ISLAMABAD - Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that the establishment of SMART school is a major step towards first goal of Vision 2025 and the federal government will set up 32 such schools in entire Pakistan.

‘SMART schools for tomorrow’, is the vision of current government and for this we need to utilise the blended learning methods for students to inspire creativity in them, the minister said while chairing a high level meeting which was held to review progress on the SMART schools. The meeting was also attended by State Minister for Capital administration and Development Authority (CADD) Tariq Fazal Chaudhary and other officials of CADD division and Ministry of Planning.

Ahsan Iqbal directed the CADD to make SMART School project a flagship project and develop the education system in Islamabad on the lines that it would be model for the whole country.

Under the project 32 schools will be transformed into SMART schools by employing blended learning. Out of 32 schools 24 will be chosen from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 8 will be chosen from the provinces. The project is a pilot which is aimed at bringing a paradigm shift by introducing computer based learning experience in education for children of government schools. Although education is a devolved subject but federal government is playing its supportive role to bring innovation in education, Minister Ahsan Iqbal said.

He further said that the project is part of education reforms of Prime Minister, which aims at “better schools” for tomorrow. The minister noted that SMART schools project was originally initiated in 1999 and if it would have continued then by now we would have 3000 SMART schools in the country but toppling of democratic government stalled the process.

Ahsan Iqbal said that SMART School project will revolutionise the education system and contribute to promote the creativity and innovation among students. The success of the project lies in better and efficient use of technology. The smart school is about employing technology to improve learning outcomes of students and brighten them chances of better livelihood. Minister said that the success of this project depends upon the training of teachers and head masters . Teachers should be trained to give their best to students , he added .Ahsan Iqbal  said that the smart school project would be role model for other provinces to follow ..

Ahsan Iqbal also highlighted about the major initiatives taken in the education sector by the government. “We have launched National Curriculum reforms  , Examination System Reforms and Transformational teacher training initiatives for bringing radical changes in the education sector,”.

State Minister for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary appreciated the innovative idea of Ministry of Planning and assured that his ministry would provide the required  resources to implement this project .

The scheme basically relates to improvement in the quality of education and is an important ingredient of Vision 2025. The project of worth Rs 677 million would be completed in 36 months . It would help to bring improvement in education quality through technology-enabled learning in government schools from class 3 to 8. This project would enable 32 government schools (16 boys + 16 girls schools) in the country with relevant technology infrastructure to implement blended learning. The project aim to change the culture and practices by moving away from memory-based learning designed for the average student to an education that stimulates thinking and creativity in students.