“The only sustainable way of improving livelihoods and well-being of underserved communities in the country is by providing them access to quality education. We at Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) are proud to establish a higher education facility for the benefit of our stakeholder local communities,” said MD & CEO PPL Syed Wamiq Bokhari at the inauguration of the Virtual University (VU) campus in Sui, Dera Bugti presided over by Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti.
With an input of about Rs. 20 million by the company plus a commitment to fund operational costs, the VU campus is equipped with an advanced computer lab comprising 32 systems and an 8-MB fiber optic value-added network to provide online courses leading to a bachelors, masters and doctorate in a host of disciplines, including information technology, management and liberal arts. VU will be managed by Taaleem Foundation, a local civil society organization working in the education sector.
Bokhari also announced 100 scholarships for students of Balochistan Public School (BPS) during his visit to Sui. The scholarships, the annual cost of which is Rs. 2.3 million, will enable 10 deserving girls and boys each from grade 1 up to 10 to study free of cost.
The company has been supporting BPS since its inception in 2007. Initially, an amount of Rs. 14 million was given for renovation of the school building and hostel, followed in 2009 by a similar financial commitment for over 70 scholarships for secondary students for a period five years.
Later, Bokhari also visited Sui Model School and Girls College (SM&GC) and inaugurated the newly refurbished science lab used by secondary and college students. PPL’s maiden CSR project, SM&GC was established as a primary school in 1957. During the last six decades, the facility has been continuously upgraded with the addition of a girl’s college in 2009. Over 3,000 local students, of which 45 percent are girls, benefit annually from SM&GC.
PPL has an abiding stake in improving quality of life of local communities in Balochistan since the discovery of its flagship gas field in Sui during the 1950s. As such, the company spends nearly 80 percent of its annual CSR budget in Balochistan: in 2015-2016 alone, about Rs. 800 million were spent in the province from a total budget of nearly Rs. 1 billion.