AIOU to open 3,000 rural Internet schools in country


The Allama Iqbal Open University is planning to open 3,000 schools under Rural Internet School Education plan across the country, announced AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi on Monday. The announcement was made by him while addressing inaugural ceremony of the newly established Noor Model Study Centre at Umerkot in collaboration with the Sindh government, a visionary step by AIOU for the educational revolution. Sindh Senior Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazaharul Haq inaugurated the Noor Model Study Center. A large number of dignitaries, educationists of the region were present.
The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including chemistry and computer labs, two video conferencing systems, a multimedia project, Internet, radio, television and CDs, educational transmission of FM channel. the business management, mass communication, computer sciences, FA/FSc and other subjects through video conferencing at Umarkot Model Study Centre.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Dr Sangi announced that students from Umarkot would be given 50 percent special fee concession on each programme for the current semester. He said the university would launch a PhD programme in the field of computer sciences soon. Dr Sangi said the Model Study Centre would help eradicate illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and backwardness from the region. The centre would be providing equal access to education from grassroots to higher level in different disciplines. He said the students participating in various programmes would get easy educational facilities through video conferencing at their doorsteps. Dr Sangi said students from Tharparker, Mirpurkhas and other districts would particularly benefit from the video conferencing and facility of other e-learning technology.
Senior Sindh Minister Pir Mazaharul Haq announced the Sindh government would provide necessary funds to AIOU for setting up similar model study centres in other parts of the province. His government, he added, would also provide additional funds to the AIOU for conducting computer and business administration programmes for poor students. He said the task of developing Sindhi-Urdu software would be assigned to the AIOU. He lauded the contribution of the AIOU for spreading quality and inexpensive educational facility to the people, especially those from the neglected regions. He thanked President Asif Ali Zardari for appointing a qualified person as its VC.
Prof Dr Syed Abdus Siraj and Hyderabad Regional Director Inam Ullah Sheikh also addressed the inaugural ceremony and highlighted the latest educational facilities being provided by the AIOU across the country. The university, they said, would impart online education and provide direct link between teachers and students through audio-visual conferences.