The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) and Universal Service Fund (USF) have signed an agreement with Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) for “Establishment of Computer Labs in Girls’ Schools in Rural Islamabad Capital Territory”.
Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan, Minister of State for CADD, Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, CEO USF, Mr. Haaris M. Chaudhary, and General Manager, Microsoft, Miss Leila Serhan were present at the contract signing ceremony that was held at MoITT.
In addition to the MoU signed for the establishment of computer labs in girls’ schools, another MoU was signed between USF and Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) & Microsoft for the training of over 90 teachers by Microsoft for these computer labs.
Under the agreement, advanced ICT facilities and trained human resources will be provided to the girls’ schools in rural Islamabad capital territory. Various primary, middle level and secondary girls’ schools will be selected for the project. The project aims to empower young girls by equipping them with modern IT knowledge. This will foster digital coding skills and build an early stage aptitude that will facilitate them in becoming future entrepreneurs, hence contributing to Pakistan’s knowledge-based economy. Anusha Rehman said,
“ICT is the lever of economic progress. We are using this lever to empower the girls from the marginalized sections of society. Through this initiative, we aim to help approximately 33,000 girls’ students, enrolled in these institutions, by making them computer literate and bringing them at par with students elsewhere in the world. This program for girls will help reduce the gender disparity at large.”
Finance Minister appreciated the efforts of Ministry, USF, CADD and Microsoft. He said that the promotion of ICT in rural areas is in line with Prime Minister’s vision of building a digital and financially inclusive Pakistan. He stressed that projects like these will enable self-sustainability and self-dependency among women. The Minister also highlighted various IT-related initiatives of the government including the IT park which is being established in Islamabad with the help of a loan from Korean EXIM Bank.