LAHORE: Exploring the future of learning and schools, the fourth School of Tomorrow Conference organized by Beaconhouse School System (BSS) kicked off at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s first overseas educational conference participated by teachers, school leaders, change agents, policy makers and government officials from across Pakistan, Malaysia, the UAE, Oman, the UK, the US, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia.
The two-day conference also marks the 37th anniversary of the BSS. The first day of conference was addressed by renowned educationists, experts and scholars including renowned inspirational speaker and author of ‘Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today’ Richard Gerver, CEO of Beaconhouse Kasim Kasuri, Alma Harris, Diana Laufenberg, Pamela Mundy, Zachary Chase, Gigi Schweikert, Ayesha Kasuri and Mary Louise Holly.
The theme of the conference ‘Empowering Lifelong Learners’ is particularly important at this time because the Malaysian government has recognised the significance of lifelong learning in meeting the challenges of a knowledge and skills-based economy and is adopting a policy that will encourage and eventually ensure that a culture of learning is embedded in the daily lives of the people.
Richard Gerver delivered the keynote address to internationally recognised delegates as well as teachers and school heads from public and private schools in Malaysia. Gerver said, “We, as educationist, need to focus on what really matters – our children, their potential and the challenges they face in an increasingly changing world.
We as educationists are instrumental in providing learning that is meaningful for children in order for them to be resilient, self-confident, creative, entrepreneurial, curious, flexible and collaborative.”Gerver continued by stressing, “We need to focus on the development of these skills and ensure that every one of our children has the opportunity to discover and develop their unique potential. We must remember that academic prowess is just one aptitude.
I have urged educators to start from the beginning to consider how to develop a system focused on the individual but also a system rich in a celebration of living life, lifelong learning and laughter and enjoyment. Most of all, I want people to capture what makes Beaconhouse so special and explore ways to further that commitment.”
He was followed a panel discussion featuring Alma Harris, Diana Laufenberg, Pamela Mundy and Richard Gerver, moderated by Kasim Kasuri, the CEO of Beaconhouse. The session focused on setting directions for the two days and again the emphasis was on creating independent and self-motivated learners and teachers that inspire and facilitate this process.
Kasim Kasuri concluded the ‘Setting Directions’ session by saying, “There needs to be an immediate paradigm shift in the methods of education on a global level. We need to create an environment where students take ownership of their own learning and where teachers play the role of facilitators.
We want to challenge and shake up the current mindset in education, even amongst the experts and educationists, the scholars and the professors, and change the way we do things. Our ultimate aim is to pave the way into creating empowered life-long learners who will form a better workforce for the future.”The participants were then split into three ground breaker sessions running, Teach, Learn and inspire: Innovative methods of teaching and learning for the primary years, Early childhood education: yesterday, today and tomorrow and Building effective learning communities; strategies for leadership, learning and collaboration.
Workshops on “Learning without boundaries”, “The power of positive interaction with children”, ‘Leaders: appointed or anointed” led by Ayesha Kasuri, Gigi Schweikert and Christian Wise were also conducted.The final proceeding of the day was a plenary session facilitated by Dr Alma Harris.The conference will continue and conclude on Wednesday (today). – Brecorder