by Bilal Sabri
ISLAMABAD, Sep. 29 (Gwadar Pro) – The construction of 39-kilometer long six-lane expressway between the Havelian and Thakot Section created roughly 6,000 jobs for the locals, said the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.
The planning minister disclosed in the National Assembly that the Havelian-Thakot Section phase II, which was built by a Chinese firm, hired 90% local labour force “which were around 6,000 personals.”
The minister informed the lower of the parliament earlier this month that most of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Balochistan are Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) funded, wherein the local employees and workers were engaged.
While shedding light on some other CPEC-related projects across Pakistan, Umar said that a Technical Vocational Institute is under construction to train local people for the required skill set in the Gwadar Free Zone (GFZ) as well as to ensure maximum employment of the local people in the GFZ.
Umar maintained that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has implemented a project, “Award of Scholarship to the Students from Gwadar, Balochistan”, adding that the project was meant to support the youth from the Gwadar district by uplifting their language skills for the upcoming opportunities regarding CPEC.
“Under the project, a total of 50 students were sent to China for one-year Chinese Language course in two batches,” he said, “all the students have successfully completed their courses and returned home in July 2019.”
In addition, the planning minister told the assembly that the Chinese Study Center, funded jointly by the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and the University of Balochistan has started a six-week language introductory course. A six-month diploma course of Chinese language learning and a four-year degree program in China Studies was started.
He apprised the House that the center will also do research on topics related to the bilateral ties and CPEC. In the last two years, he said, 180 students in total have passed different courses and 180 are currently enrolled.
Revealing more about CPEC-related educational initiatives, Umar said that the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) has established a sub campus in Gwadar in March 2018, adding that NUML sub campus has announced admissions in English and Chinese Language certificate courses.
He said classes of English and Chinese Certificate Courses were started on September 10, 2018, and at present, the total enrollment for both courses is above 100 in morning and evening classes.
Disclosing about future program, Umar said that Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has a sub campus at Gwadar and they are planning to start a Confucius Center at Gwadar in collaboration with universities in China.
However, he said, this project is at conceptual phase and may materialize in near future. If established, he expressed, the center will have certificate, diploma and degree as well as research level facilities.