The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has undertaken a number of programmes for the capacity building of its staff so as to provide best possible academic services to its 1.3 million students across the country, it was stated on Thursday.According to a statement special focus was being given on professional development of the faculty and the members of the services departments.The training workshops are being arranged at the main campus and regional offices-level and it has been made a regular feature. The staff is also being equipped with the new technology.Under the plan, the 44-regional offices had been provided with state-of-the-art technology, computers and other software equipment so that they could enhance their academic output in admission, examination and delivery process.In order to encourage the staff, they were being given promotion in their next grades, as were admissible to them under the rules. “The matters relating to shortage of staff were also addressed on priority basis. Selection Board and Departmental Promotion Committee met seven and eight times respectively in the recent years. The University’s statute was also revised as a special case for this purpose. ”As part of professional development plan, the university will hold a three-day professional development training programme by end of this month for its new faculty members.During the three-day programme, the new faculty members will be given orientation on the new trends in the distance education, use of innovative technology, new research methodology, e-learning and online education. Eminent educationists and experts in the relevant fields will be invited to conduct the course as resource persons. The training will contribute to the professional excellence of the faculty.Published in Daily Times, June 15th 2018.