LAHORE: Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr Shafqat Mahmood has said that higher education institutions must revamp the curriculum of degree programs according to the needs of the market to develop relevant skills among the students. He was addressing the certificate awarding ceremony under Prime Minister’s Skill for All – Hunarmand Pakistan Program organized by the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training at Al Raazi Hall.

Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad, Chairman National Vocational Technical Training Commission’s (NAVTTC) Syed Javed Hassan, officials and students participated in the event.

Addressing the ceremony, Mr Shafqat Mahmood said that many of the world’s leading entrepreneurs did not get higher education but their skills brought them forward and now they were leading the world in their relevant fields. He said that one of the major challenges of higher education institutions in Pakistan was to produce graduates having market-oriented skills.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken several initiatives to provide job opportunities to the youth and these efforts were also being made to develop required skills among youth so that either they could get a job or they could become entrepreneurs. He said that as many as 110 billion rupees had been allocated for this initiative. He said that the government was also monitoring the quality of training institutions in order to ensure a high standard of skills being imparted to the students. He said that Pakistan’s job market had the potential to absorb our graduates however there was a need to develop specific skills among the students as per the requirements of the market.

Appreciating the improvement in the international ranking of Punjab University, the minister said that Prof Niaz Ahmad deserved the credit for uplifting the standard of the university and he was happy to see a jump of 87 points in the QS ranking of the PU, making it 145th best university in Asia.

Chairman NAVTTC Syed Javed Hassan said that the institution was promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and hundreds of thousands of students would be given technical training in various fields. He said that a large number of graduates after completing their training programs were working as freelancers as well. He said that under the Prime Minister’s initiative, efforts were being made to develop required skills among our youth so that they could progress in their fields of interest.

In his welcome address, PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmad said that the government had facilitated the universities to excel at the international level with funding and encouragement of research projects. However, he said, the universities must focus on producing graduates with the required knowledge of the fields as well as relevant skills. He said that the PU administration had updated the curriculum of all the degree programs and launched new degree programs in the last three years in order to meet national requirements and produce skilled graduates. He said that our graduates have degrees but they lacked the required skills due to which they were facing difficulties in obtaining jobs or launching entrepreneurship programs in the market.

Author

Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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