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"ISLAMABAD - Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) here Thursday reassured its support to Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to set up the open schooling network in Pakistan to improve the existing literacy rate and ensure education for all at primary, middle and secondary level.
During the detailed presentation on the open-schooling project at the AIOU’s main campus, the visiting COL’s education specialist Frances Ferreira said that the COL will try to find out international donors to support the project which might serve as a model for the others countries to educate the people, through distance-learning system. While eulogizing the AIOU’s project, she said that the COL will also be expending necessary technical support, like designing contents/curriculum of the open schools that are to be set up in cooperation with the provincial governments.
The presentation ceremony was presided over by the vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi. He hoped that the COL will be strong partner in launching of this mega project that aimed at imparting basic education to around one million boys and girls during the next three years. ‘We will need financial support of around $20 million from international donors as initial funding for the payment of students’ fee and to meet project’s cost’.
The project will be made financially sustainable to make open-schoolings system self-sufficient.
The presentation was given by Mir Mukhtiar Hussain Talpur, Bureau for University Extension and Special Programme. He elaborated in detail various phases of the project and said that it would be a milestone providing basic education to the people at the doorstep.
Under the proposed project, the Pakistan National Institute of Open Schools and Lifelong learning will be established at the AIOU to impart education at primary, middle and higher secondary levels throughout Pakistan, through distance and open learning system.The system has already been successfully tested in many other countries including UK, India, Namibia and Tanzania. The main beneficiary of the project drop-out girls who missed their education due to some social and financial constrains, boys, who are working as child labour and the adult who could not carry forward their education on different reasons.
The vice chancellor further said the University has the capacity and required academic potential for developing necessary curriculum and other parameters to implement the plan in its true spirit. AIOU will develop wide-range of educational courses at post-literary pre-tertiary level and set up an effective open learning structures and system for those young and adult people who are currently outside the formal and non-formal education.
Majid Rashid, a focal person of COL, also gave presentation on rural internet schooling education (RISE). He said this project, a brainchild of the vice chancellor would be part’s AIOU’s vision of life-long learning.
It aimed at bringing people of all ages in the main stream of education system. This will be a novel methodology ensuring equal access to secondary education in Pakistan, he added. All deans and heads of various departments attended the ceremony."
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