Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) Syed Amin ul Haque inaugurated the first digital school in the country in the Orangi Town area of Karachi.

The Government Girls’ Secondary School Raees Amrohi was adopted and renovated by Telecom Foundation Education System as the first-ever digital school in the country under the vision of transforming communities.

The Federal IT Minister while speaking at the occasion, said that the government was working with a futuristic vision of the development and prosperity of Pakistan and several measures particularly in information technology and telecommunication sectors were being taken in this regard.

He said that the first-ever digital school in the country was opened in Orangi Town, an under-developed and under-served area of Karachi, where students, along with formal education, would also be provided training in market-oriented computer and coding skills to enable them to join the digital world and start earning well before completion of their secondary level education.

The minister, while reiterating his commitment to the development of Orangi Town and the welfare of the area residents, said that the digital school would prove another significant career-building opportunity for girl students of Orangi Town.

A campus of Virtual University was already working in the area and a modern IT lab was developed at Moulvi Abdul Haq School while CSS coaching classes would also begin in the next month, he said and vowed that steps would be taken to upgrade the digital school to a graduate level educational institute.

The minister said, the federal government has sanctioned Rs.500 million for the development of Orangi town and several schemes would start to develop the area, he said and added that he has taken the matter of extension of BRT Orange Line up to Raees Amrohi colony with CM Sindh who consented to the proposal.

Amin ul Haque said that work on Karachi IT Park had already been kicked off and completion of the project would generate thousands of employment opportunities for youth in the metropolis.

The Centre of Excellence at Karachi University, IT Incubation Centre, steps for the promotion of gaming and animation and other considerate measures would further strengthen the IT infrastructure and human resources in the country, he said.

Highlighting the major achievements of the IT Ministry, he informed that 70 new projects of internet connectivity worth Rs.65 billion had started in far-flung and under-served areas across Pakistan.

He added that teledensity had swelled to over 90 percent and the number of mobile phone subscribers reached 197 million while broadband coverage had been expanded to 124 million people.

Under the policy of affordable smartphones for every citizen, local manufacturing of mobile phones was allowed and now 29 companies including world famous brands have started production in Pakistan, he said and added, we are eyeing the availability of smartphones at an affordable price range between Rs.15 to 20 thousand so that every citizen could easily buy a 4-G smartphone and start an online business.”

President and CEO Telecom Foundation Zomma Mohiuddin, while speaking at the occasion, expressed his commitment to the transformation of communities into digitally facilitated communities and said that students of the digital school will get training in digital courses and coding under Google CS first program.

He said that Orangi Town was selected for the project due to its Human Development Index ranking and higher literacy rate and it would serve a large number of households in underdeveloped areas.

Besides formal education and skill development, training will also be provided to students so that they could act as agents of change in their community, he said.

Member Sindh Assembly Sadaqat Hussain, Regional director Telecom Foundation Azam Khan, Director Sindh Education Foundation Ashfaq Hussain Mirani, Director General MoITT and Aftab Rasheed also spoke at the occasion.

The minister also distributed laptops among the students who secured top positions in board examinations while shields and appreciation certificates were also distributed.

Related: MoITT Syed Amin Ul Haque vows to launch 5G technology next year

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

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