ISLAMABAD-Allama Iqbal Open University has set-up nine new regional offices and model study centres mainly at the country’s less-developed regions for facilitating its students and to bring maximum number people in the educational net.

It was part of new initiatives taken by the university during a period of about one year to expand its educational services, particularly to the remote regions.

There are four new regional offices and five model study centres, set up in the recent year, on the initiative of the Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Zia-Ul-Qayyum who wished to enhance the educational facilities by opening more regional offices across the country. The Vice Chancellor also took necessary steps for strengthening and empowering the regions to provide best possible services to the students. In a short-span of time, the regional network has been increased from 44 to 53, said Director Regional Services Inamullah Shaikh.

The new regional offices are at Sheikhupura, Bhawalngar, Timergara (Lower Dir) and Rawalakot (AJK), while model study centres were opened in Malir (Karachi), Kharan (Baluchistan), Hunza (Gilgit), Dadu and Mandi Bhauddin. The university expanded this academic network from its own financial resources.

Currently, the university’s eighteen regional offices are working in their own buildings, while the rest are in rented ones. Now, it has been planned to construct its own buildings at four other places, Kalat (Baluchistan), Sukkur, Moro and Methi (Sindh).

A plan is underway to start the construction at these places from next month, said Deputy Director Regional Services Niaz Ali Maka.

The university has also acquired a piece of land in Attock to construct its own building. Hopefully, the construction work will be undertaken there early next year.

There is also proposal to convert the model study centres into sub-regional offices for upgrading the educational facilities under its students’ support plan. We are also planning to set up a model study centre at Kandkot in Kashmore district in Sindh.

According to Inamullah Sheikh, this all fast-track development work could be possible because of the personal interest of the incumbent Vice Chancellor. Of and on, he personally keeps visiting the regions to monitor and upgrade their working. On his instructions, the maintenance and expansion of the regional offices buildings has been made a regular feature.

During the recent one year, the regions were provided necessary manpower, transport and equipment to do their work more efficiently. Digital transformation was also brought about to provide them technical support to improve their working in conducting admissions, examinations and contents’ delivery process.