LAHORE: The Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) has inaugurated its state-of-the-art Staff Development Academy (SDA) at the University of the Education, Township Campus on Friday.
The academy, established at a cost of Rs200 million provided by the Punjab government, aims to train 21,000 college teachers and 10,000 university teachers. Speaking at the ceremony, Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani said that the provincial government had been striving hard to bring the country’s education system on a par with international benchmarks and was investing huge resources and efforts in this sector.
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The minister said that the SDA had been established under the Faculty Pedagogy Skill Programme of the Punjab government.
“The establishment is one of the remarkable efforts of the PHEC to improve the quality of teaching at college and university levels.
The training academy aims to strengthen the profession of teaching in Punjab by providing substantial professional learning opportunities, modelling highly effective educational practice and identifying and developing teachers of the highest quality who are committed to both the all-round development of young people and their own professional excellence.”
The minister said that similar staff development academies would be established in each of the nine divisions of the provinces.
“We are determined to bring up the student-teacher ratio on the higher education level. This year, we are inducting 3,271 new college teachers and among them are 1,483 men and 1,788 women,” he said.
PHEC Chairperson Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin said the Punjab government had provided Rs200 million for the establishment of the academy. “As many as 21,000 college and 10,000 university teachers will be trained in the academy.”
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Dr Nizamuddin said that there was a dire need of qualified faculty and staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) of the province. “We are facing acute shortage of qualified teachers in our colleges and universities. More than 5,000 PhD slots are vacant. The PHEC is committed to fulfilling the dearth of trained staff,” said Dr Nizam.
He said that state-of-the-art PHEC academy would offer faculty development programmes and resources so that faculty could excel in their respective areas.
“The PHEC’s vision is to create a thriving critical mass of teachers and learning community so that it can significantly impact student learning and institutions’ development,” he said.
“The academy has technologically equipped training rooms, seminar rooms, library, computer laboratories and a residential facility to provide a conducive learning environment to trainees,” said Dr Nizamuddin.
Speaking at the ceremony, University of Education (UoE) Vice Chancellor Dr Rauf-i-Azam told the audience that the academy had been established to enhance quality of teaching in the higher education sector. He also highlighted the role of the UoE as an institution to impart quality education through training of college and university teachers across Pakistan.
“Last year, UoE provided training to more than 2,500 teachers of public sector colleges. Further, it also provided training to over 300 teachers of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Owing to its specialty in staff training and development, it has also collaborated with the PHEC to provide all necessary facilities for teachers’ training in the province. For this purpose, the Staff Development Academy has been established in the vicinity of UoE wherein all teachers will be trained on a regular and rolling basis.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2017.
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