UNESCO-ICHEI supports Pakistan with its first state-of-the-art Weidong Smart Classroom at UET LahoreDecember 22, 2019
On December 17, 2019, along with the opening ceremony of the 13th International Conference on Open Source Systems and Technologies 2019 (ICOSST 2019) at University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, the official inauguration of Weidong Smart Classroom was also held at Main Auditorium of UET Lahore in Pakistan. Mr. Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz, Minister for Higher Education & Information Technology at Government of The Punjab, Professor Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Chairman of Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), Mr. Long Dingbin, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate-General in Lahore, Pakistan, Professor Dr. Li Ming, Director of International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI), Dr. Li Xu, Deputy Director Global Engagement Office at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen of China, Mr. Yuan Hao, Global CEO of China Weidong Cloud Education Group, Dr. Syed Mansoor Sarwar, Vice Chancellor of UET Lahore, Mr. Naeem Tariq, Rector of Virtual University of Pakistan (VU), Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Al-Khawarazmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS) in UET Lahore, and other distinguished guests from academia and industries attended the unveiling ceremony of Pakistani’s first-ever Weidong Smart Classroom facility at UET Lahore.
In response to the “Belt and Road”, an initiative by the People’s Republic of China, to support higher education systems in developing countries in order to improve the quality of education and to promote equity by offering life-long learning opportunities for all, the UNECO-ICHEI fully realizes the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) that can enhance higher education systems in the world. Relying on the world-class faculties of SUSTech, it combines top-notch Chinese enterprises and cooperates with top-tier local universities in Asian and African regions to bring the innovation at institutional level. Thus, the Weidong Smart Classroom Project is a flagship project of UNESCO-ICHEI. The equipment and logistics are fully sponsored by China’s Weidong Cloud Education Group to establish and cooperate with six top universities in six Asian and African countries, including Pakistan. Its purpose is to answer the lack and uneven distribution of quality educational resources for higher studies, help enhancing teachers’ ICT capabilities in teaching and scientific research, improve the efficiency of higher education management, and strengthen the international mechanism of industry-university-research exchanges and cooperation.
Weidong’s first Smart Classroom in Pakistan, which is located in the main auditorium of University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, will serve as a model for the country’s top-level design of ICT applications to promote innovation in higher education. Professor Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Chairman of the Punjab Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, specially proposed that, with the help of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Punjab Higher Education Commission will continue to expand the project with the help of Weidong Cloud Education Group and equip other higher education institutions in Punjab with latest ICT-driven models. Smart Classrooms will achieve co-creation and co-sharing of educational resources. To summarize by initiating the cooperation, the Punjab Higher Education Commission and Weidong Cloud Education Group signed a memorandum of understanding on the project.
Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director of Al-Khawarazmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS) from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan, said that the cooperation between University of Engineering and Technology Lahore and the UNESCO-ICHEI has yielded fruitful results, and the Smart Classroom is also aligned with the education sector of the Pakistani government which is dedicated to the vision of higher education development (2017- 2025). He also mentioned that that University of Engineering and Technology Lahore is already at the forefront of proposed higher education reforms in the country.
Mr. Long Dingbin, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate-General in Lahore, Pakistan, said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has added new meaning to the long-lasting traditional friendship between the two countries. Now that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has entered the stage of people’s livelihood, education is an important part of bilateral cooperation, and smart classrooms are also shaping the educational cooperation between the two countries.
Director Li Ming of UNESCO-ICHEI praised that the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore has been Centre’s one of most active and trusted partners in the Asia-Pacific region. The smart classroom will provide a strong bond of confidence and guarantee for university teachers to improve their ICT capabilities and build a platform where the sharing of teaching and learning resources can be achieved.
The Smart Classroom project, a plan outlined and led by UNESCO-ICHEI in Shenzhen, that relies on strong academic support from the Southern University of Science and Technology, and donated by China’s high-tech education informatization enterprises, will soon be established in 11 other Asian and African member countries of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to contribute in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Education 2030 agenda) for equitable quality higher education for all.