The Minister of State of Information Technology Ms. Anousha Rehman inaugurated the newly constructed ICT block of Lahore College for Women University this Wednesday.
Anousha Rehman during the ceremony said that with the insertion of swift advancements in the innovations and technological domains of Pakistan, the notion would be unfair if we do not let this bridge up with Pakistani women at their early stage of education
Usually, the labs and facilities in universities are embedded within the same vicinity and share resources with other domains and establishing a separate block for IT is not a very common practice. This provides a unique chance for LCWU to use it for other purposes.
During the ceremony, the minister pointed out some important points to make best use of the facility.
A facility not just for computer students:
She advised the university administration to introduce IT courses for the non-IT students as information technology has assumed a pivotal role in every sphere of life.
Offering courses to non-IT and IT students in parallel to their regular studies can be a bonus in professional development of the students if the administrations takes this into serious consideration.
A Tech incubator also!
According to Anousha Rehman, “It will lead the women to empowerment” if the new ICT block does not aim only to be a center of excellence in information and communication technologies, but also work as an incubation center for young entrepreneurs.
Since this establishment is in a college cum university – the department would be serving to conduct education as per the curriculum. So, to house incubation facility within the facility can be challenging for the administration. Also, the process of coming up with good startups and getting them on-board takes a considerable time and effort.
Research and Partnerships:
Additionally, the Minister of State also stressed upon the university administration to conduct quality research and innovations within the same vicinity. She pointed out that Public-private partnership would be a best option to achieve this goal.
These suggestion for incubation development facilities and research collaborations can be achieved by the university through effective decision making and vision for entrepreneurship and by making use of available opportunities.
There are many software houses, private firms and foreign tech companies who tender innovative partnerships, resource forums, and products for such setups. Examples of such initiatives are “Google for Entrepreneurs” and “Microsoft Partner Network”
Reaching out to under served areas:
The minister expressed the Government’s resolve by saying that they are working on the special project of ICT for girls where we want to establish computer labs for the girls of unserved /underserved areas and teach them coding, so that they could earn an honourable livelihood
By this effort, computer awareness can reach to thousands of girls and students who get their basic education via the existing schooling systems, but are unable to get a handy skill in computer usage.
Prof. Dr. Uzma Qureshi, the Vice Chancellor of LCWU, also put the word out in regards to contributions from the university for the city of Lahore for the empowerment of women through education. During the ceremony she remarked that with spreading IT related knowledge across the board for women will help the latter in gaining modern knowledge. She labeled the students as “the future builders of Pakistan” the young women who can transform themselves to entrepreneurs and also vital donors to the knowledge based economy of the Pakistan.
CEO ICT R&D fund Mr. Asif Roomi was also accompanying the Minister in this inaugural ceremony.