USAID awards 250 scholarships to talented students

KARACHI: The US Agency for International Development USAID awarded scholarships to 250 talented students enrolled in the recently introduced twoyear Associate and the fouryear Bachelor’s Degrees in Education Program Punjab.

“I am delighted to see such bright students from Punjab who have dedicated themselves to a life of learning, scholarship, and service,” remarked Jeffery Bakken, acting US Consul General Lahore and USAID Director for Punjab. He added, “I am confident that the new comprehensive degree programs and USAID scholarships will give us better trained teachers and will therefore improve the education for thousands of Pakistani boys and girls.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Samina Qadir, Vice Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Women University said, “I want to thank the American people for providing resources for this scholarship program and I also want to thank the United States government for its commitment to improving education in the country to build a stronger and more prosperous Pakistan.”

This Punjab scholarship program is part of a larger $75 million USAID Teacher Education Project.

In addition, USAID works closely with the government of Pakistan to develop and implement innovative curricula for two recently launched degree programs: a fouryear Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a twoyear Associate Degree in Education. A total of 1,900 students across Pakistan will be awarded scholarships under this project. More than 250 scholarships have been awarded to students in Punjab previously.

The USAID basic education program seeks to bring 3.2 million children to reading at or above grade level over the next five years by improving instructional quality and strengthening education systems.

USAID works to increase the number of children learning to read by: transforming the way teachers teach; promoting active community involvement in school governance; reforming government institutions; and promoting publicprivate partnerships.

The US education assistance program also includes building or rehabilitating nearly 800 schools; launching new degree programs in education at 90 teacher colleges and universities; providing scholarships for 12,000 students to study in Pakistan; and operating the largest Fulbright academic exchange program in the world.

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