ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has awarded 64 academics with the Best University Teacher Award in recognition of their outstanding performance and given each winner a certificate and a cash prize of Rs100,000.
These awards were given on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Trainings Balighur Rehman. A large number of faculty members from different universities also participated in the event.
Felicitating the teachers, Rehman said human development is the key to overall progress of a country. “Teachers play the most pivotal role in ensuring human development. The government has raised the higher education funding to Rs107 billion in the ongoing fiscal year,” he said.
He appreciated the HEC for promotion of higher education and research culture in the country and said the HEC has lived up to the government’s expectations.
The minister urged the teachers to adopt new technologies and promote teamwork. “Teach your students how to collaborate and work as a team,” he stressed. He observed Pakistan has multiple inspirational stories to be presented as role model.
He informed the audience that the government has prepared curriculum for class 1-5 focusing on character building of students. “Teaching translation of the Holy Quran has also been made mandatory for class 6-12 in Islamabad. The practice will be extended to provinces too, he added.
In his address, the HEC chief said teachers and Imams play a key role in social development. He urged the teachers to train the country’s youth in line with its social norms and values.
“We have to invest for the bright future of our youth and coming generations. There is a need for promoting nationalism while setting aside non-issues,” he said.
Shedding light on achievements of the HEC, he said Pakistan had only 59 universities before the inception of the HEC but the number had now reached 188.
“The HEC encourages research based on solution to prevailing problems of society. The number of research publications has now reached 1,200 annually,” he added.
The chairman revealed that the HEC is taking tangible steps to ensure equitable access to higher education in the country. He said the HEC has set up sub-campuses of universities in far flung and less-developed areas in order to impart education at doorstep.
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He told the audience that the HEC has established a university campus near the Line of Control in Azad Kashmir, where 84 students are acquiring education.
“A sub-campus of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University has been established in Noshki near Pak-Iran border and over 300 students are studying while Fata University has also been established. More campuses will be established in Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, interior Sindh, and Fata,” he said.
The Best University Teacher Award Scheme was launched in 2003 with the aim to recognise the relentless efforts of faculty members of universities. A total of 160 nominations were received from 80 public and private sector universities.
All the nominations were scrutinised and evaluated on the basis of the HEC approved criteria by an expert committee and 64 faculty members were selected. As a whole, 564 awards have been conferred under the programme during the last 13 years.
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