AKU-IED held its ninth international conference on ‘In Search of Relevance and Sustainability of Educational Change’ from November 1-3, 2012 in collaboration with United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad. Following were the keynote speakers of the conference:
- Dr Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, USA
- Dr Thomas Christie, Director, AKU Examination Board
- Professor Chandra Gunawardena, Commonwealth of Learning (COL)-UNESCO Chair in Distance Education, Open University of Sri Lanka
- Dr Joshua Muskin, Senior Education Programme Officer, Aga Khan Foundation, Geneva
- Dr Bernadette Dean, Principal, St. Joseph’s College for Women, Karachi
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistan’s renowned educationist, was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. AKU-IED’s MEd students performed an enactment of The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, a satirical commentary explaining how unexamined traditions of schooling can result in resisting needed changes, written by an American educator and writer, Harold Raymond Wayne Benjamin. In his, Dr Muhammad Memon, Director, AKU‑IED presented the introductory remarks where he stressed on the importance of setting a firm direction for improving the quality of education and reform efforts.
Dr Greg Moran, Provost, AKU, also addressed the session via a recorded video. Eminent scholars and experts in education presented papers and participated in panel discussions during the three-day conference.
Experts concluded that Pakistan’s educational system needs to change dramatically to meet the needs of the 21st century but any changes introduced needs to be sustainable over time. They also felt that provincial governments will need to lead the change, as education is a provincial subject after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
The attendees to the conferences were senior government officials, educational managers and faculty members of local public and private universities, the heads of higher education institutions, researchers, PhD/MPhil scholars and academics in the field of education.