Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Ida Rieu School & college has achieved a century of service in Karachi and offered them to partners with his government which would provide them with building, infrastructure, and funds to run such educational facilities for differently abled children in every divisional headquarter in the first phase, and in the district headquarter in the second.

This he said while speaking at the inaugural session of the first International Conference on Higher Education for the Deaf in Pakistan organized by Ida Rieu Schools & Colleges for the Blind and Deaf Administration in collaboration with NED University at the IDA Rieu Complex near Mazar-e-Quaid.

Mr. Shah said that education was the most important tool we could provide to society, one which paved the way to the door of opportunities. “There cannot be growth, learning, or development without it,” he said and added he believed the platform has provided us with the vital opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in terms of education for the differently abled, as well as the challenges we face ahead.

The CM appreciated the services of Ida Rieu, which has been at the forefront of providing quality education for differently abled children for almost a century, empowering these children as well as ensuring inclusiveness and equality. “Each and every one of you is playing a lead role in creating a more accessible, and inclusive Pakistan,” he said and added that thousands of students with special abilities have had the chance to develop their talents and make their unique contributions to the world. “And thanks to them, our country grows stronger and more vibrant,” he said.

Our obligation as a community is to continue to work and provide quality service for the differently abled, Murad Ali Shah said and added alongside education, developing, and nurturing their skills, hobbies, and talents were salient for their personal growth.

The CM said that a conference among all stakeholders on Higher Education for the Deaf would surely help in charting a path for their growth.

The chief minister said that his government has taken many legislative steps to ensure the rights of Persons with special abilities. He added that many other world-class projects have been successfully executed to facilitate and develop persons in both Sindh’s urban and rural parts.

“It is our objective that our specially-abled people are empowered to their full potential and provide them with equal participation in Pakistan’s development process so that our goals of achieving equality and inclusiveness are realized for all citizens of Pakistan.,” the CM said.

The chief minister said that the services provided by Ida Rieu Association were commendable. “We have school buildings in every divisional and district headquarter but we are lacking in expertise,” he said and offered the Ida Rieu to come over and run government schools for differently-abled persons in every divisional headquarter. “We will provide you funds and other facilities,” he said

Earlier, the chief minister visited classrooms of the school and mixed with children busy with IT education, arts, and other activities. Mr. Shah appreciated a differently abled child who made his portrait with a pencil.

On the occasion, Federal Minister Shazia Marri, CM’s Special Assistant Sadiq Memon, VC NED Dr Sarosh Lodhi, Dr. Panjwani, and others spoke on the occasion.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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