PESHAWAR - Thirty-two students of Regional Institute for Teacher Education (RITE) Monday received Associate Degrees in Education (ADE) under a modern teacher education programme developed with the US support.

At the same time, 252 talented students enrolled in the ADE and Bachelor of Education (BEd) programmes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata received US-funded merit-based scholarships worth 5.14 million rupees. The ceremony took place on Monday at the University of Peshawar. The ADE programme is one of the two teacher education programmes that were recently developed and introduced countrywide with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). These two programmes - the two-year ADE programme and the four-year Bachelor of Education (BEd) programme - provide future teachers with an opportunity to learn modern teaching methods. More than 2,600 students are currently enrolled in the two programmes. Almost 1,000 of these students are recipients of USAID scholarships designed to support these programmes.

USAID works with the federal and provincial governments, the Higher Education Commission, provincial departments of education, 15 universities, and 75 teacher colleges to help upgrade education of future teachers as well as support ongoing training for specialists already working at schools.   

“On the behalf of the US government and the American people, I would like to thank the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Higher Education Commission, and all our other partners for working so tirelessly to ensure that teachers in Pakistan have the very best training and qualifications,” said USAID education specialist Fazal Rabbi addressing participants of the ceremony.

Sardar Hussain Babak, Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thanked USAID for helping Pakistani colleges and universities to adopt the ADE and BEd programmes. “Teachers play a central role in the education, and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has taken many bold steps to make progress in education in general and teacher education in particular,” he said.

Minister Babak and Prof Dr Qibla Ayaz, Vice Chancellor, University of Peshawar awarded degrees to graduating students and scholarships to current students.

Support for modern teacher education programmes is just one of the many US-funded initiatives that help millions of Pakistani children unlock their full potential.

The United States is also building new applied research centres at Pakistani universities that focus on energy, water and agriculture. More than 10,600 low-income students attend college in Pakistan with US-funded scholarships.