Lahore : Punjab’s IT based education reforms could be a great model for system-wide change in Egypt’s schools so I was keen to meet Dr. Umar Saif and learn from his work. It was stated by the British Ambassador for Egypt Mr. John Casson a presentation delivered by the Chairman PITB Dr. Umar Saif at Arfa Software Technology Park last day.
Mr. Casson said that the British Government was assisting in Egypt’s education system for 21.3 million students with problem of both volume and quality of output. “I am very interested in learning about both the technical methodology of system-wide education reform in Punjab, the data systems, transparency cum accountability systems and the political management of reforms such as incentives, building alliances, overcoming vested interests etc. I am also much interested in the role played by innovative approaches parallel to the traditional public sector, including Pakistan Education Trust and low cost private school networks.” He added.
Dr. Saif apprised him of the e-Learning Punjab, Open Data of Smart School Monitoring and Literacy Drive. He said “Punjab is the first province in Pakistan that has made its monitoring data of 52,695 public schools open and any citizen can challenge its credibility while sitting home. It is a large example of transparency and accountability enabled by the smart technology. But results are also very encouraging as attendance of students and teachers has increased to more than 90%. The visits made by the Monitoring staff have also been made evidence based and transparent. Text books of grade 6 to 10 have been digitized with simulations, animations, videos supported with Urdu voice may revolutionize the teaching and learning process in public schools. Government has opted to deliver 120,000 tablets among teachers and students to transform the traditional one to highly tech system. Moreover Literacy and Numeracy Drive (LND) has been initiated to assess the learning and teaching abilities in public schools. All these initiatives are impacting Punjab education system to great extent in terms of transparency and efficiency.”
Mr. Casson said that it was really an exciting and excellent conversation on the reforms brought in Punjab education sector through technology. “I hope this experience will prove much fruitful to be incorporated in Egypt.” He added. Dr. Saif presented him a beautiful souvenir of Arfa IT Tower.