Former Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan said that Information Technology (IT) is the future and the youth must focus on both higher education and skill development in line with the latest skill trends. He was addressing the ‘Taleem Aur Hunar Sath Sath’ Orientation Drive’ seminar held at Government College University (GCU), Lahore.

Addressing a large crowd of students, Imran Khan said, “We are trying our best to provide support to startups. It’s high-time that students are steered in the right direction with proper skills and opportunities.” The former premier added that the IT companies around the world are earning billions of dollars in revenue.

‘Taleem Aur Hunar Sath Sath’ is an initiative of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) on the direction of the Punjab Government to empower the youth and build awareness about opportunities that foster both skills and education.

Former Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood, Provincial Minister for Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz, Punjab Information Technology (IT) Minister Dr Arslan Khalid, Senior Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, Former Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Former Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, GCU Lahore Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr. Asghar Zaidi, Information Technology University (ITU) VC Dr Sarfraz Khurshid, PITB DG e-Governance Sajid Latif, Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Chairman Badar Khushnood, Enablers CEO & Co-Founder Saqib Azhar and GFXMentor Founder Imran Ali Dina attended the event as guest speakers. A large number of students also attended the event.

Addressing the event, Former Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that the students must keep up with the times and give importance to both skills and education.

Provincial Minister Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab, Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz said that skills and education are inseparable. He said, “If the youth is equipped with modern skills along with education, it will increase their worth and they will be able to get better employment.”

Punjab IT Minister Dr Arsalan Khalid said that the youth will be successful only when they are equipped with quality education and modern skills. “Information Technology (IT) can play a very important role in making ‘Taleem Aur Hunar Sath Sath’ initiative” both rewarding by enlightening youth to acquire the right set of digital skills.

Senior Minister Punjab Mian Aslam Iqbal said that the young students have to play their role in the development of the country. “The youth must be passionate about serving their country,” he added.

Former Federal Minister Hammad Azhar remarked on the occasion that the youth was the real face of the country and they could change its destiny if steered in the right direction.

Former provincial Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht said that the role of youth is highly imperative in the development of countries. “The developed countries like China provide their young with proper facilities and opportunities,” he added.

Government College University VC Professor Dr. Asghar Zaidi said that skills have been given equal importance in various educational programs at GCU. He said that GCU has produced great leaders and personalities and will continue to do so in the future.

ITU Vice Chancellor Dr. Sarfraz Khurshid commended the ‘Taleem Aur Hunar Sath Sath’ initiative and said that the students must decide during their studies as to which skills they want to master along with their education.

P@SHA Chief Badar Khushnood was of the view that securing decent employment wasn’t possible without quality education and modern skills.

Meanwhile, Saqib Azhar said that in today’s age, success wasn’t possible without IT. “Even youngsters can earn handsome money with the help of IT with right skills,” he added.

GFXMentor Founder Imran Ali shared his experiences with the students and stressed them to learn some modern skills along with completing their education.

The initiative in question has been supported by Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) and Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA). In this regard, a series of seminars are being organized in 10 districts of Punjab from September 19 to October 19. These seminars are being attended by distinguished speakers, freelancers and trainers to create awareness among students.

Related: Imran Khan’s GCU visit draws ire among political opponents

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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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