Lahore’s NCA and PFID to open campuses in Karachi: Siddiqui

By Our Correspondent
June 23, 2024
Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui talks to media persons after a meeting to discuss establishing campuses of educational institutions in Sindh at the HEC Regional office on June 22, 2024. — APP

Federal Minister for Education & Professional Training Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Saturday announced that two of Lahore’s institutes — the National College of Arts (NCA) and the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Designing (PFID) — would open their campuses in Karachi.

Advertisement

Addressing a press conference with the vice chancellors of the NCA and the PFID, the chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and other officers at the HEC Regional Office Karachi, Dr Siddiqui said that the two campuses would initially offer employable skills-based short courses to the youth of Sindh.

He dispelled the impression that his federal ministry has the mandate of working only in Islamabad, saying that the entire country comes under the ambit of his ministry.

He said that only an educated nation can change the country, and put it on the path to development and prosperity. “We have to change emergency into an emerging Pakistan, and that is only possible through education.”

He also said they are trying to take Pakistan’s every area, village and slum to a prosperous stage. He emphasised on the need for digitisation in the country.

He mentioned that it is important to showcase this opportunity to the world and the ageing nations. He added that crises have already emerged in Japan, Germany and Russia, where the population is decreasing.

He stressed that the world is struggling with an ageing population, while Pakistan has more than 60 per cent youth population, so it is essential for the country to train them for employment and reap the benefits of the population bulge.

He gave the example of the neighbouring countries that have used their giant population as a labour force and have achieved technological advancement. Similarly, he pointed out, Pakistan also needs to decide accordingly and equip the youth with employment-focused skills. He also announced that courses and centres of the National Vocational & Technical Training Commission are being increased, and other national and international institutions such as Huawei and Microsoft are being engaged to train the youth of Pakistan.

He pointed out that the talent of Pakistani youth can be utilised to this effect. He said that an agreement has been reached with Huawei regarding the education of 200,000 students.

He stressed that global trends are changing rapidly, so only education can save Pakistan. He also stressed that making right decisions is the need of the hour for the country.

In response to a query regarding brain drain, the minister said that it is a positive trend if the youth are moving abroad because it would expand the Pakistani diaspora, which would result in more remittances and the country’s global presence.

Replying to another question on the subject of student unions, the federal minister termed both student unions and trade unions nurseries of political leaders as well as

ideologies.

He admitted that the standards of student unions have deteriorated, but pointed out that in their original form they can play an important role in these changing times.

He said that the purpose of the 18th amendment was the devolution of power, but it proved to be “accumulation of power”. The issue of GST on education will be raised in the National Assembly, he said while replying to another question.

Advertisement