Feb 16 - 22, 2009

In the World Trade Organisation (WTO) era, effective utilisation of human resource potentials by the developing countries like Pakistan is necessary to play an important role in enduring increasing pressure of competition from the industrialised nations.  In the competitive globalised environment, only those nations can survive which have competitive edge on others. The only way to maintain competitive edge is to develop the human resource available in every sphere of national life because only that would make the nation meet the requirements of rapidly changing economic environment.

Pakistan has 90 million young people, out of our total 16 million population and these young people need to be honed to produce best human resource for the country. South Asian region has huge potential for investment because available human resource is not only highly talented but also cheaper when compared with developed countries.

The European Union, in collaboration with Pakistan-Belgium Business Forum (PBBF) and ASI, a non-profit business support organisation, has planned to develop the human resource potential of Pakistan through a programme entitled "increasing trade through structured investment in people". A pilot project will be started that aims at raising the human resource performance in Pakistan to the international level.

It is expected that this pilot project will result in setting a role model for Pakistani companies to follow. According to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore, Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz, Pakistan's livestock sector has great potential to grow and we need to exploit it for rural development and poverty alleviation in the country.

The country's livestock sector facing constraints such as lack of competent human resource, poor production, balanced feed resources, diseases and lack of marketing facilities while short and long-term measures are needed to address these constraints, he opined.

A number of investors of Middle East, Singapore and China had made investments in various projects in Pakistan and they were using the country's human resource. The leading business houses are only paying attention on human resource and its proper management.

Educational experts told PAGE that we need to improve the standard of education in the country, particularly in Information Technology (IT), if we want to develop our human resource on modern lines. They said that quality education was necessary for development in the country and no nation could become strong without quality education.

The government has established seven IT Universities and degree-awarding institutes, and a Virtual University, and more such institutions need to be set up to provide quality education in this modern field to the young generation of the country, they said. In a major revolutionary initiative, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led Punjab Government is going to establish computer laboratories in 4,000 schools of the province at a cost of Rs five billion.

Sources in the Punjab Education Department told PAGE that this revolutionary step of Punjab government will help impart modern education to students of public schools to enable them to play their due role for the progress and prosperity of the country through benefiting from Information Technology. All computers will be linked with Internet. Initially, 60,000 computers will be provided to the computer labs being established in the province for this purpose.

Besides English and Urdu software, dictionary will also be available for the benefit of students of backward areas. The companies supplying computers will also provide a complete package including after sale service for three years, provision of spare parts and training of teachers.

International computer companies will be associated with the project. All divisional commissioners and DCOs will be responsible for looking after computer labs in their respective divisions and districts. The Punjab Government is taking revolutionary measures for the improvement of education sector including establishment of Endowment Fund with Rs two billion, conducting of essay writing and speech competitions for polishing the talent of students, provision of basic educational facilities in all schools, ensuring attendance of teachers and setting up model schools. 

Furthermore, the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab Educational Endowment Fund will leave a far-reaching impact on education sector and talented students will not have to discontinue their studies due to financial problems.

He directed authorities concerned to evolve a package under the fund for polishing the talent of students of Southern Punjab and backward areas, which could not only promote self-confidence in them but also motivate them to acquire quality education in prestigious educational institutions of the province. He also directed to allocate the quota for the children of workers as well as 5% quota for students of other provinces from this fund.

The Chief Minister also directed that number of scholarships at middle and primary level should be increased while transport facilities should also be provided to male and female students of backward areas so that they could continue their studies easily. He said that under the fund, distribution of scholarships will be started by March this year and 5000 scholarships would be provided in the first phase.

He said that all available resources are being utilized for this purpose and establishment of Educational Endowment Fund is a historic step, which will prove to be a milestone for the uplift of education sector. He directed to constitute a special committee headed by Anoosha Rehman MNA for creating awareness among the people about this programme. 

According to the Vice Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund Dr. Amjad Saqib, scholarships under the fund would be started by March and particulars of 60,000 students have been collected in this regard.