ISLAMABAD: The American Embassy launched two new English Access micro-scholarship programs on Wednesday – one at Sir Syed Public School in Rawalpindi and another implemented by Vision Building Future at Pakistan Sweet Home. Over 350 students will benefit from this program.
At the opening ceremony, John Hoover, the American Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, expressed the American government’s ongoing support for educational partnerships in Pakistan: “The American Embassy is proud to partner with local organizations to prepare the next generation of young Pakistani leaders,” he said.
Hoover also congratulated the students. “Take this opportunity to explore new ideas and ask questions of one another,” he said. “You are the young leaders that will create a better Pakistan, a better world, and a better future.”
The Access Microscholarship program provides a foundation of English language skills to talented youth from economically disadvantaged communities through two-year, after-school classes and intensive sessions. Since the program’s inception in 2004, 110,000 students in more than 87 countries have participated. In Pakistan, over 14,000 students have participated since 2006.
Countrywide uniform higher education system!
ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI), which met here Monday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to finalize its recommendations within a month for a countrywide uniform higher education system in coordination with federal and provincial governments.
The HEC was further directed to formulate a strategy for the uplift of educational institutions as well as better coordination between the Center and provinces.
The CCI directed the Planning Commission to review the projects of power distribution and transmission network in Balochistan, besides calling for the launch of work on the projects of crucial nature.
It referred the request of Sindh province seeking additional water supply for Karachi to the National Water Council, which would present its recommendations to the CCI keeping in view the situation of existing water reservoirs, water sharing formula among provinces and the ground realities. Besides, the National Water Council would also suggest measures to stop wastage of water and ensure its judicious use.
Deliberating over the less availability of water in Pat Feeder and Kirthar canals, the CCI asked the chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan to sort out the matter mutually.
The Center and the provinces agreed over the true implementation of AGN Qazi formula for the distribution of net hydel profits.
The CCI constituted a committee under the Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination to formulate recommendations on devolution of Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) to the provinces.
The Council decided to refer the Sindh government’s proposed amendments in Petroleum Policy 2012 to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC), which would formulate recommendations considering the proposed amendments.
The CCI reached a consensus to hand over to Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority the responsibility of uniform standards and the provision of one-window facility to the relevant companies.
In that regard, a committee comprising representatives from all the provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan was also constituted to look into the legal and constitutional aspects.
The Council also formed a task force to propose measures for effective implementation of regulatory authorities and the establishment of government’s writ in the provinces.
It decided to launch a nationwide “Pakistan Cleanliness Movement” that would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 7. The provinces also assured their full participation in the campaign.
The prime minister, in his remarks on the occasion, stressed on the need for improvement of educational standard in Balochistan and directed the HEC to take measures in coordination with the provincial government.
He told the meeting that the services of Shaukat Khanam Hospital would be extended to Balochistan for the provision of healthcare facilities, particularly, the diagnosis of cancer.
The prime minister directed to establish a comprehensive and transparent mechanism for water distribution among the provinces and the provision of timely updates to the provinces. He viewed that as the non-provision of correct information caused misunderstandings, immediate measures must be taken in that regard.
He assured all-out cooperation of the Federal Government to the provinces in all matters. He said the Federal Government was committed to make the CCI an effective platform and to play a positive role in the resolution of issues among the provinces and strengthen the federation.
Japanese language imperative to absorb workforce in Japan
ISLAMABAD: Director General (DG) of Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Pakistanis (BEOE) Kashif Ahmed Noor today highlighted the importance of learning the Japanese language in getting maximum employment opportunities for Pakistan’s workforce in Japan.
He told that over half a million jobs were being created for foreigners in wake of Japan’s new economic reforms. Terming the opportunity instrumental in tapping the drastic decline of over 0.7 million in overseas employment, witnessed in the last couple of years, Kashif said: “Japan will be generating around 0.5 million jobs in different sectors including construction, agriculture, nursing care, lodging, ship-building and manufacturing in next seven years.”
The DG pointed out that there was a need to adopt some effective strategies for reviving Japanese language learning culture in the public-private universities, colleges, and schools. The BEOE, he said, had suggested to discuss the matter with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) for exploiting the Japanese employment opportunities. The Bureau, he said, also proposed to take up the matter with Economic Affairs Division for the inclusion of manpower export in next Pak-Japan high-level Economic Policy Dialogue, besides requesting the MoFA to sign Memorandum of Understandings with Japan for export of manpower.
An official of Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) said the matter was also echoed in a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistan, during which a member opined to make the OEC responsible for familiarizing the manpower with basics of the Japanese language. During the meeting, OEC Managing Director Dr. Amer Sheikh, who is also head of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), said the OPF’s training wings would make arrangements for imparting other countries’ languages, which was appreciated by the committee.
Former OEC MD Saeed Sheikh appreciated the corporation’s role for successfully sending the bulge of the skilled workforce to South Korea. As the OEC has been working in the collaboration with NUML in educating the aspirants about the Korean language, the same could be done in Japanese employment case. However, he urged the authorities concerned to provide all necessary support to the relevant departments so that this opportunity could be exploited to its full potential. The official also feared that other South Asian states were likely to take a great chunk of these great number of employment due to the country’s lax foreign missions and weak infrastructure of Technical and vocational institutions at home.
He stressed to advance the strategy in training institutions to meet international standards and employer demands, adding that there is also a need to acquaint the workforce with modern technologies being used in Japan. The Japanese are moving towards big cities and Pakistani agricultural labor had much demand due to the popularity of letters’ hard work in harsh and cold weather. When contacted, Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis Muhammad Asif expressed ignorance about employment opportunities being created in Japan for foreigners, so he was unable to share any strategy to avail the opportunity for Pakistani workforce. He said the OEC with its ‘apathetic system’ only had a ‘remote role’, and currently imparting the South Korean language only to its manpower.
Sargodha Uni. collaborates with China’s Lanzhou Uni.
BEIJING: The University of Sargodha has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lanzhou University of China to enhance their collaboration in academic, educational and cultural spheres in the next five years.
The agreement was concluded by Professor Chun-Hua Yan, President Lanzhou University and Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad, Vice Chancellor Sargodha University, on Sunday at Lanzhou University, according to a message received here on Sunday.
Under its terms, the two universities have agreed to the reciprocal exchange of faculty, administrative staff and students; to the collaboration on post-graduate training and education; to exchange of academic information and materials; and promoting other academic cooperation.
Under a previous MoU, Lanzhou University is already extending its technical support to Sargodha University in the field of Dry Land Agriculture, including the supply of the first consignment of technical equipment worth Rs.25 million.
The new agreement is broad and covers all aspects and levels of academic collaboration between the two institutions, as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“As the only public sector university included in China’s Belt and Road Initiative’s Agriculture League, we seek to expand our collaboration with Lanzhou University to Geological Sciences and other disciplines,” said Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad.
The President of Lanzhou University assured full cooperation by his staff and faculty for future collaboration in agriculture and other sciences with Sargodha University.“We already have some 40 students doing post-graduate studies and research at our university, and we expect this number to grow to 100 soon, including students and faculty from Sargodha University,” said Prof Yan.