USAID holds 1st National Strategic planning workshop


LAHORE – The USAID funded Pre-STEP program sponsored a Strategic Planning workshop, which concluded at Pearl Continental Hotel on Wednesday. The workshop was the first in a series of other related activities planned for the year. It intends to introduce Strategic Planning as a tool to improve quality of teacher education in 15 Pre-STEP partner public universities under its Pre-Service Teacher Education Program.
A group of 50 professionals comprising Deans of Faculty of Education, Directors of Quality Enhancement Cell, Planning and Development officers as well as other professionals actively participated in the workshop. The workshop was led by Pre-STEP Chief of Party Dr Mahmood H. Butt and moderated by Dr Gita Steiner-Khamsi from Teachers College, Columbia University New York and Pre-STEP Strategic Planning Coordinator Dr. Basharat Ali.
The event focused on capacity-building at each partner university to successfully implement new degree programs – the two-year Education Associate Degree (ADE) and the four-year Elementary Education Bachelors (Honors). The two major outcomes of the workshop are rationalization of teacher education programs and a tentative list of elements of the subject-based strategic plans.
It was decided to form a committee comprising four to five participants from partner universities in order to identify core elements of strategic planning from the ones proposed at the workshop. Teachers College is a graduate school of education of Columbia University that offers Master and Doctoral degrees and is ranked second among the US graduate schools of education, before Harvard and Stanford. Besides providing technical assistance for strategic planning in Faculties of Education, it also supports professional development of university faculty members in the areas of educational research and curriculum design during the new four-year Elementary degree of Bachelors.
The Pre-STEP program is a US$ 75 million USAID funded program working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to improve quality of teachers’ education in Pakistan. The program is also supporting Pakistan Government, Provincial Departments of Education and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in introducing the new ADE and B.Ed. (Hons.) elementary degree programs, as a new standard for teacher Education in Pakistan.
By 2018, the new degrees will replace the prevalent diploma, CT and PTC teacher courses.