PBM plans to es­tab­lish 150 mod­ern com­puter lab­o­ra­to­ries

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES - STAFF RE­PORTER

ISLAMABAD—Pak­istan Bait ul Mal (PBM) has fi­nalised a plan to es­tab­lish 150 com­puter lab­o­ra­to­ries at its Women Em­pow­er­ment Cen­tres (WECs) (Vo­ca­tional Dastkari Schools) to equip the vul­ner­a­ble seg­ment of so­ci­ety with in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies. Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial, he said 157 Women Em­pow­er­ment Cen­tres (WEC) were work­ing in coun­try un­der Pak­istan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM). The cen­tres were be­ing es­tab­lished as part of ICTs for Girls’ project, aim­ing to equip WECs with state of the art com­puter lab­o­ra­to­ries and broad­band in­fra­struc­ture.

Thou­sands of young girls from dis­ad­van­taged back­ground would be trained by Mi­crosoft led pro­gram. The pro­gramme is a joint ef­fort of Pak­istan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM), Univer­sal Ser­vice Fund (USF) and Mi­crosoft as col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts were im­per­a­tive for al­le­vi­at­ing poverty from the coun­try.

The Dig­i­tal Skills pro­gram by Mi­crosoft com­prises of 4 Cs in­clud­ing com­put­ing, cod­ing, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion and coach­ing to in­crease their em­ploy­a­bil­ity po­ten­tial.

Un­der this pro­gram first phase of train­ing by Mi­crosoft has al­ready been com­pleted, through which 100 Master Train­ers from all across Pak­istan have been trained. As part of Phase I, Mi­crosoft was al­ready set­ting up IT labs in 50 WECs in col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Univer­sal Ser­vice Fund (USF).

The pro­vi­sion of mod­ern IT labs would en­able young girls to meet chal­lenges of mod­ern world be­sides learn­ing new skills. In th­ese cen­tres, the poor girls would be pro­vided IT train­ing in­clud­ing web de­sign­ing, net­work­ing and other skills to make them eco­nom­i­cally self-re­liant. The IT and mod­ern knowl­edge would help poor women to be­come en­trepreneurs and con­trib­u­tors to na­tional econ­omy.

He said PBM was com­mit­ted to em­power poor women by en­hanc­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, pro­vid­ing them mod­ern knowl­edge based in­fra­struc­ture to help evad­ing marginal­i­sa­tion. The WECs are also work­ing in Azad Jammu and Kash­mir and North­ern Ar­eas. The schools of­fer­ing free train­ing to wid­ows, or­phans and poor girls in dif­fer­ent skill in­clud­ing draft­ing, cut­ting, sewing, knit­ting, hand & ma­chine em­broi­dery, fax, photo copiers, print­ers, in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion, beau­ti­cian, cook­ing, tie and dye and glass paint­ing etc, ac­cord­ing to the re­quire­ment of area.

Lo­cal skills are also be­ing im­parted in th­ese schools. Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Pak­istan Bait-ul-Mal Bar­ris­ter Abid Wa­heed Sheikh told that var­i­ous steps had been taken for the ren­o­va­tion and up-gra­da­tion of Women Em­pow­er­ment Cen­ters dur­ing last three years.

The ini­tia­tive ex­erted con­sid­er­able ef­forts to en­hance ICT technical ca­pa­bil­i­ties of women, de­velop their en­tre­pre­neur­ial ca­pa­bil­i­ties to pro­mote their so­cial and eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment. While ex­press­ing his grat­i­tude to Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, USF and Mi­crosoft Bar­ris­ter Abid Wa­heed un­der­lined the sig­nif­i­cance of re­al­iz­ing col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity in find­ing out the key so­lu­tion for com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment, poverty erad­i­ca­tion and the em­pow­er­ment of dis­ad­van­taged groups.

Pun­jab Min­is­ter Raja Ash­faq Sar­war check­ing qual­ity and prices of goods at Chour Chowk Ra­mazan Baz a a r.—DNA

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