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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Rs4bn scholarship programme initiated for needy talented students

Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training (MFEPT) has allocated a total of Rs8.5 billion

By Kasim Abbasi
May 20, 2024
A representational image of students wearing graduation caps — AFP/File
A representational image of students wearing graduation caps — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s initiative, the Ministry of Education commenced Rs4 billion scholarship programme for the needy talented students nationwide.

Whereas, to improve the standards of education in the federal capital Islamabad, the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training (MFEPT) has allocated a total of Rs8.5 billion.

This project -- Provision of Basic (missing) Educational Facilities in Educational Institutions of ICT — focuses on rural and urban scattered areas of the capital and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2025.

The detailed list of these programmes shared by secretary MFEPT Mohyudin Wani states, “The total PSDP portfolio of Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training is Rs8.5 billion. Out of which Rs5.4 billion is allocated for basic education and Rs3.1 billion for technical education”. The programme also noted that under PM initiatives, the ministry has created Pakistan Education Endowment Fund (PEEF) of Rs4 billion.

Explaining the funding programme, Wani said that out of the total, Rs800 million is only allocated for Balochistan. “The main focus of PEEF are the underprivileged students and lagging districts of Pakistan,” said Wani.

According to the data shared with The News, the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training is also implementing a World Bank Funded project titled “Actions to Strengthen Performance for Inclusive and Responsive Education Programme (ASPIRE)”.

ASPIRE is a budgetary programme financed by the World Bank initiated in July 2020 until June 2025. The programme supports Pakistan by operationalising a federal-provincial performance-based grant mechanism, with a focus on disadvantaged districts with low education indicators such as gender parity, gross enrolment ratio and learning levels.

In Islamabad, interventions under ASPIRE are implemented in rural zones.

According to the data, the following interventions are currently being undertaken under the programme in Islamabad Capital Territory:

1. Establishment of IT labs in 50 secondary boys’ schools in rural zones in Islamabad: These labs will serve as incubators for future tech professionals, preparing them not only for university-level education but also for emerging opportunities in the rapidly evolving IT industry.

2. Establishment of 140 smart classrooms in public-sector schools across Islamabad: Establishment of smart classrooms that promote multimodal learning within classrooms through use of technology and digital content.

3. Launch of a nationaleTaleem Portal and TeleSchool Application to promote learning for students and teachers.

4. Web Portal for TeleSchool Mobile Application: Web Portal for TeleSchool mobile application (06 TV Channels and Video on Demand Library) provides the same high-quality educational content on laptops and computers, in the form of OTT channels and a broadcast content library suitable for streaming apps and Televisions.

5. Provision of learning materials to Nono-formal education centers in rural zones: To support OOSC learning, provision of textbooks and Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) resources were printed and distributed to NFE centers run by National Education Foundation (NEF), National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) with a particular focus on enhancing educational opportunities for girls. To date, 528,647 books have been printed.

6. Distribution of hygiene kits in public-sector schools in ICT: As part of the Government’s Hygiene Initiative, hygiene kits were distributed to 20 public schools in rural areas of ICT.