BEATS brings in quality education at the doorstep, ardent for education network expansion
Interview with Vice Admiral Shah Sohail Masood (Retd) HI (M) – MD Bahria Foundation
Bahria Foundation was established by Pakistan Navy in January 1982 by the Government of Pakistan as a Charitable Trust under the Endowment Act 1890.
The Committee of Administration (CoA) of Bahria Foundation is headed by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi NI(M), as its Chairman. Committee of Administration acts as the supreme governing body of the Bahria Foundation. The Managing Director being the Executive Head, conducts administrative and commercial activities of the Foundation.
The Foundation is engaged in diversified industrial, commercial and developmental activities through its four pillars namely Bahria Education & Training Services, Maritime Works Organization, Commercial Businesses and Bahria Estates. All four pillars are headed by Deputy Managing Directors of each pillar. Alongside, Bahria Foundation operates in various regions of Pakistan, i.e. North, South, Centre & West.
PAGE: What is the basic purpose of creation of Bahria Foundation?
Shah Sohail Masood: The purpose of the Foundation is to establish profitable businesses for welfare of serving and rehabilitation of retired personnel of Pakistan Navy and their dependents including families of Shuhadas.
PAGE: Which are the key areas of involvement related to blue economy?
Shah Sohail Masood: Maritime Works Organization of Bahria Foundation is engaged in jump-starting the maritime sector of Pakistan while capitalizing on vast opportunities being offered along the coast through dredging of harbors, transshipment hub, development of maritime resources, ports & shipyards and scientific survey with an aim to boost the blue economy. Following are the projects undertaken by MWO: LNG Terminal, Establishment of Commercial Shipyard, Establishment of Commercial Port, Bahria Classification Society, Exploration of off-shore hydrocarbons and marine resources, Boat Building Yard, Diving, Dredging etc.
PAGE: Why Bahria Foundation specially focuses on education?
Shah Sohail Masood: Bahria Education and Training Services (BEATS), the welfare and education division of Bahria Foundation (BF) was established in 1998 with the aim to provide quality education. So far, BEATS has established more than 80 campuses across the country with the strength of over 29,500 students and provided jobs to 3,480 personnel of Pakistan Navy/Armed Forces retired personnel and local community of the area. Among these Schools and Colleges, 45 campuses are located in the North region, 11 in the Centre region and 25 in the South region of Pakistan.
BEATS is vigorously pursuing for the promotion of education by opening more and more BF Schools/Colleges all over the country particularly in semi-urban and less developed areas since education is key to development of Pakistan.
BEATS has brought quality education at the doorstep of children who had no access to such facilities. With the expansion of the network of the colleges, greater emphasis is also being laid on the selection and training of Principals, Teachers and Staff to ensure excellence in academics. Concurrently, Bahria Foundation Colleges have earned a reputation for inculcating Quranic Arabic education, discipline, ethics and character building of students of BFCs.
In line with the modern trends in education, BEATS has also started a chain of Bahria Grammar Schools (BGS) by establishing the first campus at Millat Town, Faisalabad, in April 2009. This was followed by the establishment of BGS Sheikhupura in April 2012, and a BGS each at Bahawalpur and Muridke in April 2015. To provide Technical and Vocational Education a Technical and Vocational institute has also been functioning in Bhara Kahou. BEATS is determined to expand its educational network and bring quality education within the reach of students all over Pakistan.
PAGE: What is the basic purpose behind construction of five commercial complexes?
Shah Sohail Masood: Bahria Foundation manages four prestigious multi-storied complexes for leasing of office spaces with ample parking area in Karachi. Bahria Complexes-I, II & III are located on Maulvi Tameezuddin Khan Road within close proximity of main business center and Karachi Port, due to a high standard of maintenance and security of these complexes, many multinational organizations, high profile local companies and commercial banks of international repute have their offices located in these complexes. Over the period of time these complexes have became a number one choice of elite businesses. Those buildings have all the facilities/amenities for sale and customer friendly operations and are a worthy addition to the commercial heritage of Karachi.
Bahria Foundation has also acquired the pre state-of-art building which is situated on Airport road (zero point), in the heart of Gwadar City and very close proximity of Gwadar Port industrial zone and express highway. Through renting out these spaces, Bahria Foundation is trying to generate maximum profits for the rehabilitation of retired personnel of Pakistan Navy and their dependents including families of Shuhadas.
PAGE: Do you think that CPEC will create jobs and opportunities for the maritime sector of Pakistan?
Shah Sohail Masood: Yes, CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) has the potential to greatly impact the overall future setting, in and around the areas and specially activities in the Arabian Sea. ‘One Belt One Road’ the initiatives aim to link over 4 billion people of the world, living in 65 countries, by means of trade and economic activity. As the progress will go on, CPEC will completely change the dynamics and our new initiatives will go a long way with it. Pakistan is a developing economy with abundant hardworking labour force, best suited for maritime sector and commercially strategic location. The skilled youth of Pakistan is currently facing unemployment challenges. The start of economic activities in maritime sector along the coastline will augment the efforts being made by the present government for economic and social uplift of the local population in general and the population of Sindh and Balochistan in particular.