Sikh professor tapped for UNESCO chair

Professor Dr. Abtar Darshan Singh

By Asia Samachar | Malaysia |

A Malaysian-based professor has been tapped for the Unesco Chair on Harnessing Innovations in Technology to Support Teachers & Quality Learning.

Professor Dr. Abtar Darshan Singh becomes the first academic in a Malaysian private university to be appointed to the coveted position, reports a local newspaper. She will serve a four-year term.

This is Abtar’s second brush with Unesco. In 2015, she won the top prize in the Unesco Institute International Competition in Education, then held in St Petersburg.

Abtar is currently Professor of Innovative Digital Learning & Director of the Digital Learning Hub at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU).

Dr Abtar Kaur is a professor of innovative digital learning at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU). She is also the director of university’s Digital Learning Hub.

As the UNESCO Chair, Abtar will drive research, training and knowledge-sharing initiatives on harnessing innovations in technology to support teachers and quality in teaching and learning in Malaysia as well as developing economies in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. This also includes equipping teachers and professionals in education with state-of-the-art knowledge and tools to enhance hybrid learning, which has become increasingly important in the post-pandemic learning context, reported The Sun.

A key objective of the UNESCO Chair is to foster collaboration among stakeholders in education and leverage technological innovations to promote inclusive education for everyone including girls and children. It is an integral part of UNESCO’s wider Medium-Term Strategy and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to leverage education programmes to reduce poverty.

Dr Abtar obtained a Master of Science in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University in the United States, and a PhD in Web-Based Learning from Universiti Malaya. Abtar did her post-doctoral research (Fulbright) at Indiana University, the US.

Malaysia is seat to two other Unesco chairs. They are the Unesco Chair on Social Practices in Intercultural Communication and Social Cohesion (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) and Unesco Chair on Ecohydraulics for Sustainable Water Infrastructures for SDG 6 in the Asia and the Pacific Region (Universiti Sains Malaysia).


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