Minister for Education Engr. Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman Friday said that the Accessibility Centers(ACs) set up by Allama Iqbal University (AIOU) for visually impaired students will serve as a model to provide similar support to disabled on country-wide basis. The visually handicapped students need special attention to enable them live a normal life and to participate in the country’s socio-economic development, he said while inaugurating the newly constructed building at the University’s regional office, Jhang.
He also opened the Accessibility Center(ACs) established in the building that was constructed with cost of Rs. 110 million within a period of about two years. The Minister lauded the AIOU’s recent initiatives of providing special support to the depressed section of the society, particularly the disabled and prisoners. Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui said that the accessibility centers have been established almost in all the 44 regional offices of the University, along with the libraries, connected with Central library in Islamabad.
He hoped that the newly built-up infrastructure network will better facilities to more 20,000 students of the Jhang’s region. The accessibility Center, he said reflected the AIOU’s focus on the education of deprived section and marginalized section of the society.
The University was constructing its own buildings especially in the far-flung regions to facilitate students, providing them with “best quality education at their door-step. The new building at Jhang consisted of necessary facilities including video-conferencing system, digital library, computer and science labs and classrooms that cost around 20 million extra.
Engr. Balighur Rehman further said that the government will soon announce a national policy for improving social services in the educational sector. He also listed the measures that the government was aggressively pursuing for empowering the universities with more development fund and infrastructural support.
The HEC’s annual budgetary grant that was Rs41 billion in the financial year 2012-2013 was increased to Rs82 billion in the recent year. About the government’s overall performance, he said it was showing upward trend and proved very effective in overcoming the problems of common man.
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui, in his welcome address also highlighted the university’s special initiatives taken during the last two years in the social sector and promoting research-based culture.—APP