AIOU celebrates World Teachers Day, vows to fight illiteracy

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ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) held a ceremony on Thursday in honour of its faculty to mark the World Teachers Day, celebrated this year under the theme ‘Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers’.

Addressing the ceremony, AIOU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui reiterated the university’s resolve to fight illiteracy by implementing its on-going plan of providing free education to drop-out girls and upgrading education standard at the higher-education level.

The ceremony was arranged by the AIOU Faculty of Education, and a large number of teachers took part in the event by holding panel-discussions through which they underscored areas which required more devotion, particularly in character-building and personality-development.

During the course of discussion, panelists highlighted ways to meet the challenges of 21st century and to adopt contemporary trends to ensure educational leadership. The panelists included Dr Samina Nadeem, Dr Mumtaz Jaffry, Dr Hamid Khan Niazi, Dr Samina Naseem, Inaya Shah, and Dr Afshan Huma. Meanwhile, the main session was chaired by AIOU Faculty of Education Dean Professor Dr Nasir Mehmood, and Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies Dean Professor Dr Mohyud Din Hashmi.

Speaking on the occasion, the VC said that teachers should develop themselves as role-models for the students by achieving excellence in their respective fields. They could make themselves prominent by adopting an affectionate and friendly behavior towards their students since the right attitude made a real difference in the teaching process, he added.

Furthermore, the VC said that teachers should explore and nurture hidden qualities of their students by adopting latest teaching methods being practiced around the world. An updated and relevant curriculum had always played a very important role in the educational process, he added.

He also said that it was equally important to stress up on teachers and students the need of practicing practicality, punctuality, discipline and good human-values, while adding that curriculum could always be enriched and expanded by teachers over the course of time. The VC pledged that the university would continue to play an effective role for improving literacy rate in the country and for development of a civilised and knowledgeable society.

Moreover, Dr Siddiqui also informed the participants regarding setting up of an Adult Literacy Centre inside the varsity’s main campus. He said that it would serve as a model for other educational institutions to teach those people who could not avail schooling facility at an early age.

Elaborating further on the working of the facility, Dr Siddiqui said that initially the literacy facility was made available to illiterate university employees only to ensure the capacity-building of the staff. The centre is run by AIOU’s Department of Distance and Non-Formal Continuing Education, and its senior faculty members voluntarily devoted their services to teach the illiterate employees through a specially designed curriculum.