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The workshops were hosted at the NLC-funded Army Public School Fort Road in Rawalpindi near the central ordinance depot. The school, inaugurated by Army Chief General Kiyani in 2013, was part of a larger school-park theme which can be observed in the development of a massive park by the school and is one of the largest in Rawalpindi with 4,000 students, but what really sets it apart is its student to teacher ratio. It has a 1:20 ratio which makes it one of the most personalized and enriching teaching experiences countrywide.
The NLC’s systems today are technologically advanced and it has installed computerized monitoring systems in its entire fleet of 800 prime movers/heavy vehicles.
On the 7th, the workshop began at 9AM and lasted until late in the evening to 7PM. On the 8th, the workshop was relatively shorter, from 9AM to 2:15PM. In the sum total of 15 hours, a lineup composed of educational experts and professionally relevant speakers managed to outline a visionary framework for the future trajectory of educational methodology in Pakistan.
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Student Centric Reforms?
Student-centric reforms were said to be the key to achieving the workshop’s goal, which was promoting “compatible education to arrest negative tendencies in students.” The specific points of focus would be psycho-physiological challenges, teaching, parenting, character building & personality development. The seminar was aimed at teaching teachers how to incorporate these practices into their teaching.
The workshops were hosted at the NLC-funded Army Public School Fort Road in Rawalpindi near the central ordnance depot.
With 400 teachers present from multiple APS branches, the ripple effects of such training can benefit students in the APS system far and wide. The school is a part of the extensive chain of institutions run by the Army Public schools and Colleges System. The network of school which spans 5 provinces and 11 regions of Pakistan have 168 branches with around 200,000 students enrolled.
The detailed workshops hoped to bring together experts and professionals to brainstorm effective ways to carry out fundamental changes in the teaching modules currently used by schools throughout Pakistan to make them more applicable to the multi-faceted challenges faced by millennials and particularly Generation Z students. Technological change and the demand for interdisciplinary degrees and the newfound value of emotional quotients (EQ) present unlimited opportunities for the youth to exploit just if they are taught how to grapple with these incoming norms.
The school, which offers 3 different boards that students can opt for as per their preference, is already renowned for its mix of academic and co-curricular excellence. Its students have collectively won 45 gold medals in academics, swimming, debating and other activities between 2016 and 2019, making for a stellar record. This performance would be only be enhanced by such timely practices.
The APS Fort Road is already a leader in social responsibility, providing free education to the children of martyrs and handing out 80 scholarships to talented students between the 10th and 11th grade annually. It is a stand-out establishment run by a dedicated principal, Brig Saifullah Dharejo (Retd).
Student-centric reforms were said to be the key to achieving the workshop’s goal, which was promoting “compatible education to arrest negative tendencies in students.”
Being one of 60 APS branches just in Rawalpindi (which has the highest concentration of branches anywhere in the country), the Fort Road School is providing a bright future to many young, talented people in close accordance with its motto, “I will rise and shine.” The APS network began in 1975, and has become one of the leading providers of education in the entire country.
Prominent personalities who spoke at the event were Mr. Qasim Ali Shah, prominent motivational speaker, Maj Gen Arif Malik, DG ANF, Brig Dr. Mowadat Hussain Rana (Retd), ex commandant Armed Forces Institute of Mental Health, Ammar bin Zulfiqar, ex-student APS, Ms. Hira Asim, motivational speaker & ex-student NUST and Maj Gen Muhammad Asim Iqbal, DG NLC.
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Specific problems and solutions given by the experts
The relevant experts present at the workshop included renowned educationist Brig Abdul Khaliq (Retd) and Dr. Sobia Masood, assistant professor of psychology at the National Institute of Psychology. They informed the teachers of the problems students typically face and introduced them to progressive measures to deal with those problems.
The conclusions reached at the workshop are to be passed on to educational institutes and regulatory authorities for review and assessment on how they can be implemented in the current educational framework and be of maximum utility to students. This holistic approach to learning being highlighted by the NLC in this workshop is a forward-thinking concept and is far ahead of its time in Pakistan.
The relevant experts present at the workshop included renowned educationist Brig Abdul Khaliq assistant professor of psychology at the National Institute of Psychology.
According to the experts conducting the program, new curricula should be contributing to the development of skills outside the classroom. With the backdrop of a growing awareness globally of mental health and general psychological well-being, teaching methodologies should also take the happiness of their students into account as it is a central factor to how successful they end up being in their chosen field of study or work.
The multitude of pressures that can surround adolescents in their school and university years include peer pressure, pressure from parents to achieve a high GPA or adopt a certain profession, or even pressure from teachers who have higher expectations from them. The experts posited that these various stresses can accumulate, and any combination of these pressures can lead to a negative reaction by a student.
The experts elaborated that these reactions can include stress-induced pains, depression, heavy drug usage and even suicidal tendencies in students. They explained that a multidimensional approach to teaching that involved the parents and the well-being of the child as major factors would always be more fruitful than simply what is tested on paper.
If students were taught to have self-worth and develop themselves as people rather than simply exam-takers, they could excel in the real world through their interpersonal skills and interdisciplinary leadership qualities. The education system must be redesigned in a manner that makes children want to learn.
This holistic approach to learning being highlighted by the NLC in this workshop is a forward-thinking concept and is far ahead of its time in Pakistan.
An environment of fostering growth must be created within classrooms, and a nurturing and encouraging attitude towards personal and professional development must be adopted by parents in the home. It is only by affirming this symbiotic relationship that the maximum benefits of these modern educational “best practices” can be accrued. The Quartermaster General and Director General NLC’s closing remarks ended the workshops on a motivational note, and much progress can be expected in the future.
The NLC as a corporate entity
The National Logistic Cell (NLC) was created in 1978 by the Government of Pakistan. It is managed by the Armed Forces for Crisis Management Tasks during natural disasters and emergencies like strikes and port congestions etc. while maintaining those strategic aspects, today the NLC also operates 10% of the total freight market.
The NLC’s systems today are technologically advanced and it has installed computerized monitoring systems in its entire fleet of 800 prime movers/heavy vehicles. It also boasts a network of support facilities all over the country such as Trans freight stations and workshops, that aid its transportation of palm and crude oil, fertilizer, wheat and other goods. It is also a key contractor for infrastructure projects around the country, such as the Karachi Green Line bus project that is underway.