Minister lauds role of educational institutions during COVID-19 lockdown
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LAHORE, Oct 03 (APP): Federal Minister for Education Shahfqat Mehmood Saturday lauded the role of educational institutions during COVID-19 lockdown, saying that the institutions brought new ways to impart education during the crisis times.

Speaking as the chief guest at an event here, he said that during the lockdown, the education sector had to suffer a lot as closing of educational institutions was not an easy decision.

The universities started online classes for its students and kept them engaged in educational activities during the difficult times, he added.

He said the government, soon after imposing the lockdown, started teleschool transmission on Pakistan Television where more than six million students continued to get education. The Ministry of Education also set up a distance learning department to impart education during those times.

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He said the government would keep this department working for future as well, as the online system had proved very effective.

“We are looking forward to listen and solve problems being faced by the universities,” he said and added that providing support to the universities was vital for running its affairs smoothly.

Shafqat Mehmood said that establishment of new universities was a need of the hour, however there was also a requirement to look into faculty development as setting up a university was not only meant for constructing a building rather qualified faculty and standard of education was utmost necessary for promotion of education.

Commenting on students’ unions in the universities, he said that the government was principally in favour of such extracurricular activities. But, on the same time, it had also to ensure that campuses did not become a hub of political clashes between different groups. The government was taking the matter serious and would take all the stakeholders including students, teachers and parents on board for finding out a better way out.

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He said Pakistan had been facing many challenges including extremism and the armed forces of Pakistan were playing a leading role to eliminate the menace from the country.

During this time, he said every Pakistani should stand in support of the valiant forces, instead of criticising them for the sake of political benefits as some political elements were doing so.

The minister said making the armed forces controversial was equal to weakening roots of the country and it was very unfortunate that some elements were indulged in it.