Abu Dhabi: Pakistan has offered to the Muslim countries to assist them in the higher education sector besides technical education and skills training for the better future in the comity of nations.
Federal Education and Professional Training Secretary Dr Sajid Yoosufani offered the support in his speech at the two-day 40th session of the executive council of Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) - which started off in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The two-day meeting is being held this year with representatives from 54 member states.
‘To keep up pace with the new, changing world, Muslim nations must adapt to innovations and technologies, especially in education and science, he said.
The secretary stated that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan also recently launched a massive programme Hunarmand Jawan programme — the country’s largest-ever skilled development programme aimed at the "emancipation of youth" through quality professional training.
He further stated that it was need of the hour Muslim countries take to innovative measures to stay afloat with the modern world that has already stepped up in the world of artificial intelligence and cyberspace. "We need to focus on human development by integrating new technologies and innovations in the education system."
On the inaugural day of the session, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development talked about the importance of cooperation among Islamic nations to meet the needs of the people in education, culture, and science.
She said ‘this is key developing human capabilities in terms of creativity, innovation and in using new technologies.’
"The Islamic world is going through a scope of changes that requires us to adapt to these changes through innovation, technologies and dialogue, which would help us uphold the core pillars of our religion," said Al Kaabi, who also chairs the National Commission for Education, Culture and Science.
The two-day Isesco forum aims to strengthen cooperation among its member-states and make the most of this collaboration in developing education, science, culture and communication.
Dr Salim bin Mohammed Al Malik, director-general of Isesco, said the Islamic world needs to develop an action mechanism for a new future.
"We have developed strategic plans to transform Isesco into an excellent and efficient organisation in upholding Islamic values and principles and as a beacon of sustainable development worldwide," he said, adding that member-states were actively supporting educational and cultural projects.
Dr Al Malik said ISESCO shall have an annual budget of $50 million by end of 2020 and half a billion dollars by end of 2025.
This meeting reviewed, over the course of two days, the organization’s new vision, action plan for 2020-2021, the new Medium-Term Strategic Plan for 2020-2030, and a number of organizational matters submitted by the General Directorate to the Council.
Notably, the Executive Council ISESCO also approved amending the name of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, ISWESCO.
"Changing the name of the organisation aims to remove the common confusion regarding the nature of its non-advocacy tasks, and to open wider horizons for its presence at the international level," Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ISWESCO Director-General, said.
"The new name accurately reflects the nature of the civilisational mission that the organisation promotes in the fields of education, science, culture and communication, and the goals and objectives that it aims to achieve."
Pakistan’s Federal Secretary Education Yoosufani also supported the change of name terming it an effort to bring clarity to the title of the forum and making it exclusive.
Other representatives from different Muslim countries also talked about the challenges Ummah facing and how to overcome.