ISLAMABAD, Jan 24: An English language course, sponsored by the US Embassy, for underprivileged students, was launched at National University of Modern Languages (NUML), on Thursday, in Islamabad.

Around 900 students, ages 14 to 17, from different schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad appeared in the test, out of which 100 were selected.

Classes would be organised in the evening, at 3:30pm at NUML and would not effect the study schedule of students, said an official at NUML, adding that transport, refreshment, fee and other expenses would be paid by the US Embassy.

Parents of the students were jubilant that their children had been selected for the course.

“Its like a dream come true that my daughter and son have been selected for the English Language course. I am sure that my children would benefit from the course,” said a proud parent.

A 10th grade student, Arshia Fatima, said: “I want to be a fashion designer and I know that English is the language of art, literature, music, technology and science.

If my English improves, I will get more opportunities to grow in my professional life and it will help me achieve my dreams.”

Joelle Uzarski, Director Regional English Language Office at the US Embassy said: “Learning a language is indeed a great investment in one’s academic life but English language has definitely greater impact. So students should learn it because they will be the ultimate beneficiaries.”

Ms Uzarski expressed these views while addressing the opening ceremony of the course, which was attended by students, teachers and parents at NUML.

She said that the programme would continue for the next two years and besides school work, it would inculcate activities, projects and assignments for students. It means a lot of extra work and exhaustion but at the end of these two years, students would be the beneficiaries.

Moreover, she said that there were a great number of students who wanted to be the part of this scholarship programme but only a few managed to qualify because of the selection criteria.

Earlier, while addressing the opening ceremony, Registrar NUML Brig (retired) Saeed Akhtar Malik said that the programme was designed to provide a significant English language learning experience to students.—Ikram Junaidi

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