US awards scholarship to 26 IIUI students

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ISLAMABAD: The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded scholarships to 26 students enrolled in undergraduate degree programmes at the International Islamic University (IIU) as part of the $165 million Pakistan Reading Project.The scholarships would pay for tuition and supplies, as well as provide a stipend to the recipients. The US government would provide more than 4,500 scholarships to the aspiring teachers. While addressing the students, USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb said, “No matter how many schools or libraries we build or facilities we provide, none of it would matter until we invest in improving the quality of teachers. Keeping this in mind, I am pleased to note that the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project is working to do just that. The project is another significant initiative of the US government, in collaboration with the government of Pakistan to improve the standard of basic education.”This is the first group of the IIU students to receive scholarships from the Pakistan Reading Project that would improve the reading skills of at least 2.5 million children to ensure that they are reading at or above grade level by 2019. The project works closely with 28 Pakistani universities, and 116 elementary teacher training colleges, like IIU to improve the quality of teaching skills and curriculum. The US partnership with the government of Pakistan supports the rehabilitation and construction of over 1,350 schools in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).The US is also establishing centres for advanced education studies at four Pakistani universities, and expanding English skills for more than 5,000 low-income students. The US has awarded more than 4,800 scholarships to the students to pursue higher education through the Pakistan-USAID Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme. 

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