ISLAMABAD, Jan 16 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Thursday said the government would take numerous initiatives to equip the youth with market driven education and skills, and make scholarships available to them for graduate and university level education under the Kamyab Jawan programme.

Speaking as a chief guest at Gomal University Alumni Forum, she said women, who were 52 percent of the population, would be given opportunities so that they could build their capacity and become productive part of the economy.

She said in today’s world, the countries were competing for economic advantages and in order to move ahead in that competition, education was of paramount importance.
The nations were fighting their wars on the economic front and it was not appropriate to leave women behind at home, she asserted.

Dr Firdous said institutions like the First Women Bank would be engaged to give training to women and build their capacity for different sectors of the economy.

The special assistant said her ministry would support initiatives of the Gomal University and other educational institutions.

She would lead the effort to create linkages between Pakistani and foreign universities so that the local students could benefit from technology and modern best practices, she continued.

She said vocational institutions would be directed to start skill development programmes in the far flung and rural areas that were plagued with poverty, low income and unemployment.

The field of media also offered many opportunities and the youth would be encouraged to start a career in it, she said, adding the well-to-do people should offer scholarships to deserving students who were facing difficulty in continuing their education due to financial constraints.

Dr Firdous said the degrees offered by the education system had failed to deliver jobs to the youth. The government was committed to implement reforms in the education sector, she added.

In the past, she said, there was gap in policy making and implementation of reforms in the education sector. All the institutions had to move in the same direction and get feedback to refine their policies and ensure implementation.

She said the biggest challenge for the country was illiteracy and lack of education. Pakistan had to compete with nations which had made great strides in areas of science and technology and that was not possible without creating a literate nation.

She appreciated the organizers of the event for bringing together old students of the Gomal university who had the opportunity to share their memories of the bygone days.