ISLAMABAD, Aug 29 (APP): “The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) plays a key role in spread of knowledge and setting up a commendable and helpful initiative named ‘Student Support Fund’ to help poor, deprived, needy and deserving students to help them achieve their goal is a matchless example for the betterment of students and development of a nation” said President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also Chancellor of AIOU, on Monday. In his message on the inauguration of AIOU ‘Student Support Fund’ established by Vice-Chancellor of AIOU Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi, the President said that the AIOU had made remarkable strides over the years in providing quality education through distant learning.
He said that recently the University also opened new campuses and pressed into service most modern satellite communication technologies to further extend its reach to thousands of students and teachers in all parts of the country.“Now it has launched the Students’ Support Fund to further extend educational opportunities and bring it within reach of the deserving and needy in far flung areas. It is yet another feather in the cap of the University,” he said.He sais,”These are important initiatives and are in line with the government endeavour to provide opportunities to all sections of the society, particularly the less fortunate and less endowed.
“Through these measures, the University has earned a place of distinction in the global village of information and education through distant learning”.The President congratulated the Vice Chancellor and the management of University for launching the Students Support Fund and wish the University greater success and glory in the years ahead.In a separate message, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said that with an enrollment of one million students each year, the AIOU was surely the backbone of Pakistan’s educational sector. “In a country like ours only a concept like open and distance learning can help to disseminate knowledge to every corner of the nation”.Prime Minister urged everyone to support AIOU in its endeavour by donating to this fund.
On the occasion, AIOU VC Prof. Sangi said that the university provided primary to higher education across the country especially in far flung rural areas. He said that the AIOU was proud of its contribution to the economic and social growth of the country.Students Support Fund has been established with the aim that deserving students from far flung areas will be facilitated with free text books, reduction or complete waiver of fees. For this purpose a survey is under way to compile a comprehensive list of deserving students.The Students Support Fund will give a slight preference to students studying technical courses in the University.These students will be given small loans with an easy installment plan to start a domestic industry or other small business. This fund will not only help spread education but it will also help 50 per cent of students enrolled in such technical programmes who belong tot he rural areas.