ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP):Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood Monday stressed the need to promote digital education across the country to improve the literacy rate which was limited to only 58 per cent.

Equipping the youth with digital skills is the government’s top Priority to maximize their learning ability, Shafqat Mahmood said while addressing the celebration ceremony of Jazz Smart Schools program, launched in October last year.

He, appreciating the smart education project of Jazz, said his ministry would join the hands with private sector to replicate this programme in all the schools of country.

“We will be able to bridge the digital literacy gap in Pakistan with the help of such programs,” he remarked while commending the efforts of team behind the success of project.

The collaborative efforts of Jazz and Pakistan Federal Directorate of Education had showed that the government was committed to transform the country’s education system with digitization said VEON’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ursula Burns.

She said digital education was the future and it was good omen that the young generation was very keen to learn from Jazz Smart Schools.

The CEO hoped that this program would be encouraged across the country, adding that it was not only in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, but also envisioned in the government’s strategic vision 2025,” she added.

Talking to APP, an official from VEON said the program had successfully taught to over 28,000 girls of middle schools of Islamabad. Over 800 female teachers were also trained to impart this programme by using smart learning solutions based on the existing curriculum.

He said Jazz Smart Schools program had recorded significant improvement in five areas including student learning outcomes, teaching quality, student engagement, expanded use of technology, and improved accountability and monitoring of results.

A digital sustainability initiative under VEON’s ‘Make Your Mark’ program, Jazz Smart Schools were designed to increase student-learning outcomes and improve teaching methodology by a smart learning solution deployed through a digital blended learning platform.

The official said pre-tests were organized for all 20,000 female students in the program to evaluate their current learning levels based on subjects they studied in previous grades.

The internal mid-term evaluation results had recorded remarkable improvement in student learning outcomes, he added.

Over 100 students also received tablets and certificates from Ursula Burns and Shafqat Mahmood for their exceptional performance during mid-term examinations.