The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a magnifying glass on the realities of access to resources across the globe – particularly within the education space that has required educators, learners and parents alike to be aware of the realities that existed across the spectrum before its initial onset. In response to this and the new realities that have surfaced, Microsoft, in partnership with its Showcase schools and Global Training Partners, hosted a virtual event entitled Reimagine Education: EduDays – Leaders Track.
His Excellency President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi joined as a Chief Guest and reiterated that “The brick and Mortar System of Education in Pakistan needed the ability to share knowledge beyond physical limitations and at a much faster pace and Microsoft Teams in Pakistan has done exactly that “
Designed to address the needs of the education industry, the event brought media, key spokespeople and leaders together to discuss and track successes, unpack and delve deeper into the transformation of education in the era of hybrid learning, exploring ways to engage with educators and leaders in the field as well as ways to support teachers and student outcomes in the ‘new normal’.
Speaking to the importance of providing a platform from which to discuss these issues and track progress, Mr. Ibrahim Youssry, General Manager, Microsoft MCC said that openly discussing the trials, errors and successes of how the educational sphere has navigated through this period has the ability to provide a sense of tangible progress and clearer goalposts .
At its very peak, research had shown that the pandemic left 1.6 billion students out of school and without access to connectivity and resources of weeks. Looking closer at Pakistan, an estimated 930,000 learners of out 22 million already missing school have been pushed to drop out due to the pandemic. Conversations like the one today makes way for a continues call to action when it comes to embracing innovative technologies to steer this change.
“As we have begun to witness the shift to a learner-centered system, one that is galvanised by technology and driven by education steeped in purpose and meaning, we’ve started seeing success stories from institutions in Sindh that have entered the ‘growth zone’ where it becomes clear that technology is a crucial part of the solution during the disruption and beyond,” continues Dr. Fouzia Khan; Additional Secretary SELD Govt of Sindh. There has been a recognition that a blended, hybrid learning model is pivotal – more than a quick fix, and a way to enhance and accelerate learning by providing student centered approaches to meet diverse learners needs.
Dignified Speakers like Ms Hajra Afzal CTO Punjab Group of Colleges, Mr Ali Salman Chairperson Punjab TEVTA and Ms Shahpara Rizvi Director Trainings and Assessment SEF- Government of Sindh also shared their organisation’s experiences around the use of Azure, Dynamics, Teams and Future Ready skills of Microsoft.
“Looking forward, ‘Reimagining’ will become a word synonymous with how the rollout of education is approached from start to finish. New data-based technologies have opened up ways to transform practices, structures, and even cultures in schools.
Microsoft’s commitment to education remains at the core of our mission and we will continue to push boundaries in this space – ensuring learners, parents and educators gain the most out of this process,” concludes Angela Nganga, education Director Microsoft MEA MCC