Six science, technology varsities by 2008: President addresses PU convocation


LAHORE, March 13: Stressing on the importance of technical education in development, President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Monday that six state-of-the-art science and technology universities would be established by 2008 to produce engineers and technically skilled persons for sustainable prosperity of the country.

Delivering his presidential address on the occasion of the 115th convocation of the Punjab University at the Faisal Auditorium, the president said these universities were being established with the assistance of Sweden, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands and South Korea.

One each university would be set up in Lahore, Sialkot and Multan, he said.

“They will meet all the required international standards and go a long way in providing Pakistan with the cutting edge technology in various fields.”

The president said the countries, which had offered to establish such sophisticated technical institutions, had small populations as compared to Pakistan.

He noted that while these countries would help set up these technical universities, Pakistan in turn would be able to provide them with technically skilled persons and at the same time use their modern facilities for its own benefit.

“This is a win-win situation for all.”

The president said the project had been conceived in such a way as to help develop linkages between the institutions and the industry through the promotion of technical education and establishing vocational centres.

The government, he said, has already established National Technical Education and Vocational Authority (NTEVTA) under the chairmanship of former federal minister Altaf Saleem.

Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool, Higher Education Commission chairman Prof Ataur Rahman, Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Arshad Mahmood, Corps Commander Lt-Gen Shafaatullah Shah were also present on the occasion.

The president also noted that out of 10,000 faculties members in all the universities of the country, only 3,000 held doctorate degrees.

Taking a serious view, the government had embarked upon a programme to produce 1,500 PhDs annually by 2010, he added.

Musharraf said human resource development was the key to the progress and prosperity of Pakistan. He called for taking a holistic view of education and the need to develop sound infrastructure at the grassroots level.

Noting that literacy level at the grassroots level in Pakistan was low as compared to the other countries, President Musharraf said the National Literacy Commission in order to promote adult education at the basic level had opened feeder schools in the rural areas of 40 districts.

“Their aim is to establish such elementary schools in all the 110 districts by the end of the year,” he stated.

The president said the government was giving due impetus to education and improving this sector.

Under the programme, he said promotion of education at the basic level would be the responsibility of the district government, provincial governments would look after secondary and college education while the federal government would be responsible for higher education.

He said the allocation of the Higher Education Commission had been enhanced from four per cent to seven per cent.

Speaking about Urdu and English languages, he said, both have their own importance and neither could be ignored.

“While Urdu is the national language, English is an international language and the gateway for inter-action with world at large.”

He noted that China had introduced English as a compulsory subject at the lower level and added that the Federal Education Ministry was developing a methodology to bring about harmony between the teaching of subjects and holding of examinations in either language.

President Musharraf said he was happy to note that some 250 PhDs had returned home from the US and Europe after completing their doctorate and expressed the hope that they would contribute to the progress of the country.

He praised the role of the Higher Education Commission in the promotion of education at the university level and said it had made distinctive achievements in various fields.

He especially mentioned connectivity of all the 57 universities of Pakistan through a fibre optic network and the establishment of a digital library providing access to some 1,600 expensive and prominent journals to students and researchers.

Lauding the efforts of the Punjab University for the promotion of higher education, the president praised advancements made by it in maintaining its status as the leading alma mater of the country.

The Punjab University has added new departments, colleges, established new campus at Gujranwala, recruited new teachers on merit and enrolled thousands of students.

Earlier, Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool, in his capacity as the Chancellor of the University, said higher education was a success story in Punjab with the number of public sector universities having doubled, funding increased four times and PhD enrolment increased from 829 to 2810.

“We are re-evaluating university vision with a focus on creation and dissemination of knowledge for the development of societal trends, promoting quality assurance and creating linkages with the industry for prosperity.”

The governor said he had urged the Punjab University to create new institutions for agriculture research, medical innovation and emerging engineering technology.

He said the university planned to increase its present enrolment of 24,000 to 50,000 within the next few years.

Vice-Chancellor Arshad Mahmood presented the address of welcome and listed achievements of the institution both in academic and extra-curricula activities.

The president, later, presented medals to the students who gained distinctions in their respective field of subjects. The students were conferred degrees by the governor.

GRANT: President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Monday announced a grant of Rs100 million for the Punjab University in appreciation of its efforts made for the promotion of higher education.–APP


1 Comment so far

  1. AudibleSilence (unregistered) on March 17th, 2006 @ 6:56 am

    All Credit to Balloon-o-Eight for bringing such nice pics of lahore for ppl who are away!!

    Thanks Balloon-o-Eight!!!

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