Islamabad, March 30, 2017 (PPI-OT):Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, on Thursday witnessed the contract signing ceremony of the project for “Establishment of Computer Labs in Government Girls’ Schools in Rural Areas of Islamabad Capital Territory”. Minister of State for IT and Telecom, Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan and Minister of State for CADD, Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry were present on the occasion.
The signing ceremony was held at Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) where two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed. The first MoU was signed between Universal Service Fund (USF) / MOITT and the Federal Directorate of Education (CADD), for establishment of Computer Labs in Girls’ Schools in Rural Islamabad Capital Territory. Another MoU was signed between USF and Microsoft for the training of over 90 teachers by Microsoft for these computer labs. USF will appoint the teachers for these labs. CEO, USF, Mr. Haaris M. Chaudhary, and General Manager, Microsoft, Miss Leila Serhan, signed the MoU.
USF Board of Directors, chaired by Minister of State for IT and Telecom, approved this special project for girls in collaboration with FDE and Microsoft. Under this project, state of the art ICT facilities and trained human resources will be provided to the selected girls’ schools at primary, middle and secondary level in rural areas of Islamabad Capital Territory, in addition to operational and maintenance support for 3 years to these schools.
This special project aims to benefits the girls at these schools by fostering digital coding skills and building early stage aptitude for ICT related careers. The project is expected to empower these girls by equipping them with modern IT knowledge and opening the doors of the IT sector to them. This will facilitate these young women in becoming entrepreneurs, contributors to the knowledge-based economy, and the future builders of the nation.
The Finance Minister, while welcoming the project and the signing of the two MoUs, praised the efforts of MOITT, CADD, USF and Microsoft for their contribution to the promotion of ICT amongst girls from rural areas. He said that, in line with the vision of the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, progress was being made to build a digital and financially inclusive Pakistan. He said that world will continue to become more IT-driven in years to come and the government is focused on taking all necessary measures to equip our human resources for this transformation. He also emphasized that projects such as these will enable the self-sustainability and self-dependency of women in the country.
He said that major economic achievements have been made over the last three and a half years. He also stated that the government has made significant progress on the 4 E’s which were part of PML(N)’s manifesto for the 2013 general elections, i.e. Energy, Economy, Elimination of Extremism, and Education/ Social Sector. He highlighted that a reputable major international financial institution has predicted Pakistan to become the 20th largest global economy by 2030. He said that the government is actively working to ensure the elimination of electricity load shedding within the next 12 months.
He said that the Prime Minister has been regularly visited all parts of Pakistan and rolling out projects across the country which are the need of the hour. The Finance Minister also highlighted the IT Park which is being established in Islamabad with the help of a loan from Korean EXIM Bank. He said that successful implementation of IT initiatives in Pakistan will enable the country to boost its IT exports.
Minister of State for IT and Telecom appreciated the cooperation of FDE, Microsoft and USF for fully supporting this initiative. She said that the project will improve the lives of many young girls by equipping them ICT skills.
She further said “ICT is the lever of economic progress. We are using this lever to empower the girls from the marginalized sections of society. Through this initiative, we aim to help approximately 33,000 girls’ students, enrolled in these institutions, by making them computer literate and bringing them at par with students elsewhere in the world. She said that this programme for girls will help reduce the gender disparity at large.”
On the occasion, Minister of State for CADD thanked all the stakeholders for their commitment to this project, and said that the project will help in bridging the IT and education gap between the urban and rural areas of Pakistan. Senior officials of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of IT and Telecom, CADD, USF and Microsoft also attended the ceremony.
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