ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training on Sunday expressed its deep appreciation for the academic achievements made by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) during the last three years.
According to minutes of the recently held meeting, the committee particularly lauded the students’ welfare schemes undertaken by the AIOU, and hoped that the country’s other institutions would follow the same model. The committee recommended that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) should increase its funding to the varsity.
During the meeting, the committee’s members were unanimous in praising the AIOU for upgrading the educational facilities and offering nine scholarship schemes for deserving students, and for those living in remote regions of the country.
The committee members also appreciated the management of the varsity for providing free education to prisoners, displaced persons and drop-out girls, as well as setting up accessibility centres for the visually impaired students in the university’s central library and 44 regional offices.
It may be mentioned here that AIOU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui last week declared that they would be providing free Matric education to students belonging to Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from the next semester.
The meeting was chaired by Senator Rahila Magsi, and attended by the Federal Education and Professional Training Minister Muhammad Balighur Rehman, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Senator Sehar Kamran, Senator Gul Bashra, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Razina Alam Khan and Senator Azam Khan Swati.
In her remarks, Senator Rahila Magsi stated that they were pleased and highly satisfied with the AIOU’s performance and achievements in the educational sector.
On the occasion, Dr Shahid Siddiqui gave a comprehensive briefing on the university’s overall learning management system. He apprised the committee about the AIOU’s on-going academic programmes and new initiatives in the field of research, professional development and online learning. He said the varsity was being developed in a way as to meet the challenges of the modern time, by improving the literacy rate and taking education to the door-steps of the people.
He further elaborated by saying that initiatives undertaken by the varsity in different areas of interest included, research, professional development, students’ support system, revision of curricula and textbooks, delivery system and social responsibility.
The committee expressed satisfaction over the university’s financial management system and hoped it would maintain its sound budgetary model.
Addressing the participants, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed admired the vice chancellor for his efforts in turning around the university towards excellence. Meanwhile, Senator Azam Swati requested the chair to record the appreciation in the minutes of the meeting, while offering to support AIOU efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Moreover, Senator Sehar Kamran and Senator Rahila Magsi announced to donate free land to AIOU for setting up its regional campuses.