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LAHORE, Jan 17: The Intel Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Punjab higher education department to implement Intel Youth Enterprise -- Entrepreneurship Basics Course, wherein it will train 2,000 students by the end of this year.

According to a news release issued here on Thursday, the training programme will be targeting unemployed youths and adults interested in setting up their own businesses but lack basic skills required by an entrepreneur. The student entrepreneurs will be imparted necessary skills and knowledge to allow them to identify a business opportunity and work on a real social challenge.

Intel Pakistan country manager Naveed Siraj says the training programme’s curriculum aims at delivering a wide range of skills including developing a business plan, improving communication and negotiation skills, and the use of technology in business. “This training programme is designed to be delivered through a blended learning approach, with instructor-led and e-learning components,” Mr Siraj added.

The higher education department spokesperson said the entrepreneurship training would target both female and male students.

“We believe students should not be taught just to avail opportunities, rather they should learn to create opportunities for themselves, and for others too. Being self-employed is the best choice, especially in the times of economic recession,” the spokesperson added.

ASER report: The Annual Status of Education Report team held an ASER 2012 pre-launch media briefing on Thursday.

Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi programme manager Imtiaz Nizami said the ASER had this year conducted survey of students’ learning levels in 136 districts (rural) and six districts (urban) across Pakistan. He said the survey covered 4,226 villages, 82,521 households and 5,944 schools, and assessed learning levels of 251,444 5-16 years of age children. As many as 83,746 mothers were also tested with regard to their education level. Overall, he said, over 9,000 volunteers conducted the survey. He said the ASER Survey, 2012, reports would be launched by the end of this year.

The participants also demanded that the Punjab government share with the public and the Punjab Assembly the Compulsory and Free Education Commission’s drafted law for the ‘Article 25-A - Right To Education’. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had constituted the commission headed by Justice Khalilur Rehman Khan (retired) to draft the law in August last year.

The commission submitted a draft law to the chief minister on Nov 21. Since then, the draft law has not been shared even with the Punjab Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education.