A university focussed on innovative teaching techniques
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Efforts are being made at a fast clip to deal with the challenged facing the Balkh University, including improvedteaching standards, the chancellor says.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Prof. Mukamil Alokozai referred to a radical shift in the teaching approach from reliance on notes to the use of computers and projectors.
One of the best educational institutions across the country, the Balkh University serves a huge catchment areas in the north. About 18,000 students, including girls, are enrolled in different departments of the university.
The chancellor said they were on the threshold on a staff capacity-building initiative to improve the teaching standards. The university has 446 teachers, 50 percent of them having just graduates.
He added they were in touch with 20 different universities around the globe on enhancing teachers’ capacity through training courses, workshops, masters and doctorate programmes.
More than 100 teachers are currently pursuing masters and PhDs in various international varsities, according to the chancellor, who said 80 of the staffers had recently returned to resume duties after completing similar programmes.
With an eye on providing quality education, the university management regularly evaluates its teaching staff. Similarly, students are afforded an opportunity to participate in the teaching process as well to judge the performance of their teachers.
Similarly, the Teacher Evaluation Committee also appraises staff performance on a regular basis. The evaluation reports were placed in service files, an exercise that encourages teachers to bring innovative changes to their teaching methodology.
Alokozai revealed the Balkh University teachers had been evaluated seven times during the current academic year. However, he acknowledged, the management was still up against odds in improving teaching services.
Laboratory services is an area that needs upgrades, according to the official, who also stressed the need for overcoming classroom and hostel inadequacies to resolve the major problems being encountered by the university.
Prof. Alokozai said determined efforts were underway to resolve the problems. Construction work has been launched on separate hostels for boys and girls.
The space problem would be resolved with the completion of a new university building on the Kabul-Balkh road outside the provincial capital, the chancellor hoped.
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