Use of e-learning-based programmes proposed to bridge the skill gap

Published: June 14, 2013

A nominal fee: $10 is the fee of the course in G-77 countries, including Pakistan, under SkillSoft’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme. The actual commercial value of the course is between $ 100 and $500.

KARACHI: Setting up of state-of-the-art skill development institutions can whet the rising demand of skilled workface in the country. This was stated by Institute of Business Administration Dean Dr Ishrat Husain while speaking as the keynote speaker at the CEO’s forum for capacity building. The seminar was organised by the International Commission on Workforce Development (ICWFD)-G77 Secretariat on Thursday.

Dr Husain said that such an endeavour needed proper planning on part of the education sector. “The increasing gap between general and vocational education can be bridged by introducing e-learning-based skill development programmes at both public and private institutions,” he said, adding that e-learning has proved to be a viable learning tool in developing countries.

He also had a word of advice for the parents and asked them to let their children pursue what they were interested in rather than pushing them to become engineers and doctors. “Parents should shun the mindset of imposing their wishes and ideals on their children and should allow them to plan their future as per their inclinations and wishes.”

Earlier in his welcome address, ICWFD chief programme coordinator Pervez Iqbal introduced the commission as a non-profit public foundation based in San Francisco, California, that recommends solutions to enable the workforce of G77 countries to compete in the current and future global economy.

Iqbal said that the objective of the CEO forum was to create awareness about a unique e-learning initiative – the e-Skills 360° programme – among the key stakeholders of the corporate sector and prestigious educational institutions. The programme is designated by the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication (UN-GAID) as its flagship partnership initiative. “The programme aims to train one million young people in self-sustainable employability skills within the next three years to address the job skills crisis currently faced by employers in all the critical sectors of the economy.”

Iqbal said that presence of several CEOs, important decision makers and policy formulators highlighted the serious intent with which they wanted to tackle this burgeoning crisis.

USAID deputy mission director Leon Skip Waskin, Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust CEO Najmus Saquib Hameed and Habib Metropolitan Bank CEO and president Sirajuddin Aziz also spoke on the occasion.

An engaging panel discussion on introducing employability skills through e-learning followed the keynote address. The discussion was chaired by JJ Media CEO Javed Jabbar and included Citizens Foundation founding director Mushtaq Chhapra, Pakistan Business Council CEO Kamran Mirza, P@SHA president Jehan Ara and Habib Bank Limited marketing head Aly Mustansir.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2013.

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