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USAID-funded training empowers 143 young girls: Deputy CG John Warner attends graduation ceremony!

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EDITED BY: M. M. ALAM

KARACHI: Deputy Consul General John Warner today attended the graduation ceremony of 143 young girls trained under a USAID-funded training.

The program was implemented at Aman Tech – one of Pakistan’s leading vocational training institutes for under-served youth.

Speaking on the occasion Deputy CG Warner said: “I am glad that USAID and Aman Tech have been able to open the doors to prosperity for these young girls through a mix of vocational training and education.  This project has provided them with the tools they need to become productive citizens with a positive influence on their families and society.”

CEO, Aman Foundation, Malik Ahmad Jalal maintained: “Aman Foundation strongly believes in empowering women, as they play a vital role in nurturing their families and hence the nation as a whole. We thank USAID for continued support and hope our mutual mission of empowering women and transforming lives will brighten Pakistan’s future.” 

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PS: This was the second group of trainees to graduate from the “Training and Reading for Adolescents in Need” project under USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program.  The young girls from Karachi received basic education for five months, along with technical training in the art of stitching, for three months where they learned the skills of making bedsheets, curtains, and women’s apparel.

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Arts & Literature

Take a back seat social media, Karachi Int’l. Book Fair is here!

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REPORT: AMMAR AHMED KHAN 

 KARACHI: The 5-day-long Karachi International Book Fair here at Expo-Centre that ends today, has once again successfully maintained its reputation of pulling the social media addicts away from screens (13th time in as many years).

Emboldened by Karachiites’ overwhelming response in previous years, the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association has once again endeavored to organize the Kutub Mela this year. 

Since 2005 the Book Fair is gaining momentum reviving the fading penchant for literature in the Metropolis. Particularly, transforming the social-media buffs into aficionados of written words.

Minister of Information, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah while inaugurating the Fair hailed the efforts of the organizers.

It is pertinent to mention here that 13th edition of the Fair, harboring 330 book stalls,  has been visited by students of hundreds of educational institutes, literati of the Port City and seen a record sale of books.

Hall 1 is where you go to find most books to read, ranging from medicine, psychology, sociology, psychology, archeology, religion, world affairs, fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Hall 1 is likely the best point to start since anything that interests a person is bound to be located over there and at a decent price.

Hall 2 is an interesting area featuring books offered by the publishers from Iran, India, Turkey, Singapore, the UK and others. Personnel at Indian and Iranian stalls had also explained their study-systems and education policy apropos their children and their implementation.

Many stalls focused on religion promoting items like pens that read sections of the Holy Quran by means of sensors and digital equipment useful in understanding Holy Quran.

Hall 3 now comes as the most troublesome part of this event, by no means dull or boring, but troublesome. This hall promotes the owners such as Cambridge, Oxford and various publishers that have a decent distribution in the nation.

This hall is troublesome since the books here are all fresh – by fresh I mean first-hand books made of good quality material which translates to expensive.

Déjà Vu? When thousands of people are seen entering the Expo Centre the feeling is nostalgic… Trying to find the books of choice in a library jam packed with people so you can get the book issued, take it home and read it in the comfort of a quiet room.

In a world dominated with the internet, the first thing coming to mind is why am I reading this? Why not just look it up on the internet.

The problem with the internet is the amount of usage and the content present, no one denies the all-purpose fit provided by the internet.

The issue arises when we abandon the items that have made up our generations for centuries.

As Muslims we know that the Quran was READ and interpreted in various groups by various people.

As humans we see untold examples of how our culture evolved from cave drawings to writing down information or transmitting emotions via words.

So why are we disregarding books now, the answer is no one cares about them anymore.

As a child I remember getting the Harry Potter series when I was 5 and that kick started my love for books of the fiction category.

As I grew older I was introduced to the wonder of news, another mystery this may be for you is how the news is a wonder. If you have ever wondered why?

You see a title ‘woman killed by husband over petty dispute’ when at a young age like 8 or 9 and you begin to be guided as to the realities of life and why they are there.

So my question to the reader is simply this, no one denies your right to use the internet but are you willing to lose brain power and creativity that is provided by books and let your children suffer the same fate?

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Education

All fresh NED students will have to learn Chinese!

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KARACHI: According to NED University of Engineering and Technology registrar’s notification all fresh students inducted in 2017 and beyond will have to learn Chinese!

Since the NED administration has fixed 15th day of December as the cutoff date, all students from the latest batch will have to get themselves registered for the non-credit course by then.  

Sources privy to Newspakistan.tv have told that presently the University aimed at enabling students get the hang of the basic mechanics of Chinese language.

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Education

U.S. CG Grace Shelton inaugurates State-of-the-Art School built by USAID in Sukkur!

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EDITED BY M. M. ALAM

SUKKUR: Consul General of USA Grace Shelton has inaugurated a new school here today that was constructed through the support of USAID in cooperation with the Sindh Govt.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony CG Shelton reiterated that girl’s education was particularly important as women played such a vital role in Pakistan’s economy.

“The Sindh Basic Education Program is helping to improve the quality of teaching and increase equitable access to safe learning opportunities for children, especially girls”: Consul General Grace Shelton held. 

Sindh Education Minister Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar speaking on the occasion stated:  “We are very grateful to the United States for helping us with education reforms, especially through this public-private partnership approach which is already helping the School Education and Literacy Department. 

“These innovative solutions are helping to improve school governance and quality of teaching.”   

The new building for the Government High School Bhelar, in Sukkur District, was built with assistance from the $155 million USAID Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP). 

Conspicuous among others there were Sindh Secretary of Education Iqbal Durrani, community leaders, teachers, students and parents.

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PS:  USAID’s SBEP is constructing up to 106 modern school buildings in eight districts of Sindh.  Currently, Construction of 23 schools has already been completed.

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