Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck’s Visit to University of Okara
Opening new doors of knowledge and Pak-German friendship
Dr. Syed A. Waheed
University of Okara is a newly established university under Government of the Punjab and making a rapid progress to achieve academic excellence and world class standards of quality education and research. The Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakria Zakar aims to “building alliances and collaborative partnerships with businesses, government, and other research institutions at national and international level. This will help to ensure the ongoing relevance of academic programmers and the continued excellence of teaching. University of Okara is dedicated to the responsibility of creating a global knowledge disseminating hub transgressing national and International borders and territories thereby transforming every student into a responsible human by igniting innovation in their minds, finally altering them into excellent professionals.”
To promote international character of higher education, the Vice Chancellor has initiated a series of foreign professors’ visits to University of Okara so that university academic faculty and the students can embrace emerging trends and innovations in the scholarly domain of education through the interaction and dialogue with the eminent educationist from the world over. Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck’s visit to the University was the first step in this regard.
Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck from Bielefeld (Germany) – an economist and a versatile teacher who taught economics, business administration, accountancy, political science, business law, culture and German Language during his 40-years professional career in German colleges delivered valuable lectures, offered motivational talks, presented at seminars and conducted German language class at University of Okara. The students, faculty and administrative staff warmly welcomed the guest. It was his third visit to Pakistan.
Mr. Peter was the first foreigner who visited university of Okara and most of the students were pleased and surprised to see him in the university premises. He visited 8 departments under five faculties of the University and addressed to the faculty and a large number of students on various topics. The student and faculty learnt about academic culture, history, politics, language and education system of the Germany, studying and seeking scholarships opportunities for admissions to MS/PhD in German speaking Universities and their research culture, social rights of the citizen, living a healthy life and significance of sports. He motivated students with his inspirational talks and answered student’s questions. The Directorate of External Linkages (DEL) organized an “Orientation to the Basics of German Language” in which faculty, staff and students participated. Mr. Boeck gave orientation in an interesting and exciting way which motivated the participants of the course. The Registrar Dr. Muhammad Wajid, Mr. Boeck and Director of External Linkages Dr. Syed A. Waheed awarded certificates to the participants.
Mr. Peter’s key message was that we should be hungry for seeking learning and contribute to our society, country and the environment. There should be true emotions of patriotism necessary for continuous development of the country. Mr. Peter’s visit to the University was a beginning and it opened new doors of knowledge and curiosity among students and faculty. They learnt how to interact with foreigners and what were the values and traditions of the economically strong country like Germany. It was most uprising for Mr. Peter that almost all of the students of the university have seen a European for the first time in their lives. Apart from the formal talks, Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck was engaged in informal talks and conversations with the academic and non-academic staff and students of the university during his stay in the university.
After having a successful visit to Pakistan, Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck went back to Germany and a short interview about his visit titled “Menschen in Unserer Stadt- Peter-Josef Boeck, Diplom-Volkswirt” (People in our City - Peter-Josef Boeck, MPhil Economics) was published in a German newspaper “Westfalenblatt Bielefeld” on December 12, 2018. The translation of this is given here:
“It´s with articulate passion, that Peter-Josef Boeck reports on his journeys to Pakistan. ”The people (from Pakistan) are so hospitable. I could not walk 20 meters in the university campus unless I addressed a number of students in the premises.” In the last three years the retired vocational teacher spent all in all ten weeks in this South Asian country.
It all started at the end of 2015, when the Rhinelander from Cleve considered that his house had become too large for a single person. “I had to decide either to rent some of my rooms on usual terms or to try to become a caretaker for my tenants”,Mr. Boeck told the newspaper. Finally, he decided to accommodate foreign students at his home. “It was a pure luck, that his first house guest was a Professor of Sociology from Islamabad.” Since then Boeck has hosted seven students from Pakistan and was invited as the first European guest by the president (in Pakistan known as Vice Chancellor) of the new founded University of Okara.
The Economist travelled not only in this Asian country. But at the climax of the financial crisis, he visited Greece. “I prefer to make up my mind at the place of action itself.” That probably applies to many areas of life of the 69-year-old. Besides other subjects, the subjects taught by Boeck at Rudolf Rempel College in Bielefeld, at the Vocational College in Halle (Westfalia) and later on as part time teacher of young and adult refugees comprised of economics, German language studies and politics.”I do not know of any colleague, who taught such al lot of different subjects”, Boeck comments.
He was active as a founding member of the Green Party in local politics. In 1980 and 1983 he stood for the German federal parliament. Out of personal concern he founded the “Working Group MALPRACTISE IN OBSTETRICS” e.V., an organization of parents, whose children were handicapped by medical malpractice at birth. Since 1982 he was the speaker for four years.
Having a broad-minded approach to the world and a deep desire to engage in practical work for other people was a commitment of Mr. Boeck. ”I wanted to do something which gives meaning to life. Through the stay of the Pakistani students social and scientific contacts are established and deep friendships are emerged”, the dedicated Bielefeld citizen is pleased.” (I thank Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck and his friend Mr. Norbert for translation from German to English).