- The Institute executes LMS, Hybrid Model plans to continue academic activities
- Govt taking best necessary steps to contain virus spread, but vaccination process needs to be expedited
Interview with Mr. Talib Karim – President, Institute of Business Management (IoBM)
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and IoBM, please:
Talib Karim: Since 2017, I have been serving as the President of IoBM. From the time of IoBM’s inception in 1995 until 2017, I served as the Executive Director and then the Rector. IoBM was the dream-come-true reality of our late Founder President, Shahjehan S. Karim. He envisioned establishing a business school to impart higher education. During the last 25 years, IoBM has been imparting Bachelor’s and Master’s level degrees in business management and allied disciplines including Education, Electrical Engineering, Environment and Energy Management, Entrepreneurship, Industrial Management, among others our graduates and alumni, that are now over 13,500, have been placed in leading national and multinational organizations in Pakistan and abroad. I am pleased to share that IoBM has been recognized as a Relevant Degree Awarding Institute (RDAI) by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Pakistan (ICAP). IoBM becomes one of the few business schools of Pakistan to have been bestowed with this status. As an RDAI, IoBM graduates of BS Accounting, Management, and Law (BS-AML) will be exempted from several ICAP examinations. This will provide graduates with a head start while pursuing their higher education at ICAP. Moreover, IoBM has been awarded the highest category “W” by the National Business Education Accreditation Council (NBEAC). This honor is bestowed upon the BBA and MBA programs that are a part of one of IoBM’s constituent colleges, College of Business Management (CBM).
PAGE: What measures has the IoBM taken amid the fear of COVID-19 pandemic?
Talib Karim: The well-being of the students and staff was our top priority. We did not want the entire strength of our students – nearly 6,000 – to come on campus. This was addressed by implementing the Learning Management System (LMS). Faculty members and students connected online through various mediums to continue with the academic activities during the lockdown in 2020. IoBM planned and implemented the Hybrid Model, whereby nearly 50% of students attended in-person classes on campus while the rest joined online.
PAGE: What precautionary measures are being taken by the faculty, staff and students to contain the virus?
Talib Karim: IoBM’s management, faculty, and staff have been diligently following all protocols as directed by the Government of Pakistan, doctors, and healthcare professionals. All employees on campus are asked to wear a mask and follow social distancing measures. Classroom seating arrangements have been revised as seats are placed at a distance to facilitate fewer students as the rest are taking classes from home. Furthermore, hand sanitizers are installed at strategic locations across the campus. The cleaning staff sprays sanitizer at frequently used spaces, corridors, stairways.
PAGE: Your views on the facilitation for the employees during these trying times:
Talib Karim: IoBM considers its employees as a family. Their health and well-being are our priority. During such challenging times, especially during the lockdown, appropriate measures were taken to facilitate the employees. An alternate work-week was implemented during the lockdown in 2020 and later in January of this year so that fewer staff and employees are on campus.
PAGE: How would you comment on efforts taken by Pakistan to restrain the pandemic?
Talib Karim: The Government of Pakistan has been actively pursuing activities to contain the spread of the pandemic. It is directing and encouraging people to wear masks, use hand sanitizers, maintain social distance, and restrict public gatherings. Such messages and information are being disseminated through print, electronic, and social media. This included a ringtone advisory message in Urdu that became effective and efficient. Furthermore, individuals must consider pursuing all such precautionary initiatives and protect themselves from the pandemic by following protocols. However, speeding up of vaccination process needs to be expedited on an urgent basis.