ISLAMABAD: Annual enrollment of female students with Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has reached around 57 percent of total figures of 1.3 million, that contributes to the national goal, bringing the women in the main stream of the country’s socio-economic development.
This was stated by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui while highlighting the singular role of the AIOU to this effect, on International Women Day that is celebrated world over on March 8.
In his message on the occasion, he said women empowerment will remain their special focus in all the academic programs, being carried out by University.
The 57 percent ratio of female enrolment reflects the University’s continuous efforts to bring them into the educational net, and enabling them to take part in the country’s socio-economic activities as equal partner.
The University’s Gender Studies department has recently launched a number of activities relating to women, including a regular series of workshops on the rights of women, as available to them under the existing laws.
It will soon be introducing M.Phil degrees on gender and women’s studies in order to sensitize the community about the gender role in the country’s socio-economic development.
The Vice Chancellor announced that they will expand their on-going programs providing education to drop-out girl students to the province of Baluchistan. The students of backward areas deserved special attention, accordingly he added, now they will focus on their education, at middle and secondary level.
The AIOU has introduced a new model of open-schooling mainly for dropout girl students, who could not continue their studies due to social or financial constraints.
It is community-based model, with students and teachers with same locality. Course-contents were developed in regional language. The pilot project to this effect has successfully been implemented in cooperation with Plan international at Chakwal, Vehari and Tehsil Sajawal (Thatta District).
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui said it was matter of great pride that the largest number of female population is beneficiary of the AIOU’s education. The females mainly benefited themselves from the University’s teachers’ training programs including CT and BEd. Currently there are thousands of teachers in the country, who are the graduates of AIOU.