Information technology education projects

Rs125b projects to boost IT sector
Islamabad, March 15: The upcoming five-year plan for Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) would include projects worth Rs125 billion with an aim to utilise the extraordinary capacity of this sector to boost the country's overall development, sources informed.

Sources said a total of Rs25.07 billion would be allocated for software exports, Rs27.4 billion for the quality of IT education, Rs30.49 billion for e-governance, Rs1.05 billion for e-commerce and IT security, Rs1.3 billion for the promotion of Urdu language in IT, Rs3 billion for hardware initiative, and Rs37.5 billion for telecommunication and network infrastructure.

In the field of software exports, projects worth Rs25.07 billion would be initiated comprising IT market and industry size (Rs40 million), promotion of IT industry through media (Rs100 million), promotion of entrepreneurial start-ups (Rs80 million), development of effective Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime (Rs10 million) and awareness about opportunities for Pakistani companies (Rs20 million), establishment of business incubators (Rs200 million) and proactive match-making (Rs100 million).

The projects would also include the showcasing of brands (Rs500 million), interest free financing (Rs250 million), certification of companies (Rs800 million), mergers and acquisition (Rs400 million), establishment of internet city (Rs10 billion), building software technology parks (Rs10 billion), certification of ITeS/BPO (Rs400 million), study on investment guarantee (Rs20 million) and training of youth (Rs50 million), certification of individuals (Rs100 million), software technologies centre (Rs500 million), development of smart technologies programme (Rs500 million), and establishment of centre for cognitive science (Rs1 billion).

For the quality of IT education, project worth Rs27.4 billion would include vocational/technical skills programme (Rs15 billion), scholarships for IT education (Rs1.5 billion), IT infrastructure in educational institutions (Rs10 billion), centres of excellence for IT training (Rs440 million), establishment of IT placement centres (Rs100 million), capacity building of National Computing Education Accreditation Council (Rs60 million) and strengthening of boards of Technical Education (Rs300 million).

To promote e-governance, projects costing Rs30.49 billion would comprise development of e-services applications (Rs500 million), greater automation drive (Rs500 million), capacity building of departments (Rs400 million), infrastructure for public access to e-services (Rs400 million), building ICT infrastructure (Rs2 billion), incentives for promotion of IT (Rs10 million), training of government employees (Rs250 million), establishment of online access points (Rs300 million), expansion of e-services to rural areas (Rs100 million), public awareness programmes (Rs30 million), LRMIS for provinces (Rs1 billion) agency specific applications (Rs1 billion) e-government related ongoing projects (Rs3 billion), ministry of interior projects (Rs20 billion) and automation of CDNS (Rs1 billion).

The projects in e-commerce and IT security would cost Rs1.05 billion including awareness about information security (Rs30 million), cyber laws improvement programme (Rs50 million), establishment of certification authority regulatory (Rs500 million), Pakistan Internet Exchange (Rs100 million), e-payment solution (Rs200 million), Computer Emergency Response Team (Rs100 million) and development of e-commerce related services (Rs70 million).

For the promotion of Urdu language in IT projects costing Rs1.3 billion would be launched comprising availability of support for Urdu in international software products (Rs200 million), programmes for conversion of electronic knowledge sources (Rs200 million), development of SW & Content in Urdu language (Rs200 million), localisation of government websites (Rs400 million) strengthening centre of excellence in Urdu Informatics (Rs100 million), development of Urdu applications (Rs100 million) and training programme for localisation (Rs100 million).

In the field of ICT hardware, projects worth Rs3 billion would be initiated consisting of provision for free land to manufacturing concerns (Rs2.5 billion) and Investment Insurance/Guarantees Programme (Rs500 million).

Projects worth Rs37.5 billion in telecommunication and network infrastructure would include Alternate International Connectivity (TAE) (Rs4 billion), deployment of solutions for detecting and eliminating grey traffic (Rs500 million), secure communication programme (Rs1 billion), satellite communication programme (Rs32 billion).

Sources said the vision and strategy for the plan would revolve around 'inclusiveness of ICT' in transforming the socio-economic panorama and leap-forwarding into 'knowledge era' by providing 'universal access to education, learning and knowledge sources', shifting from 'follower' strategy to 'value addition/leader' strategy, transformation from government-centred policy to private sector-centred policy, and creating demand for local ICT products and services.

They said the salient features of the plan include increasing human resources with a qualitative edge, reaching out to the international market, addressing socio-economic problems by using IT, creating industrial synergy by involving local IT industry, enhancing domestic market, and provision of fiscal incentives and legislation.

Sources further stated that the plan would help face the growing challenges in the way of promoting education and human resource development, increasing information technology exports, enhancement of e-commerce and IT security, development of computer hardware company and supporting e-government. The news

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Anjum Riaz made FDE head again
Islamabad: The Ministry of Education has again posted Shehnaz Anjum Riaz as director-general Federal Directorate of Education (BPS-20) after Lahore High Court suspended her transfer order issued by the ministry.

Ms Riaz had approached Rawalpindi bench challenging her transfer from the post of DG education directorate. She had taken the plea that transfer/posting of the FDE head was the prerogative of the prime minister, whereas her transfer order had been issued by Adviser to Prime Minister on Education Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali.

Education officials appeared before Justice Sagheer Ahmad Qadri, but could not produce the prime minister's order for her transfer. March 25 has been fixed for the next hearing.

Ms Riaz had been posted on the seat only about a month back on the intervention of Supreme Court. Education officials, however, said that the apex court did not direct that she should be made head of the FDE. The court order was only to the effect of her promotion to grade 20 which has been given to her, they added. Dawn

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Froebel's students competition
Islamabad: Offering a platform for students to display their creativity, exercise their imagination and utilise their technical dexterity to conceptualise their vision, a documentary competition was held here at Froebel's International School, with several educational institutions of Islamabad participating in the event.

The contest, which was titled 'Frodoc,' was a brainchild of the institution's Media Society. The participating schools included Beaconhouse F-10, Beaconhouse Bani Gala; Bahria University; Westminster, Froebel's Rawalpindi and Froebel's Islamabad.

Directors Zeb Nasir and Salma Kazi organised the event with the help of assistant directors Asad Yahya and Behram Qazi.

The best documentary was a tie between Team A from Froebel's Islamabad (which comprised Talha Zareef, Jeffery Zhang, Daniyal Ali, Danial Faisal, Faizan-ul-Arfeen and Shayan Mahmud) and Team D from Froebel's Islamabad (which comprised Haider Shah, Kamran Saqib, Ezza Rathore, Hoor Aman, Mamoona Shah and Mashal Khan) with Team C from Froebel's as the runner-ups (which comprised Zakaria Agha, Sohaib Alvi, Abdul Ghani, Taha Ghani, Murtaza Rizvi and Muslim Javed).

Danial Faisal impressed the judges with his brilliant performance, as an underprivileged boy and unanimously won the award for the best actor. The award for the best graphics went to Talha Zareef and that for best director went to Haider Shah. Nader Ali Shah from Beaconhouse, Banigala, won the award for best photograph. The award for the best story/original background score was given to Haider Shah and his team.

Clad in cocktail dresses and retro costumes, the performances included current songs as well as musical numbers from the 60s and 70s. All the judges were thoroughly impressed with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the students.

Samar Minallah, Ahmad Hassan and Qudsia Sufi lauded the efforts of members of the media society and the supervisor Shama Nawaz Khan, who had worked tirelessly to make the event a success.

Meanwhile, all was not quiet at the Rawalpindi campus of Froebel's, which arranged its annual talent show for students of Early Years. Children had prepared wonderful plays, dances and songs. "Both the school administration as well as the teachers had put in a lot of effort, which paid off in the form of proud and satisfied parents," the school's mentor Samina Shahzad commented.

The auditorium was specially ornamented for the performances. The art department had made a beautiful stage themed on Disney's fairytales. Paintings and posters of characters, huge backgrounds of castles and lakes and gorgeous props littered the stage.

First up for their performance were the playgroup students who showcased a brilliant replica of two famous stories i.e., 'Princess and the Island' and 'Hansel and Gretel.' Next up were the students of Kindergarten, who brought something entirely new and unique to the table. Their performance revolved around a child who dreams of his favourite characters. Thus, KG took the audience to new dimensions of the magical world presenting scenes from various fantastical stories like 'Cinderella,' 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Goldilocks and Three Bears.' These were jointly collaborated as 'A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.'

Then it was the turn for the seniors of Early Years to perform. The first section of grade Prep executed a wonderfully choreographed version of 'The Six Dancing Princesses.' The plotline revolved around 6 princesses with a passion for dancing who discover a secret magical land. The next section depicted an engrossing replica of 'Rapunzel: A Princess.' The audience thoroughly enjoyed the royal tale and loved every moment of it. The last playact was constructed by Prep S who performed 'Lamb Kin,' a story of a brave and cunning lamb who escapes a lion by tricking him.

The last performance proved to be the most favourite among the audience, as the little girls danced around in their party dresses and with bows in their hair to the hit American song 'I am a Barbie Girl.' The light and smoke effects were wondrous as a huge wave of applause passed through the enchanted crowd.

The music, art, light settings and other technical aspects of the show were spectacular. The teachers had put in a lot of hard work in working out the stories and writing scripts along with preparing the acts.

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City School campaign
Islamabad: Experts in child psychology and healthcare briefed parents on the art of positive parenting at an awareness campaign organised by The City School in collaboration with the International Islamic University (IIU).

A large number of parents and faculty members attended the campaign at the IIU Faisal Mosque Campus. The City School Regional Director Safia Cassim and Regional Academic Coordinator Misbah Khurshid were present on the occasion.

Professor Brigadier Mavadat H Rana of the Institute of Mental Health, speaking on the occasion, said parents pay a handsome amount while enrolling their children in schools so that they could seek knowledge, skill and attitude. He said that there should be a balance between these three basic requirements in children, as the problem arises when any of these requirements takes up more space than others, disturbing the balance in their personalities.

"Children spend their time with mother, father, servants, teachers and in front of the TV, play station and playing with toys. The problem arises when parents do not give attention to their kids, as fathers are mostly over-committed, ill-tempered and aggressive, while mothers on the other hand are mostly ill-trained, alienated and frustrated, and have to handle things they have never handled before," he said.

He further said it is mostly seen that parents leave their kids on the mercy of servants, who are usually frustrated and lonely due to being away from their home and family. "Young children are quite vulnerable at this stage and can be abused physically and sexually by servants," he said.

Professor Rana said that children face issues when their academic degrees become a source of social standing for their parents, as their academic result is often quoted as a pride in our social set-up. "These children have no self-esteem and they become our emotional dustbins. This is extremely cruel and the children's ego is crushed for life."

Another problem that children face nowadays is that we have made them pressure learners. The teachers, parents and the whole educational system are responsible for this trend that makes the children only work hard for an examination.

Another factor that parents complain about is the children's hyperactive behaviour. "We need to keep a check on buying so many toys for the children, as fewer toys to play with increases their concentration span. A similar strategy must be adopted in case of playing computers games and surfing through multiple TV channels," he said.

The professor said that parents should not only love their children but must also respect them. Physical touch is very important in this regard and firm setting of limits should be upheld with children. Parents need to check their own attitude about being overprotective towards children, and must take them out to parks and other recreational activities, be patient and show perseverance by delaying the fulfilment of children's unnecessary or luxurious desires. Parents need to trust their children, the lack of which could turn the children into liars.

Dr. Haider Shirazi, associate professor-consultant child specialist at the PIMS, discussed various health issues in children aged 1-5. Dr. Salma Javed, dietician at the Shifa Hospital, gave a presentation on preschool nutrition with the help of a chart.

Dr. Rubina Zulfiqar, chief consultant paediatrician at the Holy Family Hospital, revealed the consequences of negative parenting, adding that the age of 1-7 years in children is very crucial and parents need to give them love and support during this time, as these are the basic foundation years of a child.

Salma Omar, child protection specialist at the Unicef, also spoke on the occasion. In the end, The City School Regional Director Safia Cassim thanked the speakers and parents, and presented souvenirs to guest speakers.

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New youth Magazine
Islamabad: The Ministry of Youth Affairs has initiated a number of exciting and interesting programmes for youth aiming to bring out the best in the youth.

An official of the ministry said that the ministry intends to initiate a quarterly magazine, highlighting creative writings, poems, stories, articles, art corner and different issues of the youth, adding that the ministry intends to involve the youth in this activity.

Those willing to be a part of Youth Magazine are advised to send the required material along with the student name, father name, contact numbers, date of birth, degree/department /university address and a passport size photograph.

They can join group on face book; Youth, Shining Star of Pakinstan and can send their creative writing on postal address: 10th Floor, Shaheed-e-Millat Secretariat, China Chowk, Blue Area, Islamabad. The news

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