How to make IER vibrant

How to make IER vibrant and lively academic unit of   
                                                             Peshawar University
By Badeya Danish

We are living in an age where nations are ranked into various categories namely developed, developing and under-developed on the basis of their standing in the field of education in common and science and technology in particular. This standing is a gauge of ability of nations in optimizing utilization of their natural, mineral and technical resources through highly educated and skilled people and simultaneously of their vision in estimating their national and international consumer present and future needs. Their technical hands transform natural and mineral resources into world-class products through materialization of their scientific ideas and research findings which earn them a leading position in the economical world. This area of science & technology is called the engineering of materials. The higher education commission of Pakistan is struggling hard to enhance the quality of higher education and research. HEC supports the higher education institutions of the country and has realized the significance of a strong university-industry-linkage in economical development of Pakistan. The idea behind the establishment of such linkages is to encourage both the university and industry to share their wisdom, knowledge and expertise to move forward, and to motivate and persuade the graduating students and scholars to apply their knowledge and skills to their best. or more precisely, all such efforts are aimed at the introduction and consequent development of a science & technology culture leading to the economic development of the country and bringing it at part with the technologically advanced nations . This university –industry linkage is missing, particularly in this part of the country. Joblessness, non-technical approach to technical issues, poor industry and lack of technical man power are some of the consequences of this missing linkage. This needs our institutions to be truly diverse and vibrant.
IER can prove to be truly a vibrant institute of Peshawar university if following courses of diversified nature are introduced in the department; in fact IER has a very widely open scope and scheme of studies that it can offer to the desiring people.

·       Distance education.
·       Environmental education.
·       Chemical education.
·       Computer education.
·       Vocational Education
·       Agricultural education.
·       Early child hood education.
·       E-education.
·       Educational management.
·       Industrial education.
·       Career counseling.
·       Links with BISE boards.
·       Links with national and international universities
·       Collaboration with text book board.
·       Collaboration with PITE (Provincial Institute of Teacher Education) and RITE (Regional Institute of Teacher Education).
·       Links with different NGOs promoting education
·       Language Improvement Program
·       School Sanitation and Hygiene Education.
·       Adult Education.
·       Social Mobilization towards Education.
·       Short term courses for Public-Private Partnership

According to Perraton (198: p.)Distance teaching means:
… educational process in which a significant proportion of teaching is conducted by someone removed in space and/ or time from the learner. In practice, distance teaching usually involves a combination of media .the more effective programmes seem to benefit from linking broadcasts and print with some kind of face-to-face study.
The term distance education then is not universally understood to have the same meaning.a number of different terms are used especially in the English –speaking countries such as:
                   i.            Correspondence education.
                ii.            Continuing education.
             iii.            Adult education.
              iv.            Postal education.
                 v.            Lifelong education.
              vi.            Independent study program's.
           vii.            Distance study courses.
        viii.            Home learning.
              ix.            Off-campus learning.
                 x.            Open learning.
              xi.            College of air.
           xii.            Non-contiguous two-way communication.
        xiii.            Extramural study.
         xiv.            Non-formal education.
            xv.            Flexistudy.
         xvi.            Out-of – school education.
      xvii.            Extension College.
   xviii.            External study.
         xix.            University extension.
            xx.            University of the air.
         xxi.            Distance university.
      xxii.            Open University.
   xxiii.            University without walls.
    xxiv.            Correspondence instructions.

For the larger part of its history, distance education lacked a widely accepted definition and theory. Although it has been widely used since the beginning of the 1970s (Holmberg: 1982). IER must have to offer a variety of programs in order to fulfill the needs of the mob through distance education. Distance education is a good mean to quench the thirst of the general mob which is living far apart from the campus. It might b a good suggestion that IER should offer multiple programs so that the people may choose according to their wish and mental approach.

·       Environmental education.

Awareness about environmental hazards and their impact on human beings, other living beings and on their surrounding is the need of the day. Human activities and nothing else have been constantly destroying natural environment. This destruction has caused serious threats to living organisms including men. IER can play a pivotal role in awareness in the general mob about the conservation of the environment. The existing efforts in this matter are suggested to be changed in to more practical and pragmatic in order to be too useful for the environmental improvement. Short term, long term courses and making environmental studies as an integral part of the curriculum of BEd and Med may prove fruitful.

·           Chemical education.

Chemical education is the dire need of the day. Most of the country's industry and hence economy depends on chemistry and chemical studies. Most of the world's renown and vibrant educational institutes organize chemical education in a variety of ways in order to promote chemical culture in their people. IER needs to take strong and attractive initiatives in order to promote this culture. IER may consult chemistry department for effective launching of this initiative, so that chemistry and education are to be articulated and interwoven with each other. Courses are to be designed and innovated periodically so that and chemical culture is developed.

 ·       Agricultural education.

Our country is an agricultural one. We have been bestowed with a lot of fertile land. Moreover we have human resource too. The need is to inspire a desired culture for agriculture. IER can efficiently take part to aware the people about the importance of agriculture, organic food, modern methods of farming, growing more economic seeds, cash crops, stocking and storing grains growing various fruit plants according to the whether condition of a locality etc. IER should devise appropriate syllabus and teaching material in collaboration with Agriculture University, so that the initiative is more beneficial.

·       Early child hood education.

Early childhood education is the emerging but the most important aspect of education. Children below 4years need special attention, as mental growth and learning capability is maximum in this age. Early childhood Education and Development (ECED) center has been established at Provincial Institute of Teacher Education (PITE) NWFP, Peshawar. IER needs to collaborate with PITE Peshawar, in order to launch special courses to train teachers teaching at play group level as well as teachers.

·       E-education.

Today is an age rightly to be called electronic media age. Every thing has been mechanized. Computer and internet has been changed from luxury to the dire need of the day. Considerable proportion of the world population uses computer for different activities, out of which majority of the people use computer for applying and successfully achieving certificates, degrees and diplomas etc. IER can compete with other vibrant universities in this field. IER should play its role to educate people through E-Education. It should manage for having the requirement necessary for e-education. Various courses must have to be offered on its own web page so that the people may be given chances to get certificates, diplomas and universities at their home.

·       Educational management.

According to the government policy management cadre has been separated from teaching cadre. Especially in education majority of the persons at key management post do not know even their job responsibilities and so unable to perform their duties as desired. IER can prove to a truly vibrant institute if it could arrange short term and long term courses for especially educational managers. The research wing of IER should search out areas of improvement in management skills, and then devise special courses on the basis of need assessment.

·       Adult Education.

IER should include Adult education in its sphere. The people that have missed their chance of getting education in their childhood are to be provided with chance to get it in their adulthood. Various local national and international organizations are working on Adult Education. IER must launch special program to enhance the cause of Adult education. Special syllabus based on simple arithmetic, basic life skills and income generating skills as integral parts should be devised and implemented.  

·       Career counseling.

To prove itself to a real vibrant institute, IER should prove to be true and trusted center for career counseling. Career counseling is one of the core services being offered to the general mob. IER has a highly educated staff with psychological and educational background which is pre-requisite for the services of career counseling. The need is to launch a quick and tidy program of career counseling with appropriate home work. In order to minimize joblessness and to guide people towards profession of their choice and best suited to their competency and mental inclination.  

·       School Sanitation and Hygiene Education.

Our school syllabus and other co curricular activities lack the most important aspect of school sanitation and hygiene education. There is an ample distinction between a top class school and a common government school on the basis of school sanitation and hygiene education besides some other academic aspects. Every school should offer school sanitation and hygiene education is the need of the day, because a healthy school environment can help maximize learning of the students. IER can play a prominent role in educating the prospective teachers just before joining the profession. A pre-trained teacher may produce far more promising results. Moreover IER should make school sanitation and hygiene education as an integral part of its syllabi, in order to promote healthy environment in schools. Moreover certain refresher courses can be introduces time to time for teachers in various categories like PTC, CT, SET and Headmasters, Principals etc.

·       Social Mobilization towards Education

Our society in general is not so much aware of importance of education. People in remote areas are ignored or have been kept ignored of the value of education. Low enrolment in schools and excess of child labour in the market reveals no or low awareness of the society towards education. IER needs to pay special attention to serve the cause of awareness in the general mob for education. To prove itself to a real vibrant institute IER must be one step ahead of others striving for the cause of public awareness towards education. Society is to be shaken and mobilized fully in order to enhance education. For this purpose IER should conduct seminars, speeches and celebrates special days and walks in the society for its effective and quick mobilization towards education.

·       Language Improvement Program

Improvement of languages in general and English in particular is of huge importance. Many more language improvement institutes are working for this purpose. But it is rightly deemed that IER might prove to be the best place. IER, I am sure, will prove to an outstanding center for language improvement. IER has efficient staff, fully equipped with psychological background, theories of learning, best teaching techniques and appropriate communication skills. So IER can serve the best center for language improvement.

·       Collaboration with text book board.

For being a vibrant center of diversified but related activities IER should have linkages with other educational institutes like Text book Board NWFP Peshawar. IER can take active part in the need assessment for curriculum development. Moreover in the light of its professional strength IER can best help Text book board in content selection. IER can more appropriately suggest suitable teaching methodology for the effective delivery of content. It can also propose innovation in the current scheme of studies. IER can best provide valuable feedback for valid and reliable practical/experiments associated with science subjects.
·       Collaboration with PITE (Provincial Institute of Teacher Education) and RITE (Regional Institute of Teacher Education).

Serving for more or less the same cause of teacher education IER must have close contacts with PITEs (Provincial Institutes for Teacher Education) and RITEs (Regional Institutes for teacher Education)
Every province of the country has a PITE, with the basic Objectives of conducting research in the field of education, helping curriculum wing in the development of national curriculum, developing material for In-service teacher trainings and conduction of such teacher trainings along with management trainings for educational managers periodically through out the year.
RITEs under the Directorate of curriculum and teacher education conduct Pre-service teacher trainings like PTC, Diploma in Education, CT and DM etc. Moreover RITEs also conduct short courses/ refresher courses for in-service teachers under the umbrella of DCTE.
IER should have coordination with PITEs and RITEs for better results in the field of teacher education by sharing their skills and experiences with each other.

·       Links with different NGOs promoting education

There are so many local and international NGOs, that have been striving for sake of promoting education in Pakistan in general and NWFP in particular. The prominent international NGOs working in this regard are:
·       UNESCO
·       UNICEF
·       USAID
·       NORAID
·       AUSAID
·       CIDA
·       JICA
·       GTZ
These NGOs are struggling hard to promote education here in the province as well as through out the country. Most of these NGOs work on two aspects of promoting education. These aspects are hard ware and soft ware. In hard ware program they are working to provide building and other educational material while in soft ware they have been launching teacher training programs.
IER must have to build strong but friendly relationship with these NGOs in order to help them spend their donations effectively for the cause of promotion of education with in the province especially.

·       Short term courses for Public-Private Partnership

In most of the Private schools teachers have almost no professional trainings or courses. They have only academic qualification like simple FA/FSc, BA/BSC, MA/MSc etc. they need to have been equipped with professional skills. Short in-service teaching programs of at least a-week long are needed to be launched for these teachers. In these programs they should be taught how to innovate mare lecture method to participatory approach. These teachers should be equipped with teaching techniques like effective question-answer technique, group discussion, learning by doing etc. they should be taught how to assess their students performance during and after the class. Class management is another important aspect, to be taught to them.

·       Links with national and international universities

To prove being vibrant institute IER must have close links with different departments of university of Peshawar and other national and international universities as well. IER must launch different activities as joint ventures in collaboration with other departments, so that to meet the desires of the general mob. Moreover links with other national and international universities can effectively be used for exchange visits paving the way of professional growth of its teaching staff. Exchange visits will help provide chances of experience sharing. These links are to be wisely utilized for providing its teaching staff and students' research studies opportunities.

In a nutshell IER can prove to a true vibrant institute if it covers the above stated scope of studies along several other possible aspects. IER will be able to serve humanity in true spirit, refusing no one for his/her desiring study. This will broaden the horizon of IER, polishing its image among the people. Diversified schemes of study of short and long duration being offered to the people will make IER truly a vibrant institute of Peshawar University.


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