KHAIRPUR - A GHAFFAR MAHAR - US Ambassador in Pakistan, Richard Olson paid a visit to Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur on Monday.
Speaking at an interactive dialogue session with students and faculty members, Olson expressed delight at being on the varsity, the premier university of upper Sindh.
He opined that in relations between US and Pakistan, both have experienced many challenging situations. Recently, successive governments in Pakistan have desired and initiated a mutual strategic dialogue. Sartaj Aziz during this dialogue last month had recently laid more focus on education with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Ambassador Olson said, “We remain committed to support the academia in Pakistan through our special focus on teachers training, exchange programs, Fulbright and undergraduate programmes. “Also, that our special attention is for the improvement of primary health and education in the remote areas of Pakistan including Upper Sindh.
Olson said a well-empowered vibrant active civil society comes about through checks and balance in governance, alumni network and community building and should be the main priorities. He stressed that the US keenly desires peace in Pakistan. “We are cooperating with Pakistan for the building of peace particularly in Balochistan and FATA areas,” Olson said adding, “We encourage for the establishment of US Universities in Pakistan with the public private cooperation and partnership.” Also, that education is of crucial importance in Pakistan.
He announced to establish TOFEL and ILETS Centre at Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur. This would go a very long way in facilitating aspiring students and scholars from the region to well-prepare, appear and qualify in these examinations.
Country Director of USAID Pakistan Mr. Greg Gottlieb also enlightened students and faculty about the various projects under process in Pakistan especially the Faculty of Education at Shah Abdul Latif University. It will impart teachers training and quality education at a cutting edge level.
Michael Dodman, US Consulate General, Karachi briefed that they are providing the nascent talent of high school and college students through micro English access programme and more than 70,000 students have successfully completed this programme. The highly advanced hospital complex comprising 300 beds was coming up fast at Jacobabad duly assisted by USAID.
Prof Dr Parveen Shah, Vice Chancellor, SALU, Khairpur appreciated the role of US Consulate General, Karachi who has been frequently in contact and many of his officials have been visiting the US, but the foundation was laid by Syed Javed Sadiq, Senior Advisor Public Diplomacy, US Consulate General Karachi.
Dr Parveen Shah informed that they’ll sign MoUs on academic collaboration with Mississippi University, Oxford, in the month of March this year. She said that Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur stands as a bulwark against religious extremism. A clear manifestation of which is that despite religious, cultural and dogmatic tribal traditions strait-jacketing the society, all our programs are based on co-education to engender respect and appreciation among young males and female students.
The VC said, “We are firmly committed to improve our education standards by promoting culture of merit and competition in terms of recruitment on all position beyond biased attitude based at any cost negating creed, gender and social status as qualifying factors.
Dr Shah praised her committed staff in diligently working day and night to promote quality education, standard of research work and improve overall environment of the University. “The real challenge we are trying to overcome is the insufficient infrastructure,” she said adding, “We have an ambitious vision to be a highly reputed University where integrating research, teaching and learning with a great emphasis on quality remains our core strategy.
Dr Parveen Shah highlighted that current on-campus students’ enrolment has reached 9,000 students. She proudly pointed out that 3,000 of which are girls. The students actively participated in questions answers with enthusiasm. The Vice Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellors presented cultural gifts to the US Ambassador.
Earlier, the US ambassador was warmly received by Prof Dr Parveen Shah, along with senior faculty members. The interactive dialogue session was attended by Prof Dr Miandad Zardari, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Main Campus, Prof Dr Lutfullah Mangi, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Shikarpur Campus, Prof Dr. Syed Ahmed Hussain Shah, Dean, faculty of Social Sciences & Arts, Prof Dr Yasmeen Faiz Kazi, Dean,. Faculty of Natural Sciences, Prof Dr. Ghulam Murtaza Maitlo, Dean faculty of Commerce & Business Administration, Registrar Barkatullah Qureshi, Chairmen, faculty members and large number of students.