ISLAMABAD, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- China is helping Pakistani students get good quality education by offering scholarships in various disciplines including applied sciences and social sciences, and local experts believe that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to revamp education system in Pakistan by promoting distant and e-learning in the country.
Pakistani pupils leave with their parents on the first day of school after the summer vacation in Karachi on July 1, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
"China is spending billions of dollars in Pakistan under various projects, and the second phase of CPEC will focus on social sector projects in which the Chinese government will help Pakistan in education among other social fields. It is the need of the hour that Pakistan introduces policies to make the best use of the Chinese support in the field of e-learning," Nazir Ahmed Sangi said in Islamabad on Monday.
Sangi, former vice chancellor of Islamabad-based distant learning university Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), said during a lecture that China is much advanced than Pakistan in terms of e-learning as there are only two universities including AIOU and Virtual University in Pakistan for distant learning.
China can help Pakistani students in e-learning by helping the education sector's officials make similar policies like in China, and local universities can follow that pattern for distant learners, he said.
A Memorandum of Understanding has already been signed by China and Pakistan in September this year, under which China will provide e-learning facility and establishment of smart schools in Pakistan, according to local media.
Sangi suggested that to tap the full potential of Chinese expertise of e-learning, the education policy of Pakistan needs to be revised. "Pakistan's education policy needs to be collaborative and innovative to accommodate distant learning and e-learning by following high standards and developing good infrastructure and focused facilities. It needs to be a policy which is multilingual, multicultural and tolerant."
He said that Pakistan's e-learning scene has been greatly improved in AIOU over the years due to advancement of technology. The students used to travel hundreds of miles to attend workshops in the university's main campus and sub-campuses, but now they have set up digital classrooms in their very cities where they can attend online workshops and communicate with their teachers.
"Under the cooperation with China, a further boom in e-learning will be witnessed and science and technology will also be included in the curriculum along with social sciences," Sangi said.
The lecture was organized by Islamabad-based think-tank Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). In his remarks, Director Administration at IPRI Naveed Ali, highlighted that CPEC can contribute significantly to Pakistan's human resource development.
Under CPEC, setting up various optical fiber cables presents an opportune moment for the development of the IT sector of Pakistan which in turn can enhance connectivity, and one of the main areas that can be benefited is the creation of a robust and reliable e-learning network between Pakistan and China, he stressed.