ISLAMABAD, Aug 18: The Punjab government has requested the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to establish education cities in Punjab where foreign education institutions will be encouraged to open their campuses to provide quality education within the country.

This was stated by provincial minister for higher education and youth affairs, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, during a meeting with Chairperson HEC Dr Javaid R Laghari at the commission’s headquarter in Islamabad.

During the meeting, it was decided that internet connections would be provided to all colleges in Punjab. The colleges would also be linked to HEC’s e-library which would provide students access to nearly 25,000 books and journals online.

Furthermore, it was decided that a faculty training programme for teachers would be launched soon. The effective implementation of Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme, establishment of the country’s first laptop assembling plant, and the enrollment emergency campaign were also discussed in the meeting.

The minister was of the view that the move to assemble laptops in the country would not only help strengthen the indigenous capacity to manufacture laptops but would also create job opportunities for unemployed youth.

Members of the meeting were told that the Board of Investment (BOI) would organise an international investors’ conference to establish the country’s first laptop assembling plant.

Similarly, the members were told that the Punjab education ministry would establish a complaint cell to address various educational issues, and a proper ‘performance evaluation mechanism’ would be developed for teachers.

Media manager of HEC, Murtaza Noor, while talking to Dawn said with every passing day, it was becoming difficult to get higher education abroad as the visa process had become very difficult for students.

“Students have to spend a lot of funds on education abroad, and establishing campuses of foreign institutions in Pakistan would provide them quality education within the country. An education city will first be established in Lahore and then in other cities,” he said.

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