COLOMBO (APP) – The Pakistani High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Maj General (R) Shakeel Hussain has reiterated Pakistan’s continued support in roviding Sri Lanka’s youth better educational opportunities.
He was speaking on the occasion of the award of educational scholarships worth SL Rs. 3.84 Million to 160 bright Sri Lankan students of O/L and A/L under Jinnah Educational Scholarship Programme of the Government of Pakistan.
Minister for City Planning and Water Supply Hon. Rauf Hakeem was the Chief Guest on the occasion, while distinguished guests included State Minister for National Integration and Reconciliation Hon. A.H.M. Fouzi, Secretary Higher Education, D.C. Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor Buddhist & Pali University Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero, senior government officials and Vice Chancellors of the leading universities.
Senior Officers of the High Commission as well as other dignitaries participated in the ceremony besides a large number of students and media personnel.
The High Commissioner congratulated the students who had qualified for the scholarship this year, while addressing the ceremony. He said that the people in Pakistan greatly admired Sri Lanka’s remarkable progress in the fields of health and education.
He added that Pakistan sought to expand its cooperation with Sri Lanka in the field of education and hoped that this would improve the standards of schools and curricula.
He said that Pakistan had a number of world class Universities, with world renowned research facilities in the fields of particle physics, industrial chemistry, bio-technology, genetic engineering, information technology and management sciences etc.
I am sure our universities can accommodate more Sri Lankan students in these diverse fields, he added.
The Chief Guest Minister Rauf Hakeem in his address praised the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for freeing the people of the sub continent from colonialism. He said that the Pakistan government’s support in the education of needy Sri Lanka students showed its commitment toward the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Hon. Rauf Hakeem further said that Pakistan is a close friend of Sri Lanka and has helped Sri Lanka in times of crisis throughout history. He said that this scholarship programme had benefited students from all communities for the past 10 years to become effective professionals and serve their country.
The Government of Pakistan has been awarding the Jinnah Educational Scholarships since 2005. During the past 11 years, approximately Rs. 45 million in scholarships have been awarded for the promotion of bright Sri Lankan students.
The scholarships are named after the great statesman Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan.
In addition to the Jinnah Educational Scholarships, every year the government of Pakistan offers fully funded scholarships in Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy and Dentistry to Sri Lankan students to pursue higher professional education in the country.