By Arif Qureshi
Islamabad: Minister of State Engr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman witnessed the MOU signing ceremony between Allama Iqbal Open University and Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication to establish a Confucius Language Center at AIOU in Islamabad. A Letter of intent was signed on Tuesday to establish China’s Confucius Center at Allama Iqbal Open University to teach and popularize Chinese language in Pakistan. The document was inked by the Vice Chancellor of AIOU Prof. Dr. Shahid Sidiqui and President of Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication (BIGC) Xueke Luo. Ceremony was attended by Prof Sam Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication (BIGC), Prof Emma BIGC, Ms Joe BIGC and Prof Sajid Khursheed.
Minister of State Engr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman welcomed the team of BIGC to Pakistan and congratulated AIOU and BIGC on establishing the Confucius Language Center at AIOU. This Confucius center should focus on distance learning as AIOU is famous for it, it should focus on E learning to make it more viable, suggested the Minister. He further added that many of our workers while working with Chinese people, face the greatest barrier of language, so in my opinion a focus must be shifted towards spoken courses of Chinese for technical and vocational education here in Pakistan. Talking about AIOU, Minister of State said that this university has a remarkable access all over Pakistan, with its 44 regional campuses around the country. He also appreciated the team of AIOU for opening up a language center at Gawadar.
Talking about CPEC, Minister of State said that we have witnessed a historical achievement a couple of days ago when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally inaugurated Gawardar port. First shipment from China has reached, and the port has been made operational for the economic activities, another milestone of our friendship. This is an economic era and we are determined to make Pakistan an economically viable country, stated the Minister. He said that there are certain elements outside the country which are not happy with our progress and who want to disrupt CPEC but we have our resolve intact. Moreover he mentioned that 650km long highway between Quetta and Gawadar has been completed in a record time which shows our dedication and commitment towards this project.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Sidiqui on the occasion said Establishment of this Chinese learning center at AIOU is our educational response towards CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor). He said that Chinese language is going to play a pivotal role in near future due to the importance of CPEC in our region. He gave a brief presentation on AIOU in which he mentioned that this year admission in the university has increased to 7 lac students. Moreover he mentioned that they would soon be opening up a Chinese language center at Gawadar.
Prof Sajid from Beijing University gave a brief introduction of the program. He told that Confucius center has 480 centers around the world. We are grateful to BIGC, a partner university of Confucius center, for opening up this center at AIOU. It would not only help in learning Chinese language but would also help in learning about Chinese culture through exchange programs. People to people contact in the background of CPEC would be beneficial for both the countries.
The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org