Islamabad  -   Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Monday called for active role of the educationists in developing mobile apps and contents for achieving the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).

Mobile technology could be more effective and result-oriented because of its existing wide-ranging network at the mass level, he said while addressing the inaugural session of two-day International conference on ‘Collective Action for Knowledge Economy with Technology (CAKE-Tech) held here at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).

The theme of the conference was to streamline the roadmap of concept for achieving the SDG,s in Pakistan with the use of cyber technology platform.

The conference was hosted by the AIOU in collaboration with Qarshi University, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and University of Management and Technology and largely attended by the country’s academicians and foreign delegates.

The minister hoped that educationalists and institutions of distance-learning like AIOU will come forward for developing quality-contents for delivering them through mobile services.

The idea of using mobile technology for the purpose of educating and helping the masses to participate in socio-economic development is very timely and innovative approach, he added.

The Minister said, he believes that the smart use of technology could be more feasible for transformation change in the mind-set of the masses. “We will be striving to achieve SDGs with the help of our educational institutions and with new innovative methods, he remarked. 

Shafqat Mahmood was confident that the present government will be succeed in enhancing the literacy rate from 58 to 70 per cent, by taking advantage of mobile technology.

“To enhance educational access to the rural area, the mobilization of technology will be imperative to overcome illiteracy problem,” he said, adding; the new technology is the best source to overcome the knowledge-gap and learning’s capacity-building.

At the outset, Minister congratulated Dr Zia-Ul-Qayyum for taking over his new responsibilities as VC AIOU, hoping that under his leadership the university will become a Center of Excellence.  

Earlier, welcoming the minister and foreign guests, Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Zia-Ul-Qayyum assured that AIOU will extend all possible support in achieving the stipulated targets in the educational sector, through maximum use of new technology in its educational pursuits.

Otto Evjenth, chairman Mare Nostrum, Norway was the key-note speaker at the inaugural session, who underlined the need of mobilizing cross-national and professional resources for CAKE-Tech outreach in remote areas.

Those who also addressed the inaugural session included Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abbas Choudhary, Rector, Virtual University, Prof Dr Naveed A Malik, Founding Rector of Virtual University and Otto Evjenth, chairman Mare Nostrum, Norway.