US Consul General in Karachi Michael Dodman and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb joined Hyderabad Commissioner Jamal Mustafa to launch construction work of three US-funded buildings at universities across the province of Sindh.
These state-of-the-art buildings were being constructed at Shah Abdul Latif University in Khairpur, University of Karachi and the University of Sindh in Hyderabad.
Emphasising the long-term commitment of the US government to improving education in Pakistan, the US Consul General Dodman said, “The three new buildings will serve as a milestone in cooperation between the United States and Pakistan for improving the teaching profession. By better preparing teachers, we are ensuring a better future for the children of Pakistan. The ground breaking today here at the University of Sindh is ceremonial and the construction is already happening at the other two campuses.”
Over the next two years, USAID would provide $40 million for the construction of 16 new faculties of education buildings throughout Pakistan. All the newly constructed buildings would be modern, eco-friendly, equipped with Wi-Fi and media libraries. Also more than 2,500 students and 200 faculty members would use these facilities every year.
These new buildings would be used for two new teacher education programmes that the USAID and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan designed in 2010. It is a two-year Associate Degree in Education (ADE) and a four-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed. Honors). USAID is currently working with 110 universities and teacher training colleges across Pakistan to initiate these programmes at the earliest. Additionally, the USAID was cooperating with the government at various levels to improve policies and planning to address the need for qualified teachers.
On the occasion Hyderabad Commissioner Mustafa acknowledged the US contributions. “I am confident that a fundamental and far-reaching change has come in teacher education with the new degree programmes introduced with USAID support and better-equipped universities and colleges through our partnership with the US government. Today’s ground-breaking of new faculty of education buildings at three of our best universities is a testimony of our continued efforts and commitment to the improvement of education in our province.”
The construction of new facilities was part of a comprehensive US education assistance programme for Pakistan. It should also be mentioned here that since 2009, the US had rebuilt and rehabilitated more than 600 schools, sponsored 10,000 university scholarships and training for 12,000 teachers, and had also expanded the network of English teaching skills for more than 5,000 low-income students.