Pakistan’s First Weidong Smart Classroom in UET Lahore: A Timely Step Towards Online Quality Higher Education in the CountryAugust 23, 2019
During the first two weeks of July 2019, Hassan Shehzad, CTO of IT and Enterprise Partnership Office at International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHEI), visited Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS) at University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, to successfully deploy the first-ever Weidong Smart Classroom project in Pakistan.
Prior to unpacking and assembling of the sent devices from Shenzhen, P.R. China, extensive rounds of communications were conducted to set up the facility according to the requirements and to prepare the equipment as intended for the anticipated deliverables. To formally commence the installation, a visit was paid to Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director KICS, to discuss the preliminaries of project and its utilization in effective manners. It was stressed during the meeting that not only serving the purpose at UET’s main campus in Lahore, Weidong Smart Classroom project also intended to connect other campuses of UET in all over Pakistan. The connectivity with other campuses, which is of prime significance, will set up after running the established facility for few months so that the UET students from other campuses can get benefited of quality lectures delivery, in the form of broadcasting and recordings, in Smart Classroom facility from UET’s main campus in Lahore. The quality lectures, which are going to broadcast and record by using Smart Classroom facilities, will also contribute as a repository for International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) to give lifelong learning opportunities for all.
After assembling, installing, configuring and successfully testing the functionalities of devices, multiple rounds of trainings were conducted for faculty and technical staff. The attendees – both technical and academics – were amazed to know and experience the latest trends in Higher Education in Shenzhen/China and were so excited to operate the latest devices of Weidong Smart Classroom. Faculty learned about the functionalities and usage of devices, and technical staff learned hardware and software settings and configuration.
The deployed project facility at KICS/UET has entered its functioning phase after successfully completion and installing of equipment as well as the training of personnel. This is a very first project of its kind in Pakistan, called Weidong Smart Classroom at UET Lahore, which is a success story of a deep collaboration between Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHEI) and Weidong Cloud Education Group; the donor of all the devices. ICHEI assured the commitment to assist KICS/UET in linking up for more collaborative opportunities with universities, MOOCs providers, enterprises and partners in China and beyond. To prepare students with in-demand competencies in new era of innovations in higher education, offering quality courses and educational resources have great potential to benefit wider audience and support the higher education in Pakistan to achieve Education 2030 agenda, KICS and UNESCO-ICHEI concluded.