PRIME Minister Imran Khan launched another flagship programme titled ‘Rehmatul-Lil Alameen Scholarship’ for intermediate and undergraduate students.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the scholarship will be available to all the Pakistanis including non-Muslims and the federal government will annually provide five point five billion rupees for seventy thousand scholarships.
In all, a total of three hundred and fifty thousand scholarships will be provided in five years at a cost of twenty eight billion rupees.
In the present-day knowledge-driven economy, progress and development of a nation is directly linked to the state of education and provision of equal opportunities to all.
The societies that have reached the zenith of progress and prosperity made timely investment on education of their citizens and are now reaping the benefits.
Therefore, there is dire need to increase allocations for education, establish quality educational institutions especially those for higher education and lay focus on research/science and technology.
With the passage of time, college and university education is going beyond the reach of the common man and therefore, it is vital to ensure access of all students to all sorts of educational institutions.
There are thousands of students, who are otherwise brilliant and capable of becoming a successful doctor, engineer or professor but they could not realize their dream due to lack of financial resources.
The Prime Minister deserves credit for launching a comprehensive scholarship programme, which, together with similar programmes by provincial governments would hopefully take care of educational needs of hundreds of thousands of students especially those from poor families.
Though fuller details are not available but it is hoped that these scholarships would be available for those who pursue college or university education in quality private sector educational institutions as well.
Availability of scholarship would afford an opportunity for such students to try their luck for admission in quality institutions as presently they only have the option to take admission in public sector institutions where, generally, the standard of education is not satisfactory.
There is also need for improvement of all aspects of scholarship programme, its awareness, transparency, simplification of application process and timely disbursement of the amount.
The allocations for the programme should be increased with the passage of time and similarly, funding for universities should also be enhanced meaningfully if we are really interested to make a difference in the education sector.