KARACHI - Sindh Governor and University of Karachi (KU) Chancellor Muhammad Zubair said on Thursday that KU was the premier institution of the country which produced outstanding students who were recognized all over the world.

“We need to look forward to the future and receive education not only for the sake of a degree but also for knowledge since education is power,” he said.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of prime minister’s laptop scheme phase 3 held here at Dr AQ Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering auditorium, University of Karachi (KU).

“Graduates of KU are a great asset for the nation. I feel honoured to visit my alma mater as its chancellor,” said the governor, adding that KU was an identity of Karachi and Pakistan.

He informed that he had started meeting the vice chancellors of various Sindh varsities in order to discuss matters related to their funding and development.

He said that the number of students and  universities would increase due to  population growth. “For that the government needs to make policies and plans for the funding and development and I take responsibility as part of the federal government,” Zubair said, and added,  “Back in my days, KU was well known not only for its educational standards, but also for its extracurricular activities that lack support now’ he mentioned.

The governor assured that he would provide complete support as part of the higher education commission and would meet all the concerned people regardless of their records and backgrounds to ensure educational development.

He said he had been to various universities across Sindh where he realised that a drastic change in their fortunes could only come if the federal and provincial governments joined hands in terms of providing time, money and model thinking.

“Laptop was previously available only to the elite, but this government has brought this technology within the reach of eligible students belonging to middle and lower middle classes of the society in order to ensure equality in education,” Zubair said, and added that the distribution of laptops was transparent and based on merit which ensured discipline.  “I am available for all kinds of support,” he assured in the closing remarks.

“I feel nostalgic and recall how the university used to be so beautiful in my days here in the 70s. I, as the chancellor of this university, will give more than 100 percent for its progress,” the governor assured. Later, he distributed laptops among 40 students of M Phil and PhD.

Speaking on the occasion, KU VC Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan said that ranking of KU used to be so high that no other institution could match its prestige. “We have grown to 54 departments and 21 institutions along with more than 850 trained faculty members striving to provide quality education,” said Dr. Ajmal Khan.

He said that although the teaching standards at the university were improving, the infrastructure was still insufficient for more than 35,000 students since the varsity had initially been built for just 12,000 students. “We need a consistent approach from both the provincial and federal governments to ensure development of the university,” said the VC.

“I understand that the scheme has so far benefited a large number of students, researchers and scholars of universities across the country, and I am sure that most of the recipients of laptops have already enhanced their knowledge, skills and learning in multiple disciplines of education,” he added.

The focal person of the laptop scheme of University of Karachi, Professor Dr Muhammad Zaheer Khan said that in this age of information technology it seemed impossible to get quality education without technology resources; therefore the prime minister of Pakistan announced the laptop scheme in 2013 to ensure that the eligible students could have access to technological resources.

More than 3000 laptops were distributed in phase 1 and 2 at KU while 2331 laptops will be distributed in phase 3.