Pakistan will be launching a Rs 3 billion STEM schools project this year, aimed at promoting digital education in the country.

Speaking at an international webinar “Future of (online) education in Pakistan”,  Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that the project aimed at bringing STEM schools for grades six, seven, and eight, adding that the project would be the first of its kind in Pakistan.

 “This year, we abstracted 464 schools at the federal level from all the provinces that we are turning into a STEM school,” the minister for science and technology said.

Chaudhry said digital education was the only way forward for securing a bright future for the country. “We want to take up about 5,000 government schools. We want to upgrade them as a STEM schools,” he said. “Digital education is the future of Pakistan.”

The webinar was organized by Coded Minds Pakistan, a global iSTEAM and leadership company. Local and international education experts participated in the webinar to discuss the future of online education in Pakistan. According to Chaudhry, his  ministry was already working on establishing digital education in the country way before the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking on the subject, Dr Ahsan Feroz of Pakistan Science Foundation, currently working on the STEM school project, said the project was in the approval stage. “As soon as the budget is approved, we will immediately start working on the project,” he added. Punjab Education Minister Murad Rass said access to internet was a major challenge in promoting online education.

Concluding the discussion, Omar Farooqui, founder and the president of Coded Minds, said COVID-19 gave an excellent opportunity to strengthen public-private partnerships. He said that his company opted to start operations in Pakistan not just because there was a huge opportunity to work on education, but also because there was support from the government at every level.

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