Lahore: The first all Pakistan Career Counselors’ Symposium was inaugurated on Tuesday, March 14, 2012 at the Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Tarogil Campus by the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Sartaj Aziz. The symposium was organized by the British Council, Pakistan in partnership with BNU and was attended by over 160 counselors from across Pakistan. The symposium was spread over two days and featured a variety of sessions which were of immense relevance to the capacity development requirements of career counselors.
The Vice Chancellor in his welcome address emphasized the importance of Career Counseling at all educational levels and appreciated this maiden initiative by the British Council Pakistan for assembling the counselors on a single platform. He suggested documenting the proceedings of various sessions which can serve as a handbook for those related to the profession of career counseling.
The address was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Sidrah Iqbal. The panel included Dean, School of Visual Arts and Design at BNU, Prof. Salima Hashmi, Dean, School of Liberal and Social Sciences, BNU, Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha, Vice Chancellor, Lahore College for Women University, Dr. Sabiha Mansoor and Head of Education UK, Ms. Nadia Kamran.
While responding to focused questions from the moderator, Prof. Salima Hashmi said, “Times have radically changed. At BNU we believe in blurring boundaries between various disciplines with the objective of providing a truly Liberal Arts education”. She stressed upon the need for interdisciplinarity and creativity to address the responsive needs of our changing times.
Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha in response to a question on making academic choices said, “While there was a five-time expansion in enrollment in higher education in the last decade, with the economy in recession, employability of graduates has become a serious issue. Even business graduates are having difficulty in finding jobs in the corporate sector”. He said academic choices need to be made for social impact, he remarked, “Pakistan today has lost its soul. Too much body”. He elaborated upon the need to create philosophers, writers, poets, linguists to breathe the soul back into the society.