Pakistan's Human Capital

A 12-year-old Pakistani girl is taking advance online classes offered by Stanford University. The youngest Microsoft certified professional is a Pakistani. Young Pakistanis are setting records with straight A's on O level and A level Cambridge courses. These frequent reports offer anecdotal evidence of Pakistan's growing human capital. Such evidence is also supported by data reported by various researchers and organizations.

With nearly 16% of its population in 25-34 years age group having college degrees, Pakistan is well ahead of India and Indonesia, according to Global Education Digest 2009 published by UNESCO Institute of Statistics. UNESCO data also shows that Pakistan's lead is growing with younger age groups.

Source: Global Education Digest
By comparison, a little over 12% of Indians and 9% of Indonesians in 25-34 years age group have completed tertiary education. In 35-44 years age group, 11% of Pakistanis, 9% of Indians and 8% of Indonesians have completed college education. The report shows that 3% of Pakistanis and 1% of Indians have completed tertiary education abroad.

Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jhong-wa Lee offer similar insights into educational attainment in Asia and the rest of the world.    As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673 Indians) who enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians) completed secondary school  while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out. Only 55 (vs 58 Indians)  made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31 Indians) graduated with a degree.

 Another important point to note in Barro-Lee dataset is that Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster rate since 1990 than India. In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs 51.6% of Indians who had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2% Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.

Pakistan's human capital development has been driven over the years starting with the Green Revolution technologies in 1960s to nuclear development program in 1980s and information and telecom revolution in 2000s.  More recently, there has been growing interest in biotechnology and robotics. Completion of  the first human genome project has spawned more than 200 life sciences departments at Pakistani universities.  US drones have angered and fascinated many in Pakistan to go into robotics at 60 engineering colleges and universities in Pakistan. These revolutions have inspired large numbesr of young Pakistanis to study courses in business and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and swell the ranks of scientists and professionals.

Graduation Day at NEDUET For 1300 Graduates in 2013

Clearly, both India and Pakistan have made significant progress on the education front in the last few decades. However, the Barro-Lee dataset confirms that the two South Asian nations still have a long way to go to catch up with the rapidly developing nations of East Asia and the industrialized world. Huge investments made in higher education during Musharraf years helped hundreds of thousands of students to benefit from the doubling of the number of universities from 71 in 2002 to 137 now. It's now the responsibility of Pakistan's civilian leadership to sustain that momentum.

Faster economic growth requires BOTH skilled manpower and investment of dollars as Pakistanis saw during Musharraf years. Regardless, the growth of human capital is a good thing to build a foundation for Pakistan's future. It'll contribute to economic growth when the security situation improves and FDI returns to Pakistan. The country's large diaspora too will be helpful in accelerating Pakistan's growth and development with money and skills. 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

India & Pakistan Comparison Update 2011

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010
Eating Grass-The Making of Pakistani Bomb
Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices


Riaz Haq said…
Here's ET on launch in Pakistan:

KARACHI: With a self-employment boom and double-digit growth in internet subscriptions, Pakistan has become the third highest user of, the world’s biggest online marketplace in terms of user base, it was revealed at the launch of the website’s local version on Tuesday.

“Pakistan is the third largest country using the website [], closely following India and the United States,” said Adam Byrnes, International Director at freelancer who joined the ceremony through a video call from the company’s headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

“Pakistani freelancers have already earned more than $13 million from the platform,” he said.

Freelancer’s decision to launch the local website comes on the back of strong growth in subscriptions by Pakistani freelancers. The website presently has 240,000 Pakistani users.

According to a report prepared by freelancer, self-employed Pakistanis surged from 33.3% to 39.9% between 2009 and 2012. The report attributes this surge in subscriptions to the rise in internet use in Pakistan, which saw double-digit growth in the past five years. In terms of internet growth, Pakistan stands second in the Saarc region, the report said.

“I am excited about the launch of because of the potential Pakistan represents for the platform,” said Byrnes who is responsible for expanding freelancer across the world. “This [Pakistan] is a high value market for employers abroad.”

With more than 30 million internet users, five million plus broadband users and a population approaching 200 million, according to Byrnes, it makes sense to have a presence in Pakistan.

“Going forward, we want to provide self-employment for a billion people, a significant portion of that is going to come from Pakistan,” he said.

Freelancer just hit seven million users globally and 4.2 million projects were facilitated by the website, Muhammad Umer Farooq, company director responsible for managing the freelancer website told The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the event.

“An amount of $150 million has been spent so far by users of,” he said, adding they make money by charging commission from both the employers and the freelancers who get projects.

Interestingly, Farooq pointed out, it is not only foreigners hiring Pakistani freelancers, but Pakistani companies are also giving contracts to Pakistani freelancers registered on the website. United States is the top country awarding 38% of total projects on freelancer while Pakistan stands fifth for it awards 4% of the projects.

The idea is to enable rupee transactions for Pakistani members for which the company is in talks with local banks, both Farooq and Byrnes said. “Secondly, we are soon going to have an Urdu version of the website,” Farooq said.

IT and graphic designing (logo design) are the top two categories at freelancer. Freelancers can bid for the projects posted by employers through a simple method, he said. Given that it is one of the top countries on the website, Pakistani freelancers can benefit from exposure to the international job markets – the UK, North America, Australia and Canada.
Riaz Haq said…
Top four online outsourcing sites,,, and report that Pakistan ranks number 3, after US (#1)and India (#2), in terms of freelancers doing outsourced IT work on contract. Bangladesh ranks fourth.

It also shows US, Australia and the UK as the top hiring countries.

All of the above-mentioned websites work in a similar fashion: companies post job requirements on these sites. Next, freelancers or IT-companies offer their skills and price for the project listed on the website. Finally, the company chooses the best type of bid for its job requirements.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a APP report on a traveling science expo:

Travelling expo on ‘Energy for a Sustainable World’ continues

ISLAMABAD: A two-month travelling exhibition titled ‘Energy for a Sustainable World’ is currently touring Pakistan after its launch on March 7.

French Ambassador to Pakistan Philippe Thiebaud, the Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Akhlaq Ahmad Tahar and the Chairman of the Pakistan Science foundation Prof Dr Manzoor Soomro launched the expo.

The expo is intended to raise awareness among the Pakistani population, especially the young generation, about the importance of access to energy for emerging countries like Pakistan, a statement of the French embassy said.

It explained crucial ideas such as energy efficiency, the science of maximising benefits from energy sources and renewable energy at the local, regional and international levels.

The exhibition consists of 13 free standing panels and 12 interactive experiments dedicated to various themes such as energy and development, climate change and the diversity of energy sources.

The travelling expo is the result of a tripartite partnership, which started five years ago between the French Embassy in Islamabad, the Centre Sciences of Orleans and the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF).

It started in 2008 with the first expo dedicated to ‘Mathematics’, different themes have since then been explored by the partners such as ‘The Environment’ in 2009, ‘Biodiversity’ in 2010 and ‘Chemistry’ in 2012.

This year the exhibition on ‘Energy’ will be presented in six different cities in Pakistan (Islamabad, Muzzafarabad, Peshawar, Gujrat, Larkana and Quetta).\03\24\story_24-3-2013_pg5_10
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of a blog post from Scientific American:

Our class was recently asked whether or not we felt particle physics research should receive public funding. The majority of us were opposed, our reasons being that such research has no practical value. An instrument as sophisticated and expensive as a particle collider is surely a waste of a nation’s resources.

So it might come as a surprise that plans to build a synchrotron particle collider in Jordan have received overwhelming support from countries in the Middle East, including Iran, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Scientific discovery is not the only goal being pursued. Those involved hope that this installation, appropriately dubbed SESAME (for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East), will open lines of communication between countries that would not normally work together, and possibly inspire peace.

In John Horgan’s The End of War, he argues that war can be eradicated by simply choosing peace. To support his argument he cites Muzafer Sherif’s famous Robbers Cave Experiment, in which twenty-two fifth-grade boys in a camp were divided into two groups, Rattlers and Eagles, and kept apart for a week, each group growing suspicious of the “others.”

When brought together to compete in games, the groups were alarmingly violent toward one another, having been “manipulated into hating and fighting.” However, once the groups were presented with problems that could only be solved by cooperating with one another, the violence ceased, and they eventually became friends. Sherif saw these interactions as evidence that “traditionally hostile groups can overcome their differences if they are bound together by [a common goal].”

This idea inspired Stanford University physicist Herman Winick more than a decade ago to suggest the synchrotron being dismantled in Germany be sent to the Middle East instead of being scrapped. In the same way that the boys in Sherif’s experiment could only rent a movie if everyone contributed money, a project as expensive as SESAME can only be achieved with funding from multiple countries.

As of 2012, Iran, Israel, Jordan and Turkey have agreed to make contributions of $5 million each to fund the project, which will be based in Jordan and is expected to open in 2015. Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority are willing to give $5 million and $2 million respectively, and Egypt and the United States are both considering making contributions. The project has also been donated spare parts from a number of countries following Germany’s example, and has received funding from the European Union (Science Diplomacy).
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PakistanToday report on Pak students' competition to build fuel-efficient car:

RAWALPINDI - Top universities from Pakistan unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia at a launch ceremony held at NUST in Rawalpindi. The event has put Pakistani teams on track for the competition at the Sepang F-1 track in Kuala Lumpur in July 2013. There, they will compete with over 130 teams from 16 countries to see whose vehicle can go the farthest on one litre of fuel.
Teams from NUST, UET-Peshawar, UET-Jamshoro, NED, Air University, GIK, PNEC and FAST are registered to compete in the event at Malaysia. Some of these teams were present at the NUST launch event to showcase a range of new and improved vehicles, running on a variety of fuels.
On the occasion, Shell Pakistan Limited Managing Director Omar Sheikh said, “Pakistan and the world face an energy challenge, and Shell is well positioned to help people meet their energy needs through efficient and performance-driven products. Competitions like the Shell Eco-marathon are opportunities for students to be a part of the dialogue and the solution to our energy challenges.”
A panel of judges from academic, media, industry and government sectors inspected the vehicles at the launch event. Awards were given for Safety to UET-Peshawar for their Prototype vehicle; for the best mileage to NUST for their Urban Concept vehicle; GIK’s prototype vehicle won an award for reducing their ecological footprint the most, while the innovation prize was awarded to UET-Peshawar’s Urban Concept vehicle. Two novelty awards were given to AIR University and HITEC for their out-of-the-box designs.
Major General Obaid Bin Zakria, commandant NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering added, “Today’s event is a chance for Pakistani teams to test their vehicles and ensure they are well-prepared for a tough competition at the Shell Eco-marathon in Malaysia this year. The students have already displayed a great deal of drive and creativity in transforming innovative ideas into reality, and we hope they continue to display the same enthusiasm as they represent Pakistan and their universities.”
Pakistan was the first country from the subcontinent to represent teams at the Shell Eco-marathon in Berlin 2009, followed by 20 teams in the 2010 Kuala Lumpur competition, the highest from Asia. In 2012, for the first time, two Pakistani teams were top performers; a team from NED came at fourth position in the Ethanol Prototype category, while a team from NUST came eighth in the Urban Concept gasoline category. In 2013, 13 teams from Pakistan will participate in the Kuala Lumpur event.
Riaz Haq said…
The latest 2012 IQ data published by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen puts mean IQ of Pakistanis at 84 and of Indians at 82.2, and Bangladeshis at 81.

Each country has big std deviations and large positive outliers.

The highest IQs are reported for East Asia (100+) and the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (just over 70).
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Nation report on Pakistan's rising research publications in international journals:

Pakistan has witnessed, an impressive 50 per cent increase in the number of research publications during just the last two years, going up from 3939 to 6200 in the higher education sector of Pakistan.

This has been the second highest increase worldwide. Scimago, the world's leading research database, forecast that if this research trend from Pakistan continues, then by 2018, Pakistan will move ahead 26 notches in world ranking, from 43 to 27, and for the first time ever, will cross Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in Asia. Today Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India.
The number of PhD faculty at our public universities has also increased by almost 50%, from 4203 to 6067 in just the last 2 years alone. This is the result of the HEC PhD scholars that have started returning back and joining universities. These scholars are being selected for pursuing studies at leading universities of the academically advanced countries through a well-defined open, transparent and merit based mechanism.
About 10 to 15 scholars are completing their PhDs every week and are being placed by HEC at the universities under Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP). Other HEC incentives include a 0.5 million research grant to every returning scholar. Currently, there are hundreds of fresh foreign PhDs currently inducted into various universities across the country.
The number of PhD students enrolled at the universities has increased by over 40% in just the last one year, from 6937 to 9858 students, while over 28122 students are registered for MPhil/MS, up from 16960, an increase of 65% in just two years.
The increase in the number of PhDs awarded is again very similar, from 628 to 927 in the last 3 years, and will surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join the universities.
Commenting on these developments, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari Chairperson HEC said that Universities are the single most important producers of knowledge and research that leads to innovation and entrepreneurship.
By introducing innovation, creativity and interdisciplinary research as a vital component of teaching, and with knowledge exchange programs, the university contributes more directly to the economy and the society than many other institutions in the country.
Riaz Haq said…
From The News on Global Talent Index:

Pakistan was ranked 54 out of 60 economies in the Global Talent Index (GTI) prepared by Economist Intelligence Unit for 2015 with India occupying the 35th spot - 19 places above Pakistan. Experts cite country’s poor compulsory and university education for the dismal score.

The ranking is based on a score of 1-100 in which demographics have 11.1 percent weight compulsory education 30.8, and university education 22.2 percent, quality of the labor force 22.2 percent, talent environment 11.1 percent, openness 11.1 percent and proclivity to attracting talent 11.1 percent.

United States with a score of 74.5 percent ranks number one Global Talent Index (GTI) – a position it has been enjoying since 2007 and 2011.

Pakistan’s score in GTI 2015 was 30.8 which improvement 3.8 points over its score in GTI 2011. This increase in score has helped Pakistan climb up two positions from 54 to 56.

The GTI 2015 report says that talent remains an important component of countries’ and businesses’ long-term competitiveness. How they develop, attract and retain talent should therefore remain high on the agenda of policymakers and business leaders for the foreseeable future.

The Global Talent Index Report: The Outlook to 2015 seeks to inform their thinking by assessing talent trends around the world on two dimensions: at the international level through a benchmarking index of talent environments in 60 countries

It further pointed out that the US lead is almost one full point (on a 1-10 scale) in 2011 and 2015 over the next best performers. The country’s foremost strengths are the excellence of its universities, the high overall quality of its existing workforce and a meritocratic environment that is relatively unencumbered by restrictive labor regulation.

China rises to 31st place in the GTI in 2015 from 33rd in 2011, but more notable is the five-point improvement in its score – the largest increase in 2015 of any country in the index.

Unsure of the local availability of skilled staff, companies in Asia often recruit individuals with potentials and try to hone their skills. Creativity in overcoming challenges is the most serious shortcoming identified by executives in new and potential hires – most keenly felt in Asia

In demographics, Pakistan’s score was 56 percent, which was lower than 75.8 percent score of India and 72.8 percent of China but higher than 39.6 percent that of United States. In compulsory education, Pakistan obtained a paltry 5.9 percent compared with 81.3 percent by the US, 66.9 percent by China and 30.5 percent by India. Similarly in University education Pakistan’s score was low at 6.7 percent while it’s was 82 percent in US, 32.1 percent in China and 15.7 percent in India.

In quality of labor force Pakistan scored 34.4 percent, India 64.2 percent, China 41.2 percent and the United States 89.6 percent. In ‘talent environment,’ Pakistan’s score was 45.8 percent, India 50.4 percent, China 59.7 percent and the US100 percent. In ‘openness,’ Pakistan’s score of 51.1 percent was much better than US score of 34.1 percent and India’s score of 34.7 percent.

China’s score of 51.5 percent was slightly better than Pakistan under the head of openness. In proclivity to attracting talent Pakistan’s score was 35.8 percent which was higher than 20 percent in China and 29.9 percent in China but it was almost half of the US score of 79.1 percent.
Riaz Haq said…
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has produced 8,161 PhD scholars up till 2012. As many as 10 to 15 scholars are currently completing their degrees each week, HEC Media Project Manager Murtaza Noor said on Tuesday.
As many as 1,039 scholars have completed PhDs in agriculture and veterinary sciences, 1,211 in arts and humanities, 1,692 in biology and medical science, he said. As many as 1,978 scholars have been awarded PhDs in social sciences, 1,810 in physical science, 288 in engineering and technology and 143 in business education.
“Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India,” he said.
The scholars completing their PhDs are placed in different universities under the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP), said Noor.

The HEC provides several incentives to these scholars, including a Rs0.5 million research grant to each returning scholar, he said.
“Hundreds of fresh PhDs from foreign universities are being inducted into universities across the country,” Noor said, “The number of PhD faculty in public universities has increased by almost 50 per cent…from 4,203 to 6,067 over the last two years.”
“Scholars are also being sent abroad to pursue studies in leading universities,” said Noor.
The number of PhD students enrolled in universities has increased by over 40 per cent [from 6,937 to 9,858 students] in the past year.
More than 28,122 students are registered for the MPhil/MS. The number of MPhil/MS students has increased by 65 per cent [from 16,960 to 28,122] over the past two years, he said.
The number of PhDs awarded has increased from 628 to 927 in the last three years. The number is expected to surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join universities, Murtaza said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.
Riaz Haq said…
Some international students have the right to work here after graduation for two or more years.

“There is a ticking time bomb on post-study work rights visas, which are being seen as the route to a fast track to migration,” Mr Honeywood said. “Numbers out of India have doubled in the past 12 months. They are not rorting the system, but have the perception post-study work rights will lead to permanent residency, and that is totally wrong.”

China remains by far the biggest source of overseas students, with 153,000 in 2014 — almost one-third of all international students. Government data shows several countries in addition to India have seen big spikes in enrolments. They include Nepal, up 27 per cent on 2013, Pakistan, up 16 per cent, Hong Kong, up 22 per cent, The Philippines, up 21 per cent and Taiwan, up 24 per cent. Mr Honeywood said Australia was still in need of an overarching strategy and independent advisory council, much like Tourism Australia, as recommended in a 2012 review by Michael Chaney.

While the government said last year it had accepted all 35 recommendations of the review, no official response has been released and only seven recommendations have been implemented.

Mr Honeywood said there was little or no co-ordination between the various ministries with responsibility for the sector: education, trade, foreign affairs and immigration. “We have this constant issue of federal government departments in splendid isolation making decisions that impact the sector without adequate consultation,” he said.

A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said a draft national strategy was due for release this year. “The government is also planning a number of ministerial roundtables,” he said.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Population 196,174,380 (July 2014 est.)

Age structure 0-14 years: 33.3% (male 33,595,949/female 31,797,766)
15-24 years: 21.5% (male 21,803,617/female 20,463,184)
25-54 years: 35.7% (male 36,390,119/female 33,632,395)
55-64 years: 5.1% (male 5,008,681/female 5,041,434)
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 3,951,190/female 4,490,045) (2014 est.)
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of Pakistan Education Statistics 2013-14 on tertiary education:

College enrollment at 1,086 degree college stage i.e. grades 13 and 14, is 1.336 million.

University enrollment at 161 universities i.e. grade 15 and 16 is 1.595 million.

All post-secondary enrollment from grade 13 to grade 16 is 2.931 million.
Riaz Haq said…
The (ADB) report ( Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015) uses a unique data set of education indicators across 67 economies globally, including 23 from developing Asia and the Pacific, to capture key features of basic educational systems.

In most economies, the report states that the enrollment ratios are generally gender neutral, the largest gap is in Pakistan, where the net enrollment ratio in primary education for boys is 9.9 percentage points higher than that for girls, but this gender gap has narrowed significantly from 21.1 percentage points in 2002.

In other economies where enrollment ratios have been in favour of boys in earlier years, the gender gaps have also narrowed, with the advantages slightly reversing in favour of girls in latest years for Bangladesh, Bhutan, Georgia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Developing economies with youth literacy rates below 80% include Afghanistan (47.0%), Bangladesh (79.9%), Bhutan (74.4%), Pakistan (70.8%), and Papua New Guinea (71.2%).

Among the 23 economies that fell short of the 95% mark for completion of last grade of primary school, five economies with the lowest ratios (below 70%) are Nepal (60.4%), India (61.4%), Pakistan (62.2%), Cambodia (64.2%), and Bangladesh (66.2%). However, more economies have improved their expected primary school completion rates, with significant increases of at least 20 percentage points (pp) in Bhutan (48 pp), Cook Islands (30 pp), Cambodia (30 pp), the Lao PDR (41 pp), Mongolia (23 pp), Nepal (25 pp) and Tajikistan (27 pp). Armenia’s latest rate (94.2%) is slightly below 95% and has just fallen slightly from its 1997 baseline rate (96.5%).

As of 2015 (or latest year), all economies in the Asia and Pacific region have under-5 mortality rates of less than 100 deaths per 1,000 live births, with the highest rates in Afghanistan (91), Pakistan (81), and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (67).

Other developing economies with at most 75% of their 1-year-old children immunized against measles are Afghanistan (75%), India (74%), the Marshall Islands (70%), Pakistan (61%), Papua New Guinea (70%), and Timor-Leste (70%).

The prevalence of moderately and severely underweight children under 5 years of age has decreased in 26 of the 31 economies with data for earliest and latest years. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Vietnam have remarkable average annual reductions (of more than 1 percentage point per year) in the prevalence of underweight children since 1990. However, malnutrition remained high in 11 economies of the Asia and Pacific region (at more than 20%), which include the heavily populated economies of India (29.4%), Bangladesh (32.6%), and Pakistan (31.6%).

Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines and Vietnam in Southeast Asia and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan have seen rise in HIV prevalence rates since 2001.

Prior to that, economies with a relatively young age structure, such as India and Pakistan, should benefit from a rising share of the working-age population in their total population.

About half the regional economies were in the category of “medium human development,” including India and Indonesia. Bangladesh, the region’s fifth most populous economy, was a new addition to the medium group, while the fourth most populous economy, Pakistan, remained in the “low human development” group, along with five other smaller economies.

In Pakistan, a randomized experiment that provided information on school performance to families in markets with public and private education raised student achievement by 0.11, while reducing private school tuition costs by 17%.

“Private school tuition likely declined because better schools were forced to spend more with little real return to learning outcomes, simply to differentiate themselves enough from competing schools,” the report stated.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan ranks among top 10 for #science contribution in #Asia for 1996-2014 …
Riaz Haq said…
There are 49,000 Pakistani students and 223,000 Indian students studying abroad as of 2011, according to OECD education report.

With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education, including vocational training, along with a willingness and capacity to pay relatively high tuition and fees, according to the findings of Austrade, an Australian govt agency promoting trade. Private institutions are seeking affiliations with universities abroad to ensure they offer information and training that is of international standards.
Riaz Haq said…
Speaking at the ‘Pakistan StartUP Cup’ competition for young entrepreneurs, jointly organised by the U.S Embassy and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), he said that Pakistan and US were working on a ‘knowledge corridor’ under which around 10,000 PhDs from Pakistan will be trained in U.S universities.

Riaz Haq said…
#US #Pakistan #Knowledge Corridor to send 10,000 scholars to US, the Higher Education Vision 2025 via @techjuicepk

Reaffirming its commitment towards a developing Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan has announced that an agenda on set of goals to be achieved in the education sector, the Higher Education Vision 2025 will soon be announced and shared with general public.

While addressing an interactive discussion session on the Higher Education Vision 2025, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal announced that the the draft on the Higher Education Vision 2025 is in its final phases and will be shared soon, reported Dawn. Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed were also among the other notable guests who graced the gathering.

Ahsan Iqbal shared the to-be incorporated points with the gathering stating that the emphasis is being pivoted from the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields to the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) fields. Stressing over the importance of Arts education, Ahsan Iqbal said that Government will be establishing an academy to promote the study on social sciences across the country.

Mukhtar Ahmed agreed and pointed that HEC already had redesigned its goals in the light of national goals as prescribed in the Vision. Ahsan Iqbal also mentioned that, as part of the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, 10,000 Pakistani scholars will be sent to the United States for higher study in the next 10 years.

The Higher Education Vision 2025 consists of a set of goals which the state will aspire to achieve in coming years through to 2025. The document will give a direction to the government’s efforts in the education sector and will help it remain focused towards the set targets. The reaffirmation of this resolute is necessary as it also helps state in keeping up with the ongoing developments and improvements in the education sector from around the globe.
Riaz Haq said…
#Stanford Study: 6-minute cellphone call improves student enrollment, teacher attendance in #Pakistan. via @Stanford

Education researchers examining a World Bank community engagement program noted its positive impact, but results varied for boys’ and girls’ schools.

A brief monthly phone call to school council members in Pakistan can be a relatively low-cost, scalable way to raise elementary-school enrollment – particularly for girls – and spur school improvement, according to a new study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Thomas Dee and alumna Minahil Asim.

In the study, Asim and Dee evaluated the impact of the School Council Mobilization Program, a pilot initiative that took advantage of the widespread ownership of cell phones in rural Pakistan to strengthen citizen oversight of local schools.

“The program cost about $50 per school and it increased enrollment by roughly 12 students in the typical primary school for girls,” Dee said. “The fact that one could drive improvement in such an important outcome at low cost is extraordinarily exciting to me,” added Dee who is also a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

The researchers, who were not involved with the mobilization program and received no outside funding for their study, were impressed by the design of the intervention and decided to examine whether it had any effect.

The school councils were established in the mid-1990s to strengthen school governance. People are often more motivated to improve their local services than central government bureaucrats. But, the performance of the councils had been mixed and it was unclear whether council members were fully aware of their roles.

The councils were made up of a head teacher and prominent individuals in the community – including shopkeepers, clerics and parents – who served for a year. A prior effort to inform council members about their responsibilities through a three-day in-person training that cost about $180 per school had been ineffective.

Simple and low-cost
In contrast, the School Council Mobilization Program used phone calls to provide a targeted, sustained, one-to-one engagement mechanism between the provincial government and school councils. Moreover, it was relatively low-cost and had the potential of being expanded to a larger scale.

The initiative, which was funded by the World Bank, paid a call center to place monthly calls for 17 months to school council members at larger schools in five districts of the Punjab province. On each call, which lasted about six minutes, the same calling agent would inform a member of a specific responsibility such as monitoring attendance, increasing enrollment and school planning. Text messages were also used initially, but were discontinued because many council members were unable to read.

In order to determine whether the call strategy had an impact, Asim and Dee looked at school outcomes before and after the intervention took place. They used comparisons with other schools and with districts where the program was not piloted to distinguish the effects of the intervention from those of other reforms and trends taking place.

They found that, in addition to raising student enrollment by 5.7 percent at the elementary-school level, the program increased teacher attendance by roughly 2 percent and made it more likely that schools had functional facilities such as toilets and water.


Riaz Haq said…
A little “#MIT for #Pakistan” #Technology

by Umar Saif

This little “MIT for Pakistan” is driven by a culture of research and entrepreneurship. Its main purpose is to advance innovation and research in the areas of science, technology and engineering. We are highly selective in admitting faculty, research staff and students. This year, our student admission rate was only 2.28 per cent. The scholarship programs, both merit and need based, ensure that applicants are admitted solely on the basis of merit, irrespective of their ability to pay university fees. ITU’s main strength is the quality of its tenure-track faculty. Our tenure-track faculty hiring process is driving entirely by the candidate’s potential to conduct world-class research. Faculty members must have a PhD from a top-tier university and proven research credentials.

In the short duration of 3 years, our faculty members have won over Rs700 Million in competitive research grants, published scores of papers in top journals and conferences and made technology that solves local problems in Pakistan. For instance, Dr Mujeebur Rehman has invented a low-cost ventilator to replace the hand-pumped ventilators in hospitals, which could save thousands of lives every year; Dr Tauseef Tauqir has developed a new fan motor that would drastically reduce the energy consumption for fan manufacturers in Gujranwala; Dr Ali Agha has made a speech-based system that enables illiterate people to access Internet services and Dr. Yaqoob Banghash is digitising the historical archives of Punjab. Collaboration between PITB and ITU researchers has helped the Punjab Government in designing an early epidemic warning system for Dengue, reducing the dropout rates in child vaccination programmes in Punjab, Baluchistan and K-P, and devising a data collection platform that underpins mobile applications used by the government of Punjab.

Cambridge results: Record setting year for Pakistanis

With a specific focus on entrepreneurship; we have established a startup incubator, called Plan9 which is jointly run with the PITB. It has graduated over 130 startups and helped bootstrap a culture of tech startups in Pakistan. Plan9 now supports over 17 startup incubators throughout the country. Each faculty members gets one day off every week from university services to work towards the commercialisation of their research projects. In order to establish a credible scientific publication in Pakistan, ITU has licensed MIT’s Technology Review magazine, one of the most credible scientific publications in the world. MIT Technology Review Pakistan is printed every two months and covers technology research, startups and products in Pakistan.

We have just work on a purpose-built campus spread over 183 acres on Barki Road in Lahore. At the same time, we are entering into a partnership with EdX (MIT and Harvard University online course platform) to introduce online learning in our classrooms. I hope our little “MIT for Pakistan” will become a platform to advance scientific research, innovative and entrepreneurship in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani universities must capitalise on Chinese investment
The $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a huge opportunity to build academic capacity in Pakistan, say Abdur Rehman Cheema and Muhammad Haris

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) unveiled by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, is frequently referred to in Pakistan as a potential economic game changer. Now in its first phase of implementation, it will see the Chinese government pump more than $50 billion (£40 billion) into improving transport links and energy cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Hardly any attention has been paid, however, to how this opportunity might be leveraged to build the technological capacity of Pakistan’s universities. And, so far, academics have been conspicuous by their absence from those clamouring for a share of the pie.

There is no question that universities have a lot to offer in terms of economic development. Introduced in the late 1990s, the Triple Helix concept of university-industry-government relationships has transformed the social role of higher education in many developing countries, casting them as central to the transition to a knowledge-based society, whose policies all three players combine to shape. Although it is not easy to implement in countries that lack research universities or global businesses, studies suggest that the approach generally leads to greater scientific productivity, for instance.

Pakistani universities need to capitalise on China’s own desire to shift itself from a symbol of mass production to a knowledge-based economy. They need to align their strategies with Chinese companies’ existing strengths in information technology, railways, manufacturing and energy. And they need to approach both Chinese firms and the Pakistani government to identify the technical skills areas in which the demand for workers can be expected to rise, and implement new diplomas and short courses accordingly.

Networking is also an important tool that can help bring the spheres of government, industry and the academy together. Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission, which regulates all of its universities, should take the lead and help to start this conversation within universities and research centres, incentivising their interaction with existing firms, as well as establishing incubation facilities for new ones on university campuses, including granting them shared access to university facilities.

CPEC also offers an opportunity to address Pakistan’s rampant inequality. In the country’s poorest province, Balochistan, the federal government could help local politicians and tertiary education providers to set up inclusive business incubation centres charged with developing customised, socially useful entrepreneurial approaches. Drawing on the Chinese experience of poverty reduction, such measures could start to build skilled human resources able to contribute to local and national economic development.

For example, developing local expertise in processing copper – which is mined in Balochistan – could help Pakistan to save the cost of importing the metal after the ore is exported to China for refinement.

The Balochistani port of Gwadar, a gateway to the Middle-Eastern and African markets, is one of the nodes of CPEC and will be connected by new road and rail links to the far western Chinese city of Kashgar, in Xinjiang Province. This offers many business opportunities for Pakistani and international businesses, and local universities could both catalyse and benefit from this if they set up business research excellence centres aimed at helping to improve the quality of the goods and services to be exported.
Riaz Haq said…
What if India hadn’t made friends with science?
D. Balasubramanian

Adita Joshi writes on how the indelible ink, used to identify voters, was first developed by Dr Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, way back in the 1940s for the CSIR in Calcutta. (On an aside, it is worth noting here that after he moved to Pakistan in 1951, he became the father of modern science and technology of that nation, establishing the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Pakistan CSIR, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and others. He was thus Colonial India’s gift to Pakistan).


Within a decade of independence, our food production tripled; small pox was eradicated; five IITs, two agricultural universities and one AIIMS were set up
Seventy-two years ago, colonial empires collapsed, and close to 80 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America became free nations. And each new nation had to plan for its future. Yet, among these 80, India was the lone nation that “made friends with science” as a policy for development. No other nation did so; it was unique and far-reaching!

Our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru declared: “The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.” For our growth and welfare as an independent, democratic nation, we chose science and technology as major instruments. A gallery of distinguished and patriotic scientists, technologists and thinkers were approached for advice, and their advice heeded. Within a decade of independence, our food production tripled; small pox was eradicated; harmonious sharing of the five Indus rivers with Pakistan was agreed upon; dams and waterways was built and five IITs, two agricultural universities and one AIIMS were set up. (Readers will surely add more). We reap the benefits of their advice to this day and have added more. What if we hadn’t?

Was India prepared for this daring initiative? As it turns out, modern (Baconian) science had already taken root in Colonial India since the mid 1700s. (In a forthcoming issue of the journal Indian Journal of History of Science, stories of about 35 successful Indian practitioners of ‘Western Science’ in colonial India will be highlighted). And many of its distinguished practitioners and their students were Indians in India. It was the meeting of minds of these scholars and the political leaders that made India modern.

It is now 70 years since Independence. How well has the practice of science transformed India? It is on this theme that the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) has come out with the book: “Indian Science: Transforming India — A look back on its 70-year journey; impact of science in independent India”. It has 11 stories, written in a lucid and non-jargonian fashion by Drs. Adita Joshi (biologist and educator), Dinesh Sharma (journalist and science writer), Kavita Tiwari (biotechnologist and writer) and Nissy Nevil (physicist and science policy consultant). These articles showcase how: (i) modern science is the key; (ii) large scale applications are possible which can transform the economy of a nation; (iii) community participation is vital for understanding, acceptance and practice, (iv) a sense of daring or challenging existing mores is important and (v) how a ready adaptation of ‘modern biology’, and its use for general welfare is appreciated even by rural populations.
Riaz Haq said…
Doctors With(out) Borders: How Partition Affected Scientists in India and Pakistan
How did migration impact the professional networks in which scientists functioned? Did they continue academic discussions with their former colleagues on the other side of the border?

Consider the career of the chemist Salimuzzaman Siddiqui. Born near Lucknow in 1897, Siddiqui studied at the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (the forerunner of Aligarh Muslim University), learnt painting under Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta and did his doctoral research in Frankfurt. Returning to India, he conducted pioneering research on Rauwolfina serpentina and other indigenous plants with medicinal properties at the Unani Tibbia and Ayurvedic College in Delhi. He then caught the eye of scientist and technocrat S.S. Bhatnagar, the chief architect of the network of labs set up under India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In 1947 he was made director of the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL).

But religious tensions in post-Partition Delhi made daily life hazardous for Siddiqui. Issues were complicated further by the fact that his brother, the prominent Muslim League leader Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman, was now in Pakistan. This probably made Siddiqui a less palatable choice politically, and the offer of the directorship of NCL was withdrawn. Nevertheless, he continued work in Delhi until 1951, when he left for Pakistan at the invitation of Liaquat Ali Khan and became head of Pakistan’s CSIR.

Similarly, the name of Nazir Ahmed, a scientist who had done his PhD in physics in the Rutherford-led Cavendish Lab in Cambridge in the 1920s, is not widely known in India. Inevitably, given the fact that he went on to head the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, he is remembered primarily as a Pakistani scientist. But before that, he had had an (enduring) impact on science in undivided India. In the years after his return from England, Ahmed taught physics in Lahore, carried out research on cotton in Bombay, visited nuclear facilities in Allied countries along with eminent scientists and institution-builders Meghnad Saha and Bhatnagar towards the end of World War II, and played an important role in conceptualising the (Indian) CSIR.

Nor was the reverse scenario uncommon. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (1894-1955), mentioned twice above, was renowned not only for his leadership of the CSIR in the 1940s and 1950s but also for his research in colloidal and magnetochemistry. His too was a career built on either side of Partition (both in time and space). Bhatnagar’s formative years were spent in Lahore, where he got his high school and university-level education (at the Dyal Singh College and the Forman Christian College respectively). After a doctorate in London, he taught and conducted research for several years at the Punjab University in Lahore before he began his career as a technocrat in Delhi.

A product of the syncretic Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, he wrote the official song of the Benaras Hindu University (where he worked briefly) in Sanskritised Hindi. But it was his literary talent in and mastery of Urdu that attracted attention when he was a student. When his wife died in 1946, he produced a collection of Urdu poems in her memory. When Partition occurred, Bhatnagar stayed on in India, where his career graph was soaring, leaving behind friends, former students and a grand home in Lahore.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan on Wednesday (in June 2017) became a full signatory of the Washington Accord that facilitates mobility of engineering graduates and professionals at the international level.

Pakistan became the full signatory of Washington Accord on June 21, reported Dunya News.

As a result of the new agreement, the engineers from Pakistan would no further have to take exams for getting new jobs and admission abroad.

In the first stage, graduates from UET Lahore, UET Taxila, GIK and NUST would benefit from the new agreement.

Pakistan was granted provisional membership of the Washington Accord in the year 2010.

The Washington Accord, signed in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes.

It recognises the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by those bodies and recommends that graduates of programs accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognised by the other bodies as having met the academic requirements for the entry to the practice of engineering.

At present, the Washington Accord member countries include Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Pakistan, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Riaz Haq said…
One million youth to be trained each year under new TVET policy: Cheema

Islamabad: This national policy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), sets out for the first time in our country’s history – the commitment to invest in skill development is vital fast-changing and transforming global economy. The government is committed to increasing access, relevant and the quality of technical &vocational training. We are improving higher education provision. But as this TVET policy document demonstrates so clearly, as a nation we must develop skills to transform on youth into an asset-instead of a burden. The government of Pakistan has stoic resolve and commitment to ensure the implementation of the TVET policy, encouraging technical and vocational training for national and international labour markets.

TVET policy envisages the need for expansion of provision and a greater role for the private sector. It also ensuring the creation of a national quality assurance and qualification system. The importance of developing a new approach to planning and implementation is also part of this policy. This involves partnership working and greater emphasis on performance, accountability and evidence-based decision-making.

NAVTTC Chief Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema has said that National TVET Policy is an important milestone towards strengthening the TVET sector which would contribute to boost our economy.

“This is indeed a historic moment for us and a clear demonstration of the importance of skills development to achieve sustained economic growth, to increase productivity and to provide opportunities for people to contribute to the economy and to their communities, particularly the country’s growing young population”, he said.

The Head of NAVTTC thanked the cabinet members, provincial TEVTAs, development partners of TVET Reform Support Program, GIZ, Industrial sector of Pakistan and the industrial sector for their cooperation and support.

The National TVET Policy has following salient features:

Secure a national commitment to the importance of skills development to achieve sustained economic growth, to increase productivity and to provide opportunities for people to contribute to the economy and to their communities, particularly the country’s growing youthful population.

Increase the number and quality of training opportunities so that in the short-term at least one million youth will be trained each year. By 2025, the objective is to train 20 percent of all school-leavers, in addition to up-skilling and re-skilling existing workers. Such expansion will not be achieved by the public sector alone and the active engagement of the private sector will be required.

To introduce a national standards-based qualification, assessment and certification system.

To design and deliver competency-based education and training programmes that concentrate on the skills required to perform jobs.

To forge new partnerships between the public and private sectors and to encourage employers to train more directly and to contribute to the reform of public TVET provision.

Maintenance and expansion of the export of labour by encouraging people to obtain internationally recognized qualifications.

Encourage the informal sector of the economy by providing people with opportunities to gain formal certification. Continue the reform and revitalization of the TVET sector.

Development of an integrated TVET to strengthen collaboration and consultation with the provincial TEVTAS.
Riaz Haq said…
Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016
Prof Stephen S Lim, PhD
Rachel L Updike, BA
Alexander S Kaldjian, MSc
Ryan M Barber, BS
Krycia Cowling, PhD
Hunter York, BA
et al

In 2016, Finland had the highest level of expected human capital of 28·4 health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years (95% uncertainty interval 27·5–29·2); Niger had the lowest expected human capital of less than 1·6 years (0·98–2·6). In 2016, 44 countries had already achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital; 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Of 195 countries, the ten most populous countries in 2016 for expected human capital were ranked: China at 44, India at 158, USA at 27, Indonesia at 131, Brazil at 71, Pakistan at 164, Nigeria at 171, Bangladesh at 161, Russia at 49, and Mexico at 104. Assessment of change in expected human capital from 1990 to 2016 shows marked variation from less than 2 years of progress in 18 countries to more than 5 years of progress in 35 countries. Larger improvements in expected human capital appear to be associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in human capital from 1990 to 2016 had a median annualised growth in gross domestic product of 2·60% (IQR 1·85–3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18–2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile.

Despite 25 years of progress in many dimensions of human capital, in 2016 these levels were not universally high (Figure 2, Figure 3). The top five countries were unchanged from 1990 except for the replacement of Canada with Taiwan (province of China). In 2016, all countries in western Europe, and many in central and eastern Europe, had more than 20 years of expected human capital, as did South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan (province of China), Turkey, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. Despite improvements, 24 countries in 2016 continued to have expected human capital below 5 years, with the five lowest-ranked countries being Niger (1·6 years; 95% UI 0·98–2·6), South Sudan (2·0 years; 1·2–3·0), Chad (2·7 years; 1·7–3·2), Burkina Faso (2·8 years; 1·8–4·2), and Mali (2·8 years; 2·0–3·8).

Human capital refers to the attributes of a population that, along with physical capital such as buildings, equipment, and other tangible assets, contribute to economic productivity.1 Human capital is characterised as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population,2 affecting the rate at which technologies can be developed, adopted, and employed to increase productivity.3 The World Bank has brought new attention to this topic through its recently introduced Human Capital Project,4 which aims to “understand the link between investing in people and economic growth, and to accelerate financing for human capital investments.” A basic input needed for this aim to be fulfilled is an internationally comparable index of human capital, which currently does not exist. This study seeks to fill this global measurement gap.3
Although evidence supports human capital as a driver of growth, the World Bank has argued that investments in human capital are too low in low-income and middle-income countries.5 Much of the World Bank's investments focus on physical rather than human capital.5 Only 1·5% of the World Bank International Development Association concessional grants are for health and 1·9% are for education.6 As countries graduate to borrowing from the non-concessional International Bank for Reconstruction and Development framework, the shares for health increase to 4·2% and to 5·2% for education.6 A focus on building physical assets might also be driven by time horizons; such projects can yield returns sooner than investing in children's health and education, and the political process in many nations might reward short-run returns.6
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan government sets aside Rs 24 billion for 4-year scholarships for 200,000 undergraduates under #Ehsaas Program. Half of the scholarships allocated for #girls from poor families. #EhsaasUndergraduateScholarshipProgram #PTI #ImranKhan #education

Prime Minister Imran Khan gave away need-based Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships in the first phase to the first batch of deserving bright students on Monday.

As part of Ehsaas, 2 per cent of scholarships will be exclusively awarded to students with special needs.

The flagship programme is being implemented across the country and, according to the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety and Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Dr Sania Nishtar, these scholarships will cover 100 per cent of the tuition fee and a living stipend of Rs4,000 (Dh95.11) per month.

The geographical spread of the programme, according to Nishtar, will cover all four provinces, Pakistan-Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

Every year, 50,000 students from low-income families will be awarded scholarships for 4- to 5-year undergraduate degree programmes, she said.

The success and continuation of scholarship programme in future years will depend upon the efficacy, maintenance of academic performance by the students and the evaluation of the desired results.

The programme will be overseen by the Ehsaas Scholarships Steering Committee, co-chaired by HEC chairman BISP chairperson.

According to the poverty alleviation division, the scholarship programme seeks to eliminate inequality in access to higher education.

“Unlike past scholarships that were aimed at MS or PhD programmes, Ehsaas Scholarships focus on the most critical segment namely the 4-year undergraduate programme, which contributes the most to income potential,” said Dr Sania Nishtar.

All students in Pakistan who are admitted to a four-year degree programme in an HEC-recognised public sector university or its affiliated colleges, with family income below a poverty threshold (to be fixed every year by the Ehsaas Scholarships Steering Committee) are eligible to receive the scholarship.

The programme is open to students in all major fields of education, namely agriculture, arts and humanities, business education, engineering, medical, physical sciences, and social sciences.

The final award list is posted publicly at the university, and is also made available on the HEC website as well as the university’s website. Selected students have to open bank accounts, and stipends will be deposited directly into the accounts.
Riaz Haq said…
Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology

Globalization and the information and communication revolution have greatly impacted worlds’ production methods and its structure. Today, knowledge is one of the main distinguishing features between developed and underdeveloped economies. In highly-developed economies, research and development activities and production are horizontally integrated in the form of networks, covering production sites and laboratories in a number of countries.
Pakistan is lacking in having an adequately trained and skilled workforce in production sector which ultimately resulted in lowest exports and consequently limited potential for economic growth.
‘Skilling Pakistan: A Vision for the National Skills Strategy, 2008-12” aims at three main objectives when defining technical education at policy level: firstly, providing relevant skills for industrial and economic development; secondly, improving access, equity and employability; and lastly, assuring quality for skills development. These objectives are in line with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s aim to poverty alleviation through human resource development and skill training.
Riaz Haq said…
Interview: Pakistan should seize opportunity to learn from China's scientific advancement: Pakistani scientist

"When the students return to Pakistan after completing advanced learning in China, Pakistan can get benefit from their expertise by hiring them at significant posts in colleges, universities and laboratories," the professor (Dr. Ataur Rahman) at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) of the University of Karachi told Xinhua.

"It will not only provide the scientists a platform to conduct further research, but also give them a chance to teach advanced sciences to other students, and the whole process will gradually set the base of scientific studies on modern grounds in the country," Rahman added.

"I always suggest that Pakistan should start taking benefit from China right now so that Pakistani students and researchers can grow with China in the field of science."

An alumnus of King's College of Britain's University of Cambridge from where he received his PhD in organic chemistry in 1968, Rahman has won lots of awards in Pakistan including the highest national award Nishan-e-Imtiaz for his services to the country in the field of science, apart from a number of other international awards.


"I also have a number of international co-publications with Chinese scientists. Many Chinese scientists and pharmaceutical companies have visited Pakistan to conduct research in the ICCBS. By all these research and publications, I have made a small effort to promote Chinese science in the world."

The professor is also the head of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's task force on science and technology. The task force is aimed at making the country standout in the world in "specific and targeted fields."

"Initially we have identified five areas including education, agriculture, minerals, information technology, and linkages of innovation with society which will focus on engineering and emerging sciences. Two new universities are also being established to give education of applied science."

Development budget of the country's science and technology has increased six-fold this year to encourage innovation, he said, adding that one of the main focuses of the Pakistani government is to change the direction of the country's economy from agricultural economy to knowledge and science economy.

"China will be a great help for Pakistan to achieve the target and for that purpose we are forming 20 centers of excellence in various universities of the country with the help of China," the professor said. These centers will include artificial intelligence in health sciences, hybrid seed production, virology, nanotechnology, railways engineering, agricultural food processing, mineral extraction and processing among others.

Many top Chinese institutes and universities including Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, China National Rice Research Institute and Wuhan Institute of Virology among others will cooperate with Pakistan to make these centers of excellence a success story, he added.

"I have a long and cordial association with China, and these centers of excellence will form linkages of young Pakistani scientists with China too, and they will act as an engine of scientific advancement for Pakistan by learning from China."

Sharing his vision regarding the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in development of science and technology in the country, the professor said that Pakistan should form joint industrial ventures in high-tech manufacturing with China to benefit from Chinese technological advancement and the Pakistani government is also working towards that direction in special economic zones.
Riaz Haq said…
Javed Hassan
“We design courses in collaboration with industry and play a very important role in terms of international linkages and accreditation in the skills area. Traditionally, these skills would include plumbing, electrical, welding, carpentry, etc; today they encompass high-tech areas”

“such as AI, coding and web design. To summarise, NAVTTC designs policy for the government, allocates resources and ensures that the standards meet the local market requirements and are internationally accepted as well.”


MAB: How receptive is the industry to this idea?
SJH: People in the industry always maintain that training is the critical need of the country and we should be investing much more in that direction. The reality is that they look to the government to provide all the training and the facilities; they don’t want to invest time and energy in a more involved collaboration. We have tried to work with the Chambers of Commerce, but so far, we have not seen the kind of enthusiasm that is needed. However, things are changing. For example, we are working closely with the Hashoo Group to train young people in the hospitality sector. We are also working with a few manufacturing companies that are providing training on the factory floor. Pakistan’s main problem is productivity and productivity is dependent on the capability of the labour force; unless industry is prepared to invest in them, it will not have a capable labour force.

MAB: From which educational stream do most trainees come from?
SJH: When we were just offering traditional skills, we were attracting young people from the Matric or FSC level from government schools; young people who probably were unable to get into a university. As a result, there was a stigma attached to vocational training, an unfair one in my view – and people preferred not to opt for vocational training, even though there are good jobs out there and with good earning potential. Under Hunarmand Pakistan’s Kamyab Jawan Scheme, we have introduced high-end technical skills that offer entrepreneurial or digital facing opportunities, and since then we have seen a very different kind of student body coming in. Many are graduates who have not found jobs because they lack industry experience (it makes you wonder what kind of graduates we are producing that the industry is unwilling to hire them) and have taken advantage of the courses we offer and almost immediately found jobs. In the first phase, we trained about 40% of our intake in traditional skills, and according to an internal survey, almost 65% found a job. In terms of the high-end technical skills, about 80 to 85% have either started their own companies, are freelancing or are in jobs. We are now seeing young people from different social stratas taking up the trainings we offer. We cannot know everything about the market and one of the best proxies to understand the market requirements is to find out what the young themselves want to learn; they better than anyone else know what kind of jobs are out there and we have persuaded the institutes to talk to industry as well as to the young people and design the courses accordingly. As a result, applications have been much higher compared to the previous ones, when NAVTTC as well as the vocational institutes had to run after people to persuade them to enrol; in fact, this time, the courses have been oversubscribed. We should not underestimate the wisdom of young people. Most of them want to find jobs and stand on their own feet; do not force them on to a certain path; instead, ask them what path they want to follow and enable it.

Riaz Haq said…
Bilal I Gilani
Close to 350k engineers in Pakistan ( registered with engineering council)

Largest number is electrical , followed by civil engineers
Riaz Haq said…
Athar Osama PIF Facebook post

Today we embark upon a 6-month long learning journey with 60 Pakistani Teachers and 6 Indonesian Teacher Trainers on Holistic Science Teaching.

This is an innovative approach to Teaching Science in a manner that is connected with other branches of knowledge such as History, Philosophy, Ethics, Religion and the Liberal Arts being piloted, to our knowledge, for the first time in the Muslim World.

Over 3 years, we will 6 workshops in Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Arab World - very different cultures, education systems, languages but the same objective: Train Teachers to create Curious Classrooms!

6-8 Grade Science Teachers may register to attend a future workshop at

World Science Collaborative Ltd, in collaboration with, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), The Aga Khan University – Institute of Education Development (AKU-IED), South East Asian Ministerial Organisation (SEAMEO), Indonesia, and Qatar University, Qatar, as well as partners Khawarzimi Science Society (KSS), Lahore; Pakistan Innovation Foundation, Pakistan, and STEMx – STEM School for the World, Islamabad presents a unique workshop to enable teachers to explore and learn how to teach science holistically.

In our society, teaching of science is often extremely siloed and compartmentalised whereby the science teacher delivers the content in the classroom but does not relate what is being taught to the real world nor brings forth (or draws upon) the diverse body of knowledge available in disciplines such as history, philosophy, religion and ethics. In doing so, he/she runs the risk, at the very least, of leaving the scientific learning unconnected, or much worse, leaving the students more confused than informed.

It is absolutely critical, therefore, to teach science holistically i.e. connect the learning in the classroom with the real world, for example, by:

* Bringing together knowledge from diverse sources and disciplines such as science, history, philosophy, religion, and ethics?

* Using hands-on experiments and play to bring inspiration and insight in the science classroom?

* Planning lessons that adequately address the curious minds of students and encourage critical inquiry?

* Addressing Big Philosophical Questions that stem from scientific discoveries such as Big Bang, Multiverses, Genetics, Evolution, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

The Holistic Teaching of Science Workshop is OPEN to ALL Teachers of Science in Middle School (Grades 6-8) at any public, private, or religious (madrassa) school who struggles with teaching modern science in the classroom and wants to do better.

The Holistic Science Teaching Online (Hybrid) Workshop is 1 of 6 Workshops that will be carried out in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Qatar between Dec 2022 and July 2025.
Riaz Haq said…
Tertiary Education in Pakistan:

The survey further indicates there were approximately 500,000 students enrolled in technical & vocational education, approximately 760,000 in degree-awarding colleges, and 1.96 million students in universities in 2020-21.Nov 10, 2022,in%20universities%20in%202020%2D21.

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