KARACHI: An academic and cultural cooperation agreement was signed by the rector of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) and the consul general of Italy on Saturday morning.
The agreement was signed at the institute’s Entrepreneurship and Management Excellence Centre. Several students, faculty members and management were also present.
According to the agreement, the Italian consulate in Karachi will provide IoBM with funding and help students’ studying the Italian language along with cultural exchange trips to Italy for students and faculty.
According to IoBM rector Talib Karim, the idea behind this agreement came when Consul General Dr Gianluca Rubagotti showed interest in why a native Italian speaker was not teaching the language at the institute.
He explained that they did have a teacher, but she had been taken ill recently and they had an arrangement where a student was taking the course. “He [Dr Rubagotti] said that in order for the students to learn the language it was important to have a native Italian teacher,” said Mr Karim, adding that they started working on the agreement when the consul general said that they would find a teacher and help with the funds.
As a result of this agreement, Maria Paola, who works with the Family Educational Services Foundation, is now teaching Italian at IoBM.
“The whole idea behind such collaborations is to show a softer image of Pakistan,” said Mr Karim. “I think there is a lot of negative publicity. These sort of collaborations with embassies help improve the image. The students who go to study abroad come back as great ambassadors. They do very well there. They come back with friendship and great memories.”
The consul general said he was happy to be here because “it showed that it’s not just about having ideas, it is also about implementing them”. “I am very happy that we found a teacher like Maria who I know will give a great contribution to these classes,” he said.
Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2016