Students of Balochistan and Federally Administrated Tribal Area (FATA) will get free education from spring 2018 through the distance learning system of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).
This is first-time that AIOU is offering free education at secondary-level for the people of marginalised or less-developed areas of the country.
The announcement was made by AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui while addressing the National Conference on English language and Literature, which concluded here after a number of proposals were accepted in order to expand the knowledge-corridor of English learning.
The two-day event was organised by the university’s department of English Language and Applied Linguistics in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Providing free education to Balochistan and FATA’s students is meant to supplement the government’s efforts in upgrading educational facilities in the country and bringing the maximum number of people in the educational net.
The university has already been providing free education to the oft-neglected sections of the society, that include disabled persons, prisoners, drop-out girls and transgender group. Now they are going to take care of the economically less-privileged areas of the country, by making education till Matriculation, free for the students of Balochistan and FATA, according to the VC.
The university had already waived off tuition fee for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the tribal areas, in the wake of the counter-terrorism operation, undertaken by the Pakistan Army. It is also providing scholarships to the deserving students to ensure that nobody should be left without education because of financial constraints.
To ease the access to education for all segments of society, accessibility centres were specially set up at their 44 regional offices for visually impaired students, the vice-chancellor added.
Dr Shahid Siddiqui concluded with apprising the participants of the conference of the academic achievements during the last three years, ever since he took over the charge as vice chancellor.