Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pakistan Launches NUTech to Prepare 21st Century Workforce

As technology begins to permeate every aspect of life in Pakistan, the country needs a balanced mix of highly skilled workers, technicians, mechanics, technologists, engineers, researchers and development scientists to meet the challenge.  Recent launch of National University of Technology (NUTech) is part of Pakistan government's response to this challenge.

21st Century Workforce:

Pakistan's economy is rapidly transforming from traditional agriculture to modern business and industry.  Accelerating penetration of smartphones, personal computers, flat screens, mobile broadband, indoor plumbing, motorized vehicles, home appliances, air-conditioners, tractors, tube-wells, advanced construction machines and  solar and other technology-based products and services requires a highly skilled workforce to design, manufacture, market, sell, operate and service.

Building this new highly skilled work force must begin with designing curricula and facilities. It also demands a new crop of trainers and educators and closer collaboration between academia and industry.

National University of Technology (NUTech) Campus in Islamanad

NUTech Launch:

National University of Technology (NUTech) has just been launched as a federally chartered institution of higher learning.  It is enrolling students now for its first academic semester starting in September 2018.

NUTech will not only produce hands-on engineers and scientists but it will also serve as an umbrella organization for training skilled technicians and tradespeople to build, service and maintain advanced technology-based plant and equipment.

NUTech will work with a national network of technical and vocational training institutes to produce skilled workers.  It will include representatives of business and industry in design of curricula to ensure these workers meet the needs of the industry.

Specialized Institutions:

Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002, is an example of a specialized institution aimed at developing human capital in the aviation sector.

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc.

Air University has added a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

Higher Education in Pakistan:

There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14.  The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years.  In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).

Graduation Day at NED Engineering University For 1300 Graduates in 2013
Pakistani universities have been producing over half a million graduates, including over 10,000 IT graduates, every year since 2010, according to HEC data. The number of university graduates in Pakistan increased from 380,773 in 2005-6 to 493,993 in 2008-09. This figure is growing with rising enrollment and contributing to Pakistan's growing human capital.

Source: UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2009



Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only one university, the University of Punjab. By 1997, the number of universities had risen to 35, of which 3 were federally administered and 22 were under the provincial governments, with a combined enrollment of 71,819 students. A big spending boost by President Pervez Musharraf helped establish 51 new universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008. This helped triple university enrollment from 135,000 in 2003 to about 400,000 in 2008, according to Dr. Ata ur Rehman who led the charge for expanding higher education during Musharraf years. There are 161 universities with 1.5 million students enrolled in Pakistan as of 2014.



Former Chairman of HEC summed up the country's higher education progress well in a piece he wrote for The News in 2012: "Pakistan has achieved critical mass and reached a point of take-off. For this phenomenal growth to continue, it is important for the government and other stakeholders to support and further strengthen the HEC as a national institution and protect its autonomy. If this momentum continues for another 10 years, Pakistan is certain to become a global player through a flourishing knowledge economy and a highly literate population".

Here's an introductory video about National University of Technology (NUTech) Pakistan:

https://youtu.be/ZDQ2dy3cBSY




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

10 Pakistan Universities Among Top 300 in Asia

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Education Attainment in South Asia

Dr. Ata ur Rehman Defends HEC Reforms

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

Business Education in Pakistan

Armed Drones Outrage and Inspire Young Pakistanis

15 comments:

nayyer ali said...

This is more good news on the education front. While there has been good progress overall, getting to 100% primary school enrollment and completion of a minimum of 5 years of education is still not a reality. Quality of education remains uneven, and we need to continue upgrading quality at primary, secondary, and university levels. The spread of smart phones and the increasingly sophisticated economy makes basic literacy even more important. Pakistan is rich enough to educate everyone, it just needs the political will to do it. Investments in education more than pay for themselves in higher economic growth.

Z Basha Jr said...

We must take a leaf out of the Chinese Peacock initiative in Shenzhen to attract its bright PhDs to come back and work in China. Last I heard from a Chinese friend, they are offering close to 300K USD over five years as no-questions-asked housing grant. We must have something similar to attract Pakistani talent back home.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s north-south fissures deepen over national budgeting
Southerners feel penalised for progress as the political agenda is set by the north

These fissures are being laid bare in a fierce debate over the allocation of public resources to states, in a once-in-every-five years budgeting exercise. They are likely to intensify over the next decade when India redraws its parliamentary map. For decades, New Delhi has allocated funds and parliament seats based on states’ population data from the 1971 census, before the mixed results of its family planning drive sent them on radically different demographic trajectories.

But Narendra Modi’s government, whose core support lies in the Hindi heartland, has decided the 2011 census should be used as the basis for resource allocation over the next five years. This process and parliamentary redistricting due by 2026 are likely to see affluent southern states lose out financially and politically, due to their diminishing demographic weight after years of promoting small families. Money and parliamentary seats will be diverted to the more populous north. Southerners are up in arms.

“This is something being done by the northerners for the northerners,” says Krishnamurthy Subramanian, a finance professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. “There is a sense of unfairness. Why are we being penalised for doing good things?” He adds: “Northern states will end up benefiting from their profligacy.”

Tension over resource transfers — both within and between nations — are a growing cause of global friction. They have an extra edge in India, where a population as ethnically and linguistically diverse as Europe’s coexists in a single state.

India’s north undoubtedly faces severe challenges. But if redistribution is not perceived as fair, it may unleash dangerous resentment. And tackling northern India’s problems will take more than money. There are lessons to be learnt from Hyderabad’s success: if you lay a strong foundation, investors and prosperity will come.


https://www.ft.com/content/cd5efba4-6d9f-11e8-852d-d8b934ff5ffa

Riaz Haq said...

Austria, Pakistan plan joint venture educational institute

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1739637/1-austria-pakistan-plan-joint-venture-educational-institute/

During a meeting with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, Austrian Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Brigitta Blaha announced that there was a joint venture in the works between the higher education sectors of two countries called Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST).

The institute is being established in University of Haripur in collaboration with several Austrian institutions. She explained that Institute has dual objectives; creating a high quality technical education infrastructure at a tertiary level and creating high technology industry.

During the meeting HEC Chairman Dr Banuri, stressed the need for international collaboration in the education sector. He emphasised on its role as a stepping stone toward economic stability and social development.

The chairman welcomed the ambassador and placing importance on international partnerships he added that several Pakistani Higher Education Institutions have an encouraging history of academic collaboration with the Austrian education sector and assured that the HEC would continue to create opportunities for beneficial academic collaboration between the two countries.

Dr Brigitta Blaha assured that her office will extend its cooperation in strengthening academic and research linkages between the two countries. According to Dr Blaha, currently 41 Pakistani students are pursuing PhD degree in Austrian institutions. She emphasised on the critical need for enhancing this number.

Their meeting took place on June 21, 2018. HEC Executive Director Prof Dr Arshad Ali also joined the meeting.

Dr Banuri expressed his opinion that the improvement of Pakistani higher education sector over a short span of 15 years under the umbrella of HEC has become a possibility through the help and support of the Government of Pakistan.

He also highlighted that Pakistan Vision 2025 has added new reforms for the higher education sector.

Dr Banuri voiced his commitment to adopting a wholesome approach for advancement in all areas of the higher education sector including human resource development, promotion of basic and applied research, establishing university-industry linkage, encouraging entrepreneurial culture, quality education, physical and technology infrastructure development and international collaboration.

Riaz Haq said...

#PTI's 14-Point for #Digital #Pakistan. #Elections2018 #ImranKhan https://www.techjuice.pk/pti-unveils-digital-policy-naya-pakistan/ PTI’s 14 Points for Digital Pakistan:
$2 billion set aside for National digital transformations & provision of different services to citizens through mobile.
Using technology to open government data to increase transparency
IT education of 50,000 students
Establishment of 120 new campuses to produce 100,000 technology graduates/year
Mathematics and Science teacher training and certification program
Five new major technology clusters (Special Economic Zones)
A focus will be on creating enabling environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
50,000 call center seats available on a turn-key basis
One window operation to register a new company
A global PR campaign involving expat community
Visa issuance on green passport for Businessmen and professionals
Simplification of processes for foreign ownership of companies
Public-Private Partnership on projects
Target will be set to increase the global ranking of Pakistan in ease of doing business

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani students to be offered vocational training, education in China

https://nation.com.pk/01-Jul-2018/pakistani-students-to-be-offered-vocational-training-education-in-china

The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme will offer scholarships to 1,000 Pakistani students for a one-year vocational training starting from November this year in China.

“The students to be selected from across the country will be provided free tuition and dormitory during the training at different universities and institutes in China,” Echo Lee, Director General, CPEC CCC and CEO of St Xianglin Management and Consulting Company while talking to APP here on Sunday.

The CPEC CCC is located in China’s Suzhou Vocational University, which has the world-class facilities and able faculty and its functions include Sino-Pak students exchange, academic research and seminars, vocational education, organising Chinese culture experience camp and teachers exchange, she added.

Giving further details about scholarship scheme, she said it is a three level programme and the students will be taught outer space and high-speed train technology during the first level while in the middle level, they will be imparted education of hydro-power and solar energy engineering.

The students selected for the lowest level will get training for the driving of different machines and types of equipment including excavation machines and caterpillar etc.

Ms Echo Lee said this year, 1,000 students will be offered 20 majors from a high level to the lower level classes as compared to 100 scholarships in six majors last year.

While hoping for a positive response and cooperation from the Pakistani side, she said at present, the details are being discussed with the concerned officials in the Pakistan ministry of planning, development and reforms as well as the embassy of Pakistan in Beijing.

She informed the CPEC CCC is jointly working along with the Chinese education ministry which is affiliated with a number of vocational universities and institutes.

To a question, she claimed that vocational education in China is the highest level in the world even in some areas it is better than Germany and Japan.

The CEO said this cross-border education exchange programme is step one of the overall project and added in the next phases, equipment and teachers will be sent for vocational training of Pakistani students in Pakistan.

The Chinese vocational education centres, as well as educational parks, would be set up in Pakistan in future, she added.

She said her organization intends to donate some training equipment and looking forward to a positive response from Pakistani institutions which are interested to receive it.

About the cooperation in the past, she said her organization has signed a MoU with Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw (KP) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) governments to set up cultural communication centres under the CPEC framework.

These centres will serve as the main forum in the field of Sino-Pak education and cultural communication, she added.

Riaz Haq said...

First-ever fee-free university to open in Pakistan next month

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/337471-first-ever-fee-free-university-to-open-in-pakistan-next-month

The world’s first fee-free university will be operational next month in Pakistan with 600 students enrolled for three different master degrees.

Dr Mohammed Amjad Saqib, executive director of a micro-finance firm offering interest-free loans (Qarz-e-Hasna) in Pakistan, told Khaleej Times that the institute will be opened in Kasur district, near Lahore, on August 14, 2018.

“We are establishing the first fee-free university in Pakistan where students will not have to pay any fee. This is some kind of long-term Qarz-e-Hasan. First you get education and pay after 5, 10 or 20 years, when you are able to return it; because remember that you got education but didn’t pay for it; but now when you have a job you can pay so that somebody else can also benefit,” he said.

Dr Amjad Saqib added that “education is ultimate solution of our problems. We can’t progress and compete with international community unless we are ahead in education. But it is a pity that a boy coming from a poor family may be able to complete 10-year education but can’t receive higher education. We are not doing justice with our talent”.

He pointed out that this residential university will be a national institute where 20 per cent of students will come from each province of Pakistan.

To get entry into the college, a student must obtain 75 per cent marks in matriculation examination followed by an examination conducted at the college.

Mustafa said...

Yes it is great new vision developed by yours truly 🙂 I presented this first to Gen Kyani and he secured the initial funding of 2billion to launch it but then due to war against terror it was delayed. I again had the opportunity to present this to Gen Raheel who also endorsed it but war against terror consumed all his time and focus. Finally now it is being launched successfully. UNESCO Pakistan chapter also published my concept paper on NUTECH with actual reference model success of the model at the Rawat campus which is listed here in the presentation as one of the constituent campus of NUTECH🙂 I was also the founding executive director of Rawat campus in Islamabad 🙂 This concept will revolutionize technical education scope and acceptance in Pakistan IA

Riaz Haq said...

Mustafa: "Yes it is great new vision developed by yours truly"

Really! That’s a great contribution to Pakistan’s future!! Thank you!!!

Suhail said...

There is a difference between technical diploma and vocational training. Diploma course spread over 3 years is more comprehensive more like an associates diploma from USA community colleges. Vocational training is more specific on skill development in a narrow focus area.... like learning to be a mason or electrician or plumber to meet the need for skilled maintenance and repair requirements in construction and home service! Currently the NAVTTC vocational training program consist of 6 months trg plus 2 months of on the job apprenticeship. It is working well depending on the quality of trg institutes. Duration and content of trg is obsolete in some cases but in many cases is market relevant with good job placement results post training!

Technology has to be harnessed for education. For vocation also it can b used if v get out of belief and thinking in 6 months u can b a skilled technologist. In Pak Swiss in Karachi it is a 3 year diploma. This is what is needed. No short cuts. That is the way in developed countries.

Hunar, Amantech, karigar, etc r all giving 6 months training.

Hunar is one year program using City & Gild of UK course. This is a hands on program and not theory alone. For example in plumbing and welding students cut and burn real raw material. The graduates of Hunar are offered jobs even before they get their certification from City & Gild.

Riaz Haq said...

Space Summer School Concluded At Institute Of Space Technology (IST)
Sumaira FH 4 hours ago Mon 30th July 2018 | 03:53 PM

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/space-summer-school-concluded-at-institute-o-401757.html

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Jul, 2018 ) :Space Summer school (SSS) organized with the participation of over 100 students of 60 schools and colleges of the country concluded here on Monday at Institute of Space Technology (IST).

The two-week activity based learning covered more than 50 interactive sessions in 10 exploration tracks for students in two levels as abecedarian and virtuoso.

It had a canvas of space themed activities, interactive lectures, hands on workshops, space career counselling, Dr. Abdus Salam space contest, space creative writing, space creative arts, space Spellathon, webinars and seminars, said a news release issued here.

Dr. Najam Abbas, Director Student Affairs and Programme Head SSS greeted the participants at the concluding session and appraised the accomplishments of Space Summer School under the initiative of Space Technology Education and Popularization (STEP).

The chief guest of the ceremony, Dr. Khurram Iqbal commended the initiative of Institute of Space Technology for creating cognizance about space technology among the youth and educating students about the benefits of space technology.

Dr. Khurram appreciated the efforts of IST for Space Technology education and popularization.

Space Summer School covered ten themes namely the Earth, Atmosphere, Aviation, Rocketry, Satellite Technology, Space Travel, Space for Life, Space Agencies, Astronomy and Astrophysics and space agencies.

It hosted two special webinars with Dr. Aquib Moin from UAE Space Agency�about UAE Mars Mission�and Dr. Nozair Khawaja from Germany�on Astrobiology.�IST also conducted the Dr. Abdus Salam Space Contest on the last day of space summer school in order to gauge the level of space learning of students.

Awards were given to the winners of Space Spellathon, Space creative writing, Space Arts, water rocket, aero modeling and drag parachute competitions. Space Summer School participants were also provided an opportunity to explore Planetarium, Aircraft Technology, CanSat Satellite development, water rocket & Quad- copter Design and Fabrication along with Astrolabe and Telescopy.

Riaz Haq said...

HEC #Technology Development Fund (TDF) to stop brain drain from #Pakistan https://www.researchsnipers.com/hec-technology-development-fund-tdf-to-stop-brain-drain-from-pakistan/ … via @researchsnipers

The higher education commission has taken an initiative HEC Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been launched to enhance research-based industrial development in order to provide skillful jobs to skilled people which would help to stop the brain drain from Pakistan.


The project started by HEC would eliminate the local problems by new product development, technology transfer, successful commercialization and process optimization, said by an official HEC on Sunday.

The HEC official told APP, that it is an initiative parallel to vision 2025 Pakistan, focusing on industrial development in order to construct knowledge economy through technology transfer.

The project will accommodate academics as well as industry professionals for patent filing, prototype development, product development, and marketing and licensing of new products, the project has received strong response and acceptance from industry professionals and academics throughout Pakistan, he said.

The official shared some details of awarded projects and said these projects are of interdisciplinary nature, however, it has engaged 25 different sectors in Pakistan including agriculture sciences, Nanotechnology, IT and allied sector, renewable energy, drug discovery, Industries symbiosis, applied engineering, mining and natural sciences.

With the help of all stakeholders’ support, the programme proves to be an effort which is meaningful for academia and industry linkage to commercialize the advanced technologies developed by strengthening the culture of research at Pakistani universities, he added.

According to the official, financial support of Rs14 million is available for extending commercialization of approved research. Further, the five years Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), approved project of approx. Rs3 billion could be taken further to form a joint venture of academia and industry to initiate industrial scale product development and its commercialization, he said.

HEC announces an indigenous scholarship program for Ph.D. 2018-19

Under this programme, 126 proposal/projects have been funded through the first two phases of development covering all the regions of Pakistan, the deadline of third phase proposals is until August 30.

TDF programme becomes the trademark which makes HEC win the trust of industrial sector which is not only partnering but also providing financial support, and research support for successful commercialization, he boasted.

TDF has called upon various industries to participate in the programme in order to leverage its potential that could add value to their products and services, the companies and industries already partnered with academia are Engro, Fauji group of companies, Sazgar engineering, Qarshi industries, SUZU, TCS, Shezan, Starco fans, Metro Habib Cash and Carry, Shakarganj, Pioneer cement, Shafi ResoChem, Saffron, Shama Ghee, and Season Foods.

Apart from private companies and business sector, national defense sector organizations including PAF Kamra, HMC, Heavy Electrical Complex, PAEC, NESCOM are partnered in order to meet national security needs.



Riaz Haq said...

Mutant Varieties Satisfy Market and add USD 6 Billion to Pakistan’s Economy

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/mutant-varieties-satisfy-market-and-add-usd-6-billion-to-pakistans-economy

When Pakistani farmers harvested fields planted with a new mutant variety of cotton, not only did they have a higher yield, they also received a higher price at the market because of the improved fibre quality. Farmers who adopted mutant varieties of sesame released in 2016 saw yields double and income increase, and now these new varieties cover 50 percent of the area planted to sesame in the entire country. Those who planted a mutant variety of castor bean released in 2017, bred for early maturity and high oil content, have already planted it on 2 000 ha and are making an extra USD 618 per ha. These are just a few of dozens of advances made possible by Pakistan’s Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) which, with the support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, has used mutation breeding to improve varieties of eight different crops – benefitting millions of Pakistani farmers and their families, and adding billions to the Pakistan economy.

Across the millennia, those entrusted with saving seeds for planting in future seasons have always made decisions related to the environment, choosing seeds from varieties that will give them the best chance of a good harvest. Even as science has advanced the field from simply saving seeds to cross breeding and now to mutation breeding, the crucial role of the plant breeder has remained largely unchanged – developing varieties that can thrive in whatever the local environment has to offer and be resilient enough to adapt to change. Since 1969, Pakistan’s Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), an institute of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, has overseen the development of 43 mutant crop varieties, ranging from sesame seed to castor bean to mandarin to cotton – all bred in response to what Pakistan’s farmers and their consumers need.

The government of Pakistan recognizes the importance of breeding crop varieties specifically for the Pakistan situation – its terrain, its climate, the needs and capacities of its farmers and, of course, when it comes to food crops, the taste and texture that will appeal to consumers. This government support of the NIAB mutant breeding programme has paid back in terms of increased yields and higher quality products, which have not only contributed to farmers’ livelihoods, it has meant more food for the marketplace and improved food security. Two sesame varieties released in 2016 and 2017 have double the yield of traditional varieties and are more suitable for modern cultivation techniques. The mutant mandarin variety, NIAB Kinnow, released in 2017, has an increased yield of more than 30 percent and reduced seed count from around 50 to just 3-5 seeds per fruit, which makes it more valuable and popular for export.

NIAB has received support from the Joint Division for more than 30 years, including equipment and technology packages for mutation breeding, individual staff trainingthrough fellowships, and national and regional training courses. The mutation breeding process calls for irradiating and then planting crop seeds, and then screening them as they grow in the following generations to see which induced changes that emerge could be helpful for breeding in future generations – from aesthetics of colour and texture to physiological changes that account for traits such as heat or cold tolerance, resilience or length of the growing period.

Riaz Haq said...

Hospitality Management Training Program

http://hashoofoundation.org/thematic-areas/human-capital-development/hospitality-management-training-program/

Hospitality Management Training Program (HMTP) is one of the flagship programs of HF focused to impart knowledge and skills to young men and women giving them opportunities to learn & practice the skills required for the hospitality industry in Pakistan and abroad. HMTP was initiated in 1999 by introducing practical training in Marriott and Pearl Continental Hotels across Pakistan. HMTP has been expanded to Peshawar and Karachi. The qualification under this program offers food preparation, Culinary Art, Front Office, Reception, Operational Services, Food & Beverage Services and Accommodation Operations and Services. Other Technical and Vocational trainings include beautician, tailoring and professional skills training.

Following international vocational qualifications (basic to advanced diploma level) are being offered under this program:

Food Preparation and Culinary Art
Front Office and Reception Operation Services
Food & Beverage Services
Accommodation Operations and Services
HF trained over 5,000 youth since last few years, the program is facilitating youth with various International Vocational Qualifications (IVQs) curriculum/content, approved by City & Guilds UK and National Training Bureau, Islamabad.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #PTI to have comprehensive #education policy. "Vocational and Technical training is must. We are in the process of setting up skill universities besides being in close liaison with all chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in this regard" https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/363560-comprehensive-education-policy-on-the-cards

Federal minister for education and technical training Shafqat Mahmood on Monday declared out-of-school children, multiple streams of education, provision of quality education, removal of discrimination in education system and skill development real challenges for his ministry in the post-devolution regime and said the government was working on a comprehensive education policy to address them.
"The new education policy will also ensure provision of quality education to the people and will provide a level- playing field and equal opportunities to everyone," he told World Bank country director Patchamuthu Illangovan, who called on him in the ministry here.

The meeting was also attended by education secretary Arshad Mirza. The minister told the visitor that the ministry would launch a special programme for the education of street children and introduce a standard curriculum for the entire country with core compulsory subjects.

He said some of the reforms introduced in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa education sector by the last PTI government would be replicated in other parts of the country. The minister said Pakistan currently faced various challenges in education sector and that the government was fully committed to handling them with the support of the World Bank.

"Though most powers and functions of the education ministry have devolved to provinces after 18th Constitutional Amendment, we will still try to take the lead in introducing positive changes in the sector," he said.

The minister said he would ensure the ministry's reorganisation in a way that would be reflective of the government's educational priorities. He said the ministry would focus its attention on skill and human development.

"Vocational and Technical training is must. We are in the process of setting up skill universities besides being in close liaison with all chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in this regard," he said.

The minister suggested that the World Bank provide support to Pakistan on skill development in Pakistan. The WB country director appreciated the steps of the government for the promotion of education and offered the bank's help and support for it.

"We are looking forward to work closely with the government of Pakistan for the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan and for promotion of education in the country," he said. The WB country director said the number of out-of-school children in Pakistan was a big problem and the World Bank would support any effort to bring the children to schools.

“Our second aim is that Pakistan should develop the national standards on education,” he said. Regarding the skill development, the WB country director said the bank was carrying out a study to know the gap between the current education and skills and the future nature of jobs.

"This exercise will be immensely beneficial for Pakistan, too, which can work on providing trainings in those skills that can match the future requirements of the jobs," he said. Both the minister and visitor agreed on keeping regular contact and coordination for addressing the challenges in the country's education sector.