Educational system is govt’s top priority, says president at SOT conference


ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has said that improving the country’s educational system is the government’s top most priority.

He was addressing an international conference on ‘A World of Tomorrow – Reimagined’ in Karachi on Saturday where he was the chief guest.

President Alvi said that the educational curriculum will have to be updated in accordance with the needs of the modern age as it is the need of the hour. He argued for the need to retain empathy for those who do not have access to the same advantages as others and to work with the aim of taking everyone forward.

The first day of the School of Tomorrow (SOT) two-day event, A World of Tomorrow Reimagined, was extremely well attended. Taking place at the Beach Luxury Hotel, the event is the largest of its kind in Pakistan and brings together members of the public along with national and international leaders and experts to explore issues with an eye for shaping a brighter future.

Beaconhouse Chairperson Mrs Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri gave a welcome speech in which she emphasised the contribution of the private sector in education as well as the need for both private and public sectors to work together to address the ongoing need for quality education.

A panel discussion including renowned filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, lawyer and activist Nighat Dad, and educationist Dr Lawrence Burke set the direction for the event. It was moderated by Beaconhouse School System (BSS) Chief Executive and  SOT Events Chairman Kasim Kasuri.

Crowds arrived in droves for the afternoon sessions. Panel discussions ran concurrently, with topics ranging from the fourth industrial revolution, inclusion of diversity, the pervasive reach of surveillance, the dangers of stifling freedoms of artistic expression and media, the need and ways in which to conserve architectural heritage with local as well as international examples, how to improve fluency and appreciation of regional and national languages, ways in which sustainable development goals can be taught and understood and the importance of local community spaces to the understanding what excessive use of technology does to the minds of young children.

There were also presentations on the power of adventure, impactful change, and the future of fashion. Speakers included Babur Habib, Solonia Teodros, Tapu Javeri, Sidra Iqbal, Kami Sid, Arif Hassan, Vladimir Bataev, Deepak Perwani, Soufia Siddiqi, Khalid Ahmed, Saba Gul, and Reza Pakravan among many other experts, artists and thought leaders.

In a presentation, renowned occupational therapist and author Chris Rowan spoke on the impact of technology use on children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.

The packed halls were testament to the fact that citizens of Karachi were ready and willing to emerge after three days of uncertainty that left parts of the city paralysed. More so, they were inspired to engage with the content and speakers on our shared future and how to make it better.

The event is being held from November 3 to November 4 in Karachi and is open to the public.

This event comprises of scholars, policy-makers, social activists and media persons getting together to discuss emerging issues within contemporary societies and how contributions can be made to a better future for us and our future generations.

Even though the format of the events is similar to literary and cultural festivals, it is as different from them as can be. The SOT aims at deriving real outcomes to think how we can use these discussions to address some of the fears people have about the largely unknown future.

The SOT is designed so that learning is incorporated into policies and future planning. Each dimension is explored through a series of panel discussions, debates, presentations, interactive workshops, and exhibits.

On November 4, in a discussion about television as the new cinema, Sanam Saeed along with other experts will discuss the evolution and future of both television and cinema, and how changes in viewing styles – e.g. ‘binge-watching’ – affect both mediums.

Jibran Nasir and others will be debating whether democracy is the best form of government or not.


Comments are closed.