The seventh International Symposium on “Evolution through innovation in medical and health sciences” concluded at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro, on Saturday. Nearly 1,300 delegates from national and international universities had participated in workshops, training sessions and lectures at the three-day long symposium.
While addressing the gathering on Friday evening, Dr Javed Laghari, chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), said that commercial viability and economic development are not complemented by proper research. “We pointed out that missing link in Pakistan, between research and development. Therefore, the HEC is currently encouraging research which can either be commercialised or contribute to local socio-economic development.”
Laghari advised medical students at the symposium to carry out community-oriented research. “We should know why we are still not a polio-free country. Why do we still have high maternal and child mortality rates? How will global warming affect us?” Some of the challenges facing the HEC include maintaining the quality of education and ensuring access to higher education for the people, especially women.
Laghari justified the recently released HEC rankings of universities in the country, which have been criticised by many universities, including LUMHS. “We assessed things which can be accounted for quantitatively. Unfortunately, we can’t measure features like the quality of a teacher’s lecture,” he said.
LUMHS vice chancellor, Prof Dr Noshad Shaikh, wondered aloud about the third place for his university in the HEC rankings, as it is on track to get the ISO 9001 certification. “We will be the first public sector university in Pakistan to get this certification.”
Shaikh also had a go at two of LUMHS’s sister universities in Jamshoro. “Unlike Mehran and Sindh Universities, we have maintained a peaceful academic environment. We have changed the mindsets of our students, and told them that you are here to learn, and not to indulge in politics and other activities that might be detrimental to education.”
Dr Abdul Majeed Chaudhry, the principal of Lahore Medical and Dental College, emphasised the need to inculcate ethical, professional and moral standards in young teachers.
Prof Rakesh Verma from Nepal compared the standard of teaching and health services in the two countries, and appreciated Pakistani doctors for doing their job in a remarkable manner, considering that they work in a developing country. “Occasions like this symposium offer us a chance to learn from each other,” he observed.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ