Feedback of students vital to success of Ehsaas Programme: PM’s aide

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Sania Nishtar poses with students during her visit to a school in the outskirts of Islamabad on Wednesday. — APP
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Sania Nishtar poses with students during her visit to a school in the outskirts of Islamabad on Wednesday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Making sure that young people are heard is the most important step towards ensuring that the maximum number of students benefit from Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar said on Wednesday.

She was addressing faculty members and students enrolled in undergraduate programmes who were awarded scholarships last year at National University of Technology (NUTECH).

She said the programme has contributed significantly towards changing the educational landscape of Pakistan by offering scholarships to students applying for undergraduate programmes; around 49 students from the university were awarded scholarships last year.

Dr Nishtar interacted with students to gain insight about their educational aspirations. Human resource division advisor at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Hassan Jalil Shah, Project Director of the scholarship programme Rao Mohammad Azhar and rector of the university were also present.

“To make the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme more responsive, the voices of students are critical,” she told students. The scholarship programme covers academic expenses including 100pc tuition fee and a stipend for accommodation.

According to the programme, students with a family income of less than Rs45,000 per month, studying in first and second semesters in any of the 125 public sector universities are eligible to apply for the academic year 2020-21. Application deadline for eligible students is Nov 30, 2020 on HEC’s online portal.

Meanwhile, to oversee new enrollments of deserving children in Waseela-e-Tasleem (WeT) programme, Dr Nishtar along with the Ehsaas team visited Islamabad Model School for Girls and Mubeen Shah Model School for Boys in Jhang Syedan. During the visit, she met with teachers, parents and children.

The programme, she said, has undergone reform with the use of technology Sharing details about recently introduced reforms, Dr Nishtar said: “All institutional arrangements have been made to expand WeT, nationwide in all districts of Pakistan. About four million primary school-going children will benefit from this initiative next year. Under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the stipend for girls has been increased to Rs2,000 per quarter. The stipend for boys has been increased to Rs1,500 per quarter.”

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2020