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China’s smart classrooms transforming higher education in Pakistan

by Haroon Amin
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Saima Noreen, a management sciences student, attended a thorough lecture on business communication from an experienced professor who spoke at the University of Gujrat’s main campus in the recently opened smart classroom. The lecture took place in a remote sub-campus of Mandi Bahauddin in the east Punjab province of Pakistan.

Through the smart classroom students in remote areas are gaining access to lectures from seasoned professors at the main campus of the university.

The Chinese government and people have donated 100 classrooms, including the one on Noreen’s campus, to support remote learning in Pakistan. The cutting-edge facility has been widely praised for its many advantages, improving the educational experience for students all over Pakistan.

A wide range of tools are available in every classroom, such as interactive whiteboards, virtual desktops, e-learning modules, classroom control systems, live virtual classrooms, interactive displays, and a cutting-edge control centre.

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Recently, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan opened classes all over the nation. This was a historic occasion because it was the first time that students from roughly 90 campuses nationally had attended such a ceremony.

According to Noreen, the digital project is a break from traditional methods and emphasises how technology is becoming more and more integrated into education, which makes students from different places feel more connected to one another.

The head of HEC’s information technology department, Jamil Ahmad, told Xinhua that hundreds of thousands of students in Pakistan attend lectures through smart classrooms each month, adding that the technology will change the country’s educational landscape.

He said, “These classrooms are models, and the HEC plans to expand them to over 1,000 campuses nationwide in the next phase.” Students in rural locations would be able to learn from renowned scholars and specialists in major cities via the classroom screens, he said.

As a tool intended to improve the relationship between teachers and students in the context of online learning, Ahmad claimed that the Smart Classroom is a paradigm shift in educational technology.

In Pakistan, smart classrooms were recently inaugurated with Chinese assistance, and educators, students, and government all feel that this is a big step towards closing the educational gaps in the country, providing students with state-of-the-art tools, and encouraging a technologically advanced, collaborative learning environment.

Under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the flagship project known as CPEC was first introduced in 2013. It is a corridor that connects Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s southwest Gwadar port, emphasising cooperative efforts in transportation, energy, and industry.

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