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HEC is focusing on extracurricular activities

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman and Federal Minister Dr Attaur Rehman said on Thursday that the HEC was striving to focus on extracurricular activities along with academics to prepare the youth to meet contemporary challenges.

He said this while addressing the prize distribution ceremony of the 11th All Pakistan Inter-University debate contest where 30 students from all over the country participated.

In the English debate, Iqra University of Karachi won the Allama Iqbal Shield while the University of Peshawar won the shield in Urdu debates. Dr Atta informed the winners that the top two position holders of the English debate would participate in the SAARC debate competition that would be held at the end of this year. He emphasised that students should participate in extracurricular activities that made them aware and assertive. He said that all students who participated in this debate competition were alive to the ongoing political, social and economic conditions prevalent in the country.

He said extracurricular activities exposed students to the abilities required to excel in practical life, adding that extracurricular and academic activities go hand in hand to make students confident. He said 54 percent of the population of Pakistan was below the age of 19 and required more funding and attention to give them direction in different disciplines.

The chairman said the HEC was providing the maximum number of opportunities to talented students so they could contribute to the country's development.

He said the HEC was planning to send as many as 800 students to universities abroad to get higher education in their disciplines. He said that talented students would be provided with scholarships in the fields of social sciences and natural sciences. He said the government had equipped 18 universities with the facility of video conferencing to allow students to share their knowledge with scholars in developed countries. The chairman also said that the rest of the universities would be equipped with the facility within six months.

Speaking at the occasion, HEC Member Academics Dr Riazul Haq Tariq said it had been educational to listen to the debates and mentioned that the participants had reached the national competition by winning both a local and a regional debate competition. The winners of the English Debate were Asma Rabbani from Quaid-e-Azam University who had won the first prize of Rs 25,000, Sofia Chee from Iqra University, Karachi who won the second prize of Rs 20,000 and Hamda Hafeez from Iqra University, Karachi who won the third prize of Rs 15,000.

In the Urdu Debate, Farhan Ali Zaib from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro won the first prize, Murad Saeed from the University of Peshawar won the second prize and Rana Muhammad Ikram Khan from the Agriculture University, Faisalabad won the third prize. Daily Times

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