Rawalpindi    -   Keeping up with the traditions of providing an outstanding research environment which is full of diversity and innovation, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) commenced  a  two-day national conference titled ‘Promoting Teaching and Assessment of Higher Order Thinking Skills in 21st Century: Possibilities, Challenges and Way Forward’ in the campus on Thursday. 

The core purpose behind this conference is to provide an opportunity to the educationists to strengthen the discourse on educational practices, latest research trends, prospects and challenges in teaching and assessment of higher order thinking skills across the disciplines. 

It was also to propose the framework on the basis of suggestions given by the researchers for inclusion of higher order thinking skills in higher education for national holistic development in the context of curriculum development, teaching and assessment in 21st century. Chief guest of the opening ceremony was the Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Dr. Saima Hamid while keynote speaker was Dr. Nasir Mahmud, Dean, Faculty of Education, AIOU.

Dr. Saima Hamid said that this conference is a joint venture of the Department of Education and the Department of English and such coordinations shall pave a way for future multidisciplinary collaboration and research. She also emphasised that the conference theme and objectives are pertinent to the current issues and challenges faced by universities in Pakistan – especially in relation to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. She added that the development of higher order thinking skills is directly related to the development of Pakistan and it is the most neglecting aspect in our education system and that’s why we face stagnation in certain educational development areas. She further hoped that these kinds of deliberations will lay out the map to realign the thinking and shall pave a path for all of us to achieve clarity in planning higher education in Pakistan. She urged senior faculty researchers to set realistic targets and devise expert teams to achieve them.

Keynote speaker Dr. Nasir Mahmud focused on ‘Assessment Challenges in Higher Order Learning.’ Dr. Nasir eloquently elaborated on the significance of higher order learning, skill development and their significance for the education sector in Pakistan. Moreover, he highlighted the reasons for the limited success of various educational policies which have been implemented in Pakistan at various levels in the last couple of decades. He further mentioned the subsequent challenges faced by the education sector in Pakistan in aligning content and context. He concluded his address by underscoring the need to contextualise learning at various levels. The closing ceremony shall take place tomorrow in the campus. Multiple eminent scholars will discuss their research papers with students using online mechanisms.