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Jens Zimmerman and PMOne of the largest education conferences the country has ever hosted, School of Tomorrow: Freedom to Learn  was organised by the Beaconhouse Group in Lahore on 5th and 6th November. For the first time, the conference was opened to anyone in the private and public sectors and NGOs who had a stake in improving schools.

The vision of the School of Tomorrow was the creation of a dynamic and evolving learning environment where the student can flourish through active involvement in the learning process, said Chief Executive Kasim Kasuri. He added that the underlying theme of the conference, Freedom to Learn, with its connotations of access to any form of schooling would, in the wake of the devastating floods, have particular significance in Pakistan and a priority for everyone would be the restoration of the educational infrastructure in the flood-ravaged areas.

Affirming that education was a top priority for his government, guest speaker Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani acknowledged the contribution Beaconhouse and its franchise The Educators had made towards raising the standard of education in Pakistan, making quality education more accessible and introducing innovative early education provision. He also praised the academic success of BSS students in the A Level and Matriculation programmes.

More than a thousand participants from Pakistan and nine other countries, including scholars, educationists, classroom practitioners, policy makers and professionals, attended the conference to discuss the future of education for children in general, and Pakistan in particular.

Twenty workshops on the first day were led by leading international educationists and thinkers – including Prof Andrew Goodwyn, Norbert Pachler, Thomas White, Dr Claude Alvares, Susan Waltham, Dr Catherine Wilson, Fauzia Shamim and Dennis Taylor. The discussions, ranging from early childhood education and new ways of teaching and learning, to leadership and school improvement, and teacher education, paved the way for the focus groups on the second day to develop strategies for the way forward.

Chairperson Mrs Nasreen M Kasuri expressed the hope that the learning that took place at the conference would be translated into effective recommendations and agendas for practitioners, curriculum developers, teacher trainers and leaders alike.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Richard Gerver, who won the prestigious “School Head Teacher of the Year Award” at the British National Teaching Awards in 2005 for his work in transforming a school on the brink of closure into one of the most innovative in the world. His message was that education and learning are about the quality of the journey and, if that journey was made meaningful and enjoyable, the outcome would take care of itself.

He also believed that a key ingredient for learning was the element of risk, and not being afraid to recognise that mistakes are what you make on your way to getting something right.

The conference closed on a positive and upbeat note, with a commitment to take on the challenge on finding a new way forward for education and the schools of tomorrow.

Billion Tree Campaign is a worldwide tree planting initiative facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme. People, communities, businesses industry, civil society organizations, governments are encouraged to play their role. The campaign strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees and trees that are appropriate to the local environment.

By the end of 2009, more than 7.4 billion trees had been planted under this campaign – far in excess of the year-end target of 7 billion – by participants in 170 countries. With this success continuing into 2010, the Billion Tree Campaign will make a substantial contribution to the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity for our well-being. Trees play a crucial role as fundamental components of the biodiversity that forms the foundation of the living networks and systems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, fuel and vital ecosystem services our lives depend on. They help provide breathable air, drinkable water, fertile soils and a stable climate. The billions of trees planted by the collective efforts of participants of the Billion Tree Campaign from all parts of society will contribute to biodiversity across the planet.

BOEP acquired & planted around 2750 plants in the BSS North in collaboration with Forest Department Punjab, CDA Islamabad and Ministry of Environment Pakistan. It also arranged awareness Programmes

All Beaconhouse Pre-schools (Bangsar, Jalan Gasing, Subang, Klang, Sri Petaling and Puchong) collaborated for the “1Malaysia, 1Beaconhouse: Children in Unity Carnival”, in May. The Carnival was hosted at Beaconhouse Sri Inai, Petaling Jaya.

This community project was an educational event and the proceeds from this Carnival were donated to the Tasputra Perkim NGO in Kuala Lumpur. Tasputra Perkim is Malaysia’s first non-profit, day-care centre for the physically, visually or mentally disabled children from lower-income families of all races and religions.

The “1Malaysia, 1Beaconhouse: Children in Unity” aimed to provide a common platform for Beaconhouse students and the children from Tasputra Perkim to enjoy themselves at the Carnival. This event served to bring together children from a different and diverse multicultural background on an equal platform; for Beaconhouse students it provided exposure to the less privileged and inculcated feelings of compassion, of understanding and extending help fellow to human beings. Tasputra Perkim students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and loved being part of such a venture.

The Regional Director Puan Zarina Mobarak cut the ribbon at the event, which signalled the release of bright colourful balloons in the sky and officially declared the event open.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Supervisor of Tasputra Perkim, Ms. Grace Jackson, Treasurer Ms. Khatijah Abdullah, Beaconhouse Head of Early Years, Mr. Mikel Liow, and all the School Heads from each branch.

The Carnival was a roaring success: a whopping 500-700 parents and children attended the event, 2050 coupon booklets were sold, the abundant food was nearly consumed and the attending families and friends had the time of their life! It was a brilliant effort with generous contributions and overwhelming support by the Beaconhouse students and staff.

‘Learning Links’ was formed in November 2009 with the intent of creating a network of schools to share and exchange information via technology.

A number of participating Beaconhouse schools from Pakistan are coming together to be part of a platform for sharing of IT resources, websites and experiences of ETAC lessons with a vision to collaborate and co-learn.

Intensive support and guidance is provided to facilitate joining members of the network in order to familiarise them with the project operations.

An increasing number of schools are joining in to be part of the network interacting with participating schools in the United Kingdom and India. Vigorous efforts are underway to expand the network of participating schools across the world.

The Microsoft Innovative Teachers’ Programme, a key component of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) efforts, has connected a community of educators who share a common interest in enhancing teaching and learning through the use of technology.
The programme provides classroom learning and professional development resources. It also recognizes and rewards teachers who demonstrate exemplary use of technology in the classroom, with their peers, and for their own professional development and productivity. In this context, a national level competition was announced. After reviewing project submissions, fourteen short-listed finalists from all over Pakistan were selected to present at the Microsoft Innovative Teacher’s Forum.
All three projects sent from the Beaconhouse School System were selected as finalists and invited to present their projects at the forum. Congratulations goes to Ms. Amber Mustafa, Education Technology Coordinator, SGIII, Central Region, Ms. Lubna Zeb, SM, Gujrat and Ms. Shazia Abbasi, SM, Boys Branch, Margalla Campus, Islamabad for this outstanding achievement.
On Monday, 9th August, 2010, at the Marriot in Islamabad, teachers from public and private schools from all over the country presented PowerPoint presentations to a panel of highly qualified judges. All of the Beaconhouse staff in attendance benefited from the exposure of technology integrated learning and teaching innovations and will bring back new ideas to our classrooms. They were awarded shields and certificates for participation and their projects were appreciated by the judges and other participants.

An essential component of our corporate social responsibility is to care for the community. NLL endeavor to make a positive contribution to the underprivileged communities by supporting a wide range of socio-economic, educational and health initiatives.

NLL strongly belives in Nurturing & Enriching its Human capital & workforce in an efforts to make life worth living for workmen. These efforts has delivered to win over employee’s loyalty, satisfactory, productivity and increase their morale.

Nectar Lifesciences Limited opened a charitable, registered vocational Institute on 18th May 2010 called Nectar Polytechnic for women (A unit of Nectar Lifesciences Charitable Foundation) under the Act XXI of 1860.

NLL’s EHS (Environment Health & Safety Cell) strictly adheres to the US Environmental Protection Agency's principles of Green Chemistry to comply & fulfill inhouse mandatory guidelines

Pharmaceutical firm NecLife Lifesciences today announced that it has received Korean food and drug administration's (K-FDA) approval for Cefuroxime Axetil (Amorphous).