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President Alvi urges varsities to produce more number of skilled IT graduates

KARACHI: President Dr Arif Alvi has urged the universities to further improve the standard of education and training to produce high-quality and skilled graduates, especially in the field of IT. He added that Information Technology and Emerging Technologies had great scope and potential, and universities needed to produce more graduates in these fields by utilizing online and hybrid modes of learning.

President Dr. Arif Alvi expressed these views while chairing the 1st meeting of the Senate of Pakistan Air Force Air War College Institute (AWCI), Karachi on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by members of the AWCI Senate.

Addressing the meeting, the President urged the need to make faster decisions to keep pace with the latest trends and developments in the world. He said that Pakistan must invest in the intellectual development of its human resources which was vital for its socio-economic development. He said that Pakistan must bring 22 million out-of-school children to schools, besides improving the enrolment rate in higher educational institutions. He said that in Pakistan, only 9% of the students went to universities after F.Sc whereas, in India and Bangladesh the enrolment rate was between 20-25%.

The President said that Pakistan only produced 35,000 graduates in IT and related fields every year which was not adequate to meet the needs of the market. He added that Pakistan must improve the number of graduates in IT and related disciplines to keep pace with the rest of the world. He also urged the universities to utilize their physical infrastructure efficiently and introduce multiple shifts in universities, besides increasing the quantum of online education to increase the number of students in universities.

President Dr. Arif Alvi highlighted that 52% of cyber security experts in the world had no degrees and they equipped themselves with skills through online education. He said that Pakistan had introduced an online programme, digiskills, for youth’s skill development in the field of IT, which was a great success as over 2.5 million people had benefitted from this programme so far.

During the meeting, it was agreed that avenues for online education would be explored with time as the traditional brick-and-mortar system could not produce the required number of graduates. HEC’s representative informed the meeting that in Karachi, almost 70,000 students passed the F.Sc examination while only 8000 students were able to secure admission to Higher Education Institutions due to the shortage of seats and limited physical resources.

During the meeting, the Annual Report of the AWCI was also presented, and different aspects related to the performance of AWCI, infrastructure development and future plans were also shared.

President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday felicitated the newly elected members of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), an organization of major Pakistani newspapers and publishers.

President Dr. Arif Alvi congratulated Naz Afreen Sehgal Lakhani and Sarmad Ali as the unanimously elected president and secretary general, Imtenan Shahid as senior vice president, Muhammad Aslam Qazi as vice president, S.M. Munir Jilani as joint secretary, and Shahab Zuberi as finance secretary of APNS.

He expressed hope that the newly elected APNS body would take steps for the promotion of mass media in the country.

He urged the media to work towards ensuring peace and tolerance besides promoting ethical and democratic values.

President Dr. Arif Alvi emphasized the role of newspapers in eliminating fake news and raising public awareness on issues concerning social problems, women, and differently-abled persons.