Educationist Syed Abidi meets Iraqi ambassador

Educationist Syed Abidi meets Iraqi ambassador hamid abbas lafta

LAHORE: Iraqi ambassador in Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta has said that no nation can compromise on the quality of education which serves as the backbone of socio-economic and human capital development.

He expressed these views during a meeting with renowned educationist and analyst Syed Abidi. The ambassador said that education was on top of the agenda of his government where huge reforms were needed to improve its quality. Mr Asseel Al-Jomailey, Attaché, with special charge of education, was also present. Syed Abidi assured the ambassador of his support and identified where the ambassador’s office could engage itself to find necessary support particularly in the higher education sector. Syed Abidi suggested that the ambassador visited public and private sector institutions, the Higher Education Commission and centres of technical and vocational training to explore possibilities of mutual cooperation, MoUs and frameworks.

Hamid Abbas Lafta, who recently assumed office, is a career diplomat having ample understanding and experience of working in the region. His previous postings include the Head of Asia and Australia Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iraq, and previously Deputy Chief of Mission in Tehran. The ambassador said he was keen for Iraqi students to come and study in Pakistan, but at the moment there were only 10 universities that recognised Iraqi qualifications or vice versa, which he thought should be increased. Citing difficulties, he said that the process of admission for Iraqi students to Pakistan institutions was lengthy and tedious, particularly when it came to the processing time for student visas.

“In many instances, it is delayed and students are late for their session or unable to travel to Pakistan. It is the key reason for the decreasing number of Iraqi students in Pakistan,” he added.

The ambassador was of opinion that Iraq was in dire need of highly qualified and experienced teachers and Pakistan, being a Muslim and brotherly country, could provide trained manpower to it. He said that trainers could also be employed by Iraq to train its teachers and improve learning and teaching materials and strengthen teacher practices with a focus on learning for all children.

In his concluding remarks, Syed Abidi said it was time for the Pakistani government, educationists and institutions to go all-out to help Iraq in its education sector and support students, where possible. He also offered his unconditional support to the ambassador and his team in furthering the cause of education for Iraqi brothers and sisters, where possible. The ambassador thanked Syed Abidi for his thoughts and proposals. It was agreed that Syed Abidi would provide a short proposal to move forward.

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