INTERVIEW WITH NUML REGIONAL DIRECTOR

'WESTERN EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT SUITABLE TO OUR NEEDS'

KANWAL SALEEM
Nov 09 - 15, 2009

National University of Modern Languages (NUML) started operation as an institute in 1970 to help people communicate and understand each other in different languages, to assimilate different cultures, and to act as a springboard for emerging disciplines.

At present, NUML is a fully autonomous degree awarding university. It now teaches 23 languages in addition to many emerging arts and sciences. It is open to all persons, regardless of class, creed, gender, race or color.

In an interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE), Regional Director National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Lt. Col. (Retd.) Saeed Ahmed Khan shared his views about education system in Pakistan.

He said, "We are committed to enhance the potential of students, faculty, staff and all segments of the society by bringing a positive change in their personal and career lives. We are motivating them for self-enlightenment through quality education, personality development, true professionalism, and career planning and thus adding value to our nation and ultimately to humanity."

He said, "Every country/society has its own needs. Western education system is not suitable to our needs. The education system and western culture differs from that of ours. Therefore, blindly following a foreign model and ignoring one's cultural needs will ultimately lead to disaster. So change should be gradual in accordance with the socio-cultural requirements of the country."

He was of the view that with little effort public sector could give better outcomes than private sector. The vision of public sector is normally restricted due to financial constraints, which resultantly mar its progress. In this connection, firm commitment and hard work can lead to marked improvement, he insisted. That is why NUML focuses on commitment to hard work on part of the staff and the students, he said.

First of all, he argued, it is the responsibility of the parents to guide their children to the right direction. The choice of subjects must be result oriented. Thereon is the responsibility of the education institutions. "NUML is deeply concerned with the issue therefore, curriculum designing and evaluation system are planned accordingly," he added. Moreover, he said, we regularly organize career fairs to provide students a forum for exposure to job market and help them in getting jobs. Fifty companies participated in the previous career fair. We are going to hold another career fair very soon.

According to him, one of the reasons for the failure of our education system is its dependence upon the delivery of static information. The information that may have become outdated in 60s continues till next 40 to 50 years. The syllabus must be kept updated to meet the demands of new age. Hence, updating of course outline is a regular feature of NUML. Our syllabus is designed by prestigious and learned academicians, who have expertise in curriculum designing. Further, it is keenly scrutinized and revised to keep it in accordance with the demands of modern era.

Mr. Saeed said, "Our syllabus outline is formulated by the main campus and I personally go through the text of the syllabus and find it up to date and well designed. As there is always a room for improvement so we give our feed back to the main campus."

He further said it was true that in Pakistan the education system, in general, had an evaluation set up that encouraged rot learning. Students who may not otherwise be hardworking cram material without understanding its spirit and get good marks in the examination. The product of such a system is not capable of adjusting itself with the everyday increasing demands of the practical work.

"Knowledge must develop understanding of the subject in particular and practical approach towards life in general. Therefore, NUML is striving hard to attain this objective by developing critical thinking in the students which grooms their personality and in the long run and leads to the development of the society," he added.

He said that quality of instruction was the basic hallmark of NUML. The level of instruction in NUML is based on human psychology and character building. "We promote use of latest teaching techniques and methodology. Likewise a great emphasis is given to character building. A constant effort is kept in hand to raise the level of instruction and the learning capacity of the students. As an academic organization, NUML focuses upon the improvement of its students in studies as well as character building. To attain this goal, two aspects are kept in mind. First is the need of society and second is to design the modus operandi to meet the target. The background of the student is of great significance in this regard. Maximum attention is paid to enable them to avail the opportunities equally, despite the fact that they belong to different segments of the society. It helps in developing the personality of the students as well as enables them to cope with social needs."

About his responsibilities in NUML, he said as a Regional Director he was the in charge of Lahore campus. "I am supposed to look after the campus as a whole, which includes academics and administration. The former is related with quality teaching, provision of material for classes as well as examination and maximum resources like books, Internet etc. while the latter includes the management of the campus, classrooms, provision of audio visual aids, computer labs, library etc. In case, we have some ambiguity we consult main campus at Islamabad and for this purpose we have sound communication system," he concluded.

SUKKUR IBA

INVESTMENT IN YOUR FUTURE

Sukkur IBA is a dynamic, forward-looking institution, committed to become a center of excellence in teaching, learning and enterprise. We have much to be proud of surveys in the media consistently rate Sukkur IBA as a top Institute throughout Interior Sindh, 98% employable record for graduates of Sukkur IBA, and availability of the best blend of faculty for both disciplines i.e. Business Administration and Information Technology.

Founded in 1994-95, the Institute is unmistakably modern in both appearance and outlook. Sukkur IBA's academic standards have been high ever since it was founded. The Institute is always building on this tradition of excellence innovative ways, resulting into superb learning opportunities for students.

The main campus is set amongst green fields, with open view across. The Institute's buildings are beautiful but light and functional 20 acre green field site contributes greatly to a general feel of space and calm. As a completely purpose-built development, the campus is more compact than most, with all major facilities easily accessible from a central parade. Laboratories and lecture facilities are all grouped around this area and are interspersed with accommodation blocks, creating a strong sense of social and academic community. A good number of high-quality PCs are offered for student to use on campus with free broadband access to the Internet. A recent program of major investment has seen the development of new accommodation and new facilities for academic Departments. The program of development is continuous.

For our students, it is characterized by a warm welcome the day they walk onto the campus, a stimulating learning environment, easily accessible help and support networks, an enviable social life, a vibrant Hall life, 1001 new opportunities to take advantage of, making friends for life, and moving on from the institute a stronger, richer and better person.

In many occupations, one's degree subject will not be an issue. More desirable are the' transferable skills' developed at Sukkur IBA, such as I organizing the time efficiently to meet deadlines and working well on one's own as well as in a group. Intellectual ability will be shown in his academic work, whilst his' practical and social skills, of great importance in nearly every job, will be demonstrated in his activities and interests. The array of opportunities to take part in activities and to develop the skills is vast, and is one of the reasons why Sukkur IBA graduates are so successful.

College life is one of the Institute's greatest assets, since a close college community provides a friendly and welcoming home for students who are living away for the first time. Students soon get to know each other, and tutors get to know students individually, enabling them to respond to their individual academic needs. Students have access to resources across the equipment and entertainment facilities. With clubs, societies and events a predominant sense of participation across campus; social functions are usually sell-out affairs.

The introduction of variable tuition fees marked a new era in Higher Education provision. By committing to do a degree, a student is making a vital investment in his future. The Institute is pleased to offer a range of scholarships to support those in financial need and widen participation in higher education. However, we appreciate that the students will want to be reassured that they are getting value for their money and time. At Sukkur IBA we can demonstrate that our graduates gain rewards over and above their financial investment.

If you are wondering which universities have an excellent record for graduate employment, the figures for Sukkur IBA should speak for themselves. Despite changing economic situations, the employment record among Sukkur IBA graduates has remained one of the best in the country) with our graduates entering a wide range of careers, regardless of degree subject. Many also go into further academic study or professional training. Sukkur IBA is an enterprise-rich Institute, proud of its strong links with industry, commerce and the professions. Our links with business and industry also allow us to offer a range of sandwich degrees. MBA-Banking & Finance in collaboration with IBP is one of the good examples of this, as very few educational institutes have privileged to offer such program. Sukkur IBA has a reputation for academic excellence. It is one of the few universities in the country that bases its teaching on the tutorial system, which means more individual attention and teaching from tutors, tailored to learning needs. It is accessible to all students of talent and ability, whatever their background. The availability of scholarships at Sukkur IBA ensures that finance should not be a barrier to any student who wants to apply.

Our aim is to provide the highest quality of educational experience for students from every walk of life. We want to ensure that our students are well equipped for their careers, professionally, intellectually and socially allowing them to make the most of the Sukkur IBA experience, and preparing themselves in the best possible way for their future. We were delighted, therefore, but not surprised, when Sukkur IBA was rated high for overall satisfaction by our own students.

At Sukkur IBA, graduate courses are tough: we offer a lot and we expect a lot. But if you have the commitment, the ability and the motivation, you can expect great rewards -exhilarating intellectual. Please come along to see for yourself what makes Sukkur IBA such a first class place to live and learn, some of our distinguishing features are as under,

> Linkage with reputed National & Foreign Universities and Industries.
> Raised standards of education through unique foundation semester.
> Continuous faculty development and research activities.
> State-of-the-art ICT infrastructure.
> Well-equipped & air-conditioned class rooms. Each class room has

Multimedia projector fixed on the roof of the class.

> Licensed software purchased under GEM school agreement with
> Microsoft (Year 2001) and MSDN AA (Year 2005).
> High speed internet with 9MB downlink & satellite uplink on all
> Core2 Duo computers for 24 hours.
> Central library with more than 15000 test and reference books.
> Subscription of 17 research journals of international repute.
> Access to digital library resources through PERN program.
> Wi -Fi connectivity & video conferencing facility on the computers.
> Furnished hostels for boys and girls at campus.
> Transportation facility.
> Uninterrupted power supply

We look forward to welcome you.