education. The students were briefed on how the Internet works and how information can be searched for on internet-enabled mobile phones.

Acting Chief Marketing Officer Telenor Pakistan, Usman Javed said, “We are delighted to be partnering with the Government of Punjab to start promoting digital awareness among the youth of the province”. The winner of the Telenor Talkshawk I-Champ final competition will get to visit Opera Labs in Norway to learn more about how the Internet is being used by people around the world to share knowledge.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\13\story_13-5-2012_pg5_11

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Tom Friedman in NY Times on online education revolution:

Andrew Ng is an associate professor of computer science at Stanford, and he has a rather charming way of explaining how the new interactive online education company that he cofounded, Coursera, hopes to revolutionize higher education by allowing students from all over the world to not only hear his lectures, but to do homework assignments, be graded, receive a certificate for completing the course and use that to get a better job or gain admission to a better school.

“I normally teach 400 students,” Ng explained, but last semester he taught 100,000 in an online course on machine learning. “To reach that many students before,” he said, “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”

Welcome to the college education revolution. Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary. The costs of getting a college degree have been rising faster than those of health care, so the need to provide low-cost, quality higher education is more acute than ever. At the same time, in a knowledge economy, getting a higher-education degree is more vital than ever. And thanks to the spread of high-speed wireless technology, high-speed Internet, smartphones, Facebook, the cloud and tablet computers, the world has gone from connected to hyperconnected in just seven years. Finally, a generation that has grown up on these technologies is increasingly comfortable learning and interacting with professors through online platforms.
------------
Private companies, like Phoenix, have been offering online degrees for a fee for years. And schools like M.I.T. and Stanford have been offering lectures for free online. Coursera is the next step: building an interactive platform that will allow the best schools in the world to not only offer a wide range of free course lectures online, but also a system of testing, grading, student-to-student help and awarding certificates of completion of a course for under $100. (Sounds like a good deal. Tuition at the real-life Stanford is over $40,000 a year.) Coursera is starting with 40 courses online — from computing to the humanities — offered by professors from Stanford, Princeton, Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania.
-----------
M.I.T., Harvard and private companies, like Udacity, are creating similar platforms. In five years this will be a huge industry.

While the lectures are in English, students have been forming study groups in their own countries to help one another. The biggest enrollments are from the United States, Britain, Russia, India and Brazil. “One Iranian student e-mailed to say he found a way to download the class videos and was burning them onto CDs and circulating them,” Ng said last Thursday. “We just broke a million enrollments.”

To make learning easier, Coursera chops up its lectures into short segments and offers online quizzes, which can be auto-graded, to cover each new idea. It operates on the honor system but is building tools to reduce cheating.

In each course, students post questions in an online forum for all to see and then vote questions and answers up and down. “So the most helpful questions bubble to the top and the bad ones get voted down,” Ng said. “With 100,000 students, you can log every single question. It is a huge data mine.” Also, if a student has a question about that day’s lecture and it’s morning in Cairo but 3 a.m. at Stanford, no problem..


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/opinion/friedman-come-the-revolution.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on PM Gilani's plan to promote online education in Pakistan's under-served areas:

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has announced that the federal government will allocate Rs17 billion for the development of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and broadband connectivity in un-served areas in the next budget.

Addressing the third convocation of Virtual University at the Expo Centre here on Saturday, the prime minister said that education in general and science and technology education in particular were “a matter of life and death” for the nation.

He said his government had already spent Rs22 billion on IT. He also announced an IT award of Rs20 million for talented students from backward areas.

Gilani said that broadband centres would be established in each union council and these would provide 30,000 jobs this year. He also announced the establishment of 30 more Virtual University campuses throughout the country including in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The prime minister directed the IT minister to expedite the awarding of contracts for 3G mobile technology in Pakistan.

He said that this technology would create jobs and promote development. He said that he had directed the finance minister to create 100,000 jobs in the budget for 2012-13.

“An educated Pakistan, which is the vision of Virtual University, is in line with my government’s determination to provide an affordable and quality education to all at the same time. I want the university to undertake expansion projects and increase its nationwide presence. I have already approved, in principle, the setting up of a custom-built Virtual University campus in every district of the country. I am very glad to hear that the first four campuses under this initiative have already started functioning,” he said.

Gilani said though education was a provincial subject after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the federal government was “committed to increasing the share of GDP for education in line with the Millennium Development Goals”.

Pakistan currently has one of the lowest rates in the world of spending on education as a proportion of GDP.

The prime minister praised Virtual University for its “quality and innovative techniques of delivery”. He noted that the university’s open course ware website had been recognised as the best in the world by the Open Courseware Consortium that included such world leaders as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Yale.

Gilani said that the government was planning to raise the rate of enrolment in higher education significantly in coming years. “The only way this quantitative and qualitative growth can take place is through an effective use of technology for the dissemination of education for students residing in all areas of the country. I am glad that Virtual University is playing its due role in this respect,” he added


http://tribune.com.pk/story/381449/it-infrastructure-pm-announces-rs17-billion-for-broadband/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation report on PTCL's one millionth broadband subscription in Pakistan:

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has inaugurated Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) celebration of achieving Pakistan’s first one million Broadband customers as part of the national commemoration of World Telecommunication & Information Society Day 2012 held here at Pak-China Friendship Center, says a press release.

“Telecommunications and IT are bringing encouraging economic dividends and inspiring lifestyle choices for the people of Pakistan,” said Prime Minister Gilani, who was the chief guest of the mega event and exhibition organised jointly by PTCL and Ministry of IT & Telecom to mark the WTIS Day 2012. This year’s theme for WTIS Day is ‘Women, Girls & ICT’.

“The role of ICTs matter immensely for gender equality and empowerment of women,” said Prime Minister Gilani. “ICTs are a force multiplier for girls’ education, enabling them to build their future on a level-playing field with their male counterparts.” The event was also addressed by Federal Minister of IT & Telecom, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf; Federal Secretary IT & Telecom, Farooq Ahmed Awan; and PTCL President & CEO, Walid Irshaid. The event was attended by senior government and PTCL officials, a large number of students, members of the civil society and media.

“Achieving one million Broadband customers mark is yet another historic milestone for PTCL,” said Irshaid in his remarks. “PTCL passionately believes in creating innovative yet affordable ICT and telecom solutions that meet the needs of all segments of Pakistan’s society, especially women. We are determined to utilise the full potential of ICTs by providing women with the telecommunication tools, products and services they need to empower them to be free and make their own decisions.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Gilani visited PTCL’s impressive pavilion exhibition set up in the main hall of the Pak-China Friendship Centre. The Prime Minister experienced first-hand telecom giant’s state-of-the-art products and services, and was briefed by PTCL’s team about their various features.

President & CEO PTCL, Walid Irshaid, also presented on the occasion special 1 million Broadband commemorative shields to Prime Minister Gilani and Minister IT & Telecom, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/18-May-2012/telecom-it-bringing-economic-dividends-pm

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of a Nature magazine article on higher education support in Musharraf years:

Despite the problems, science has been flourishing in Karachi and other Pakistani cities, thanks to an unprecedented investment in the country's higher-education system between 2002 and 2008 (see 'Rollercoaster budget'). As funding increased more than fivefold in that time, new institutes focusing on proteomics and agricultural research sprouted, and the University of Karachi's natural sciences department rose from nowhere to 223 in the 2009 QS World University Rankings.
-----------
The surge in higher-education investment occurred after the rise to power of General Pervez Musharraf in 1999, who as leader of the army had led a low-key coup d'état and installed himself as de facto president. Musharraf was a liberal progressive who hoped to modernize Pakistan. "It was a moment in Pakistani history that now seems so distant," says Adil Najam, an expert in international development at Boston University in Massachusetts.

With the economy booming in the early 2000s, Pakistani academics sensed an opportunity. Higher education had never had much popular support in the country, where literacy hovers at about 50%, but in Musharraf they saw a champion. In a series of reports, Najam and others made the case that if the nation could mobilize its universities, it could transform from a poor agricultural state into a knowledge economy (see Nature 461, 38–39; 2009). The group called for a new Higher Education Commission (HEC) to manage the investment, as well as better wages for professors, more grants for PhD students and a boost in research funding.
-------------
Rahman, a chemist at the University of Karachi and, at the time, the minister for science and technology, enthusiastically set out to overhaul the nation's universities. With Musharraf's support, annual research funding shot up 474% to 270 million rupees (US$4.5 million in 2002) in the first year alone. The HEC set aside money for PhD students and created a tenure-track system that would give qualified professors a monthly salary of around US$1,000–4,000 — excellent pay by Pakistani standards.

Rahman's strong scientific background, enthusiasm for reform and impressive ability to secure cash made him a hit at home and abroad. "It really was an anomaly that we had a person of that stature with that kind of backing," says Naveed Naqvi, a senior education economist at the World Bank, based in Islamabad. "Atta-ur-Rahman was a force of nature."
--------
Between 2003 and 2009, Pakistan churned out about 3,000 PhDs, roughly the same number awarded throughout its previous 55-year history. More than 7,000 PhD students are now in training at home and abroad. Meanwhile, scientific research publications have soared from roughly 800 in 2002 to more than 4,000 in 2009 (see 'Publishing power')...


http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100922/full/467378a.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a SJ Mercury News story on use of videoconferencing for education in developing countries:

Videoconferences have largely been confined to offices. Not anymore. New technologies developed by Polycom and other videoconference vendors let employees use smartphones and tablet devices join in no matter where they are.

It's a "game changer" for Chris Plutte and his line of work -- using videoconferencing to connect students from countries around the world with students in American schools to help them better understand each other and the countries they call home.

"This opens up a whole new opportunity for us. It's about access for us," said Plutte, executive director of New York-based Global Nomads Group, a nonprofit he co-founded in 1998 that is currently linking several schools in the United States with those in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo for town-hall type meetings.

"It's pretty amazing. In the past, students and schools that participated in our programs had to have a (wired) Internet connection. They needed to have a computer. They needed to have electricity," he said. "This is a game changer for us in that (videoconferencing) can now reach more rural schools in developing countries like Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo."
------------
"It's called the consumerization of IT," said Costello, the IDC analyst. "These devices are coming into the workplace."

Total smartphone shipments worldwide reached 472 million in 2011, up 53 percent from 2010, said a Gartner report. Tablets are also growing, with Gartner projecting that by the end of 2015, more than 900 million will have been sold.

"This is about the ability to connect to different types of people on different types of devices on any network. It's device-agnostic. You can have a smartphone connected to a tablet to a laptop to a high-end HD videoconferencing in an office," said Randel Maestre, vice president of worldwide industry and field marketing for Polycom, which is in the midst of moving its Pleasanton headquarters to San Jose by the end of May.

"Our vision is to make video collaboration and videoconferencing ubiquitous," he said.

Polycom isn't the only company with that vision.

Last year, San Jose-based Cisco rolled out Jabber, a free downloadable application for smartphones and tablets that allows multiparty videoconferencing as well as access to voice, instant messaging and voice mail for existing Cisco customers.

"Work is not a place you go to -- it's where you are at. You can work if you happen to be at the airport," said Michael Smith, Cisco's senior director for collaborative application marketing. "These mobile devices like tablets now give us the power to do videoconferencing even when we're not in the videoconference room."


http://business-news.thestreet.com/mercury-news/story/videoconferencing-steps-out-the-office-0/1

http://gng.org/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from ICT4E report on South Asia:

A combination of radio, television, and the Internet is used in distance learning institutes in Pakistan. Since 2004, when the government deregulated telecommunication in Pakistan, the sector attracted 54% of the total Foreign Direct Investment (PTA 2006). It is estimated that 10,184 hours of programming are broadcast annually on 3.6 million TV sets; the estimates for radio programming are four times this figure (Iqbal 2004). The Institute of Educational Technology (IET) established in Allama Iqbal Open University is a centre of media production. The educational audio and video content developed in IET is broadcasted on national television and radio channels. Virtual University of Pakistan operates four free-to-air satellite channels on which some of their lectures are broadcasted.
5.2. Major Initiatives
Distance Education in Pakistan is dominated by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Asia’s first Open University, which was established in 1974 with a mandate of providing educational opportunities to the masses and to those who could not leave their homes or their regular jobs. In 2000, the Government of Pakistan developed a new initiative—the Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP). VUP was established specifically to create more capacity in the system by leveraging modern information and communications technologies. Even though VUP used ICT to deliver education through a distance learning mode, it was not conceptualized as an “open” university since AIOU already served that market (PANdora Distance Education Guidebook). Together AIOU and VUP serve 750,000 students (with an annual growth rate of 14%), which is three times the student population of all other universities in Pakistan combined (Ansari and Saleem, 2010). Due to the efforts made by the government as well as private and non-government donors, enrollment in distance learning institutes has increased from 199,660 to 305,962 from 2005-06 to 2007-08 (Economic Survey 2008-09).


http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.892.html

Naveed Ahmed said...

I have tried to put all information about Pakistani Universities at http://pakistansuniversities.blogspot.com/, visit and give your feedback

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on the man who drafted Pakistan first IT policy:

The man who drafted Pakistan’s first IT policy, Dr S M Junaid Zaidi, has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, said a press release issued on Tuesday.

Dr Zaidi, awarded the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2007, is the founding rector of the Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), which was chartered by the government in 2000 and has grown to have campuses in seven cities, over 20,000 students and 2,500 faculty members.

Dr Zaidi’s professional experience spans 36 years, said the press release. His expertise ranges from devising Build-Operate-Transfer mechanisms to Technology Commercialization and Utilization, Project Planning & Management, Industrial Information Networking, Operations Research, System Designing, Technology Policy Analysis, Technology Monitoring & Forecasting and Technology Transfer.

He holds a doctorate in Optimisation of Algorithms on Networking from the University of Birmingham in England. Before CIIT, Dr Zaidi served in many distinguished high profile positions at the United Nations (UN) and in the Government of Pakistan, said the press release.

In his time with the UN, Dr Zaidi served as an adviser to the Malaysian government and later at the UN ESCAP Asia and Pacific Centre, where he was part of advisory missions to Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam as a UN expert on IT and helped them establish their technology transfer and industrial technology information systems.

He also wrote two concept papers for the government and Comsats, which led to the establishment of the Virtual University and Comsats Internet Services.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/412598/for-man-who-drafted-pakistans-first-it-policy-an-honorary-degree/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakistanToday on ADB assistance for TeleTaleem online education:

ISLAMABAD - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a technical assistance (TA) grant of US$ 1.1 million to Pakistan’s TeleTaleem (Pvt.) Limited to boost access to quality education and vocational training in Pakistan using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
“This project will open new vistas of online learning opportunities for students and teachers, currently without access to quality educational and training resources. With a click of a button, students will be able to avail quality educational services regardless of their geographic location. The project will hugely benefit students and teachers, particularly girls in remote parts of the country who seek access to good educational opportunities,” said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.
Leveraging Pakistan’s fast growing ICT sector, TeleTaleem will provide ICT-assisted advanced learning environment to service basic education and technical education and vocational training (TEVT) segments. The company plans to setup 500 learning centers/points-of-access over the next 5 years, reaching out to 100,000 students and 10,000 teachers across the country.
Werner E. Liepach, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, and Asad Karim, Chief Executive Officer of the TeleTaleem (Pvt.) Limited, today signed the TA implementation agreement. This is ADB’s first-ever private-sector led investment in an education project.
Pakistan has made impressive gains over the last decade with spectacular ICT growth through the use of mobile phones, Internet and personal computers in the urban, semi-urban and the rural areas.
TeleTaleem will be using this widespread ICT footprint to deliver exciting and engaging teaching-learning practices and content to students and teachers, with the objective of enhancing student achievement and teacher competency.
ADB’s TA grant will also study gaps, issues and opportunities to expand the use of ICT for education by defining appropriate strategies frameworks and financially self-sustaining development and marketing plans, to achieve large scale adaptation.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2011, ADB approvals including cofinancing totaled $21.7 billion.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/11/16/news/profit/1-1m-for-teletaleem/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on AIOU campuses in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has prepared a comprehensive plan to construct its own buildings across the country, especially in the far-flung regions to facilitate students, providing them with “best quality education at their door-step.”

The new buildings will have all possible facilities including video-conferencing system, digital library, computer & science labs and classrooms, this was stated by AIOU vice chancellor, Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi while inaugurating new campus building in Abbottabad on Wednesday. It is the twelfth AIOU academic building constructed during the last three years for providing access to quality education and electronically connecting students with the university’s main academic network.

Prof. Sangi urged philanthropists and the public representatives to help in acquiring suitable land for the construction of the AIOU infrastructure.

“We can start the construction as soon as suitable land is made available on volunteer basis,” he said adding that necessary funding for this purpose could immediately be provided.

He also urged the general public to help the university in establishing open-schooling System in the country.

The AIOU has planned to set-up one hundred thousand open schools in the country within the next five years and for this purpose it will seek services of about ten thousand tutors and trained students to educate the male and female population at the primary and middle level. A reasonable stipend will also be provided for this purpose.

The Open Schooling System inaugurated by President Asif Ali Zardari last week will lay a strong foundation for improving literacy rate in the country and providing excess to quality education across the board.

He announced that AIOU’s study centres would soon start working in Kohat and Batagram. The university’s building for its regional campus in Mianwali has almost been completed, whereas its buildings in Khudabad, Methi in Sindh will also be completed within the next six months.

The university has already acquired free land in Bannu, DI Khan, Lakki Marwat and Mardan where the construction work will start soon. The construction work for the AIOU’s own buildings is also in progress in Lora lia, Noshgi, Mastung, Mandi Bahauddin, Toba Tek Singh, Kalat, Jhang, Gawadar and Sibi for running its study centres.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C05%5C09%5Cstory_9-5-2013_pg11_5