Need to overhaul entire education, examination system: Alvi

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President Dr Arif Alvi has underlined the need to overhaul the entire education and examination system of the country, especially in the professional fields such as medicine, engineering, and IT, to bring it at par with international standards and produce quality human resources. The President expressed these views while addressing the International Medical Education Conference 2023 at College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) in Karachi, on Friday.

The Conference was attended by medical professional and 33 delegates from 13 different countries. President Dr Arif Alvi graced the banquet dinner given in the honour of international delegates. Addressing the occasion, the President regretted the decline in the quality of education in the country and called for undertaking timely measures to improve educational standards throughout the country.

He said that it was the responsibility of intelligentsia to focus and invest in the intellectual development of Pakistan, especially its youth, and make efforts for developing international standard institutions in the country. The President highlighted that due to rapid advancements in technology, the entire system of education was undergoing change as earlier medical education system that was more focused on memorization was now being replaced and complemented by technology focused more on comprehension and analysis.

He said that Artificial Intelligence, image and pattern recognition technologies could help physicians in better diagnosis of different diseases, besides reducing the need to memorize all the symptoms of different diseases. The President also underlined that the technology, however, was not without its challenges, saying that advancements in the language models such as Chat GPT and chatbots would also affect the quality of work produced, and the authenticity and originality of dissertations and research in the academic sector.

The President said that decision-makers throughout the globe were unable to fully grasp the pace of changes happening in different fields and needed to make fast-paced decisions to keep up with the rapid advancements in different fields, including medicine. He added that that Pakistan too needed to make timely decisions, update its systems, and build institutions to keep pace with the rapid changes in all sectors, especially in the field of IT. The President also called for utilizing data and statistics in overcoming human biases and prejudices in the interviewing process to bring improvements in the examination system.

He added that research should also be conducted on the process of examination and outdated methods should be replaced with modern ones to produce quality and better trained professionals. Referring to the success stories of Virtual University and Allama Iqbal Open University, the President exhorted on introducing online and hybrid education system in the country in addition to traditional means of imparting education to increase the number of graduates in a short span of time.

The President also appreciated the excellent work done by the CPSP since 1962, adding that CPSP was playing an important role in achieving excellence in the field of medical education.