LAHORE: Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Chairperson Irfan Qaiser Sheikh has said the authority will increase interest-free loans for its graduating students. The money available for this purpose has been boosted from Rs0,5 billion to Rs1 billion.
While addressing a meeting of TEVTA officials at the secretariat, Irfan Qaiser said a huge amount of Rs2 billion was being spent on infrastructure, which he later cut to spend on human development. He added TEVTA decided to double the amount of interest free loans to its graduates, as per the vision of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“The priority of the Punjab government is to make the youth skilled and provide them reasonable opportunities to earn through interest free loans.” TEVTA, he added, was playing its part to the best if its abilities.
“Till now, TEVTA, in collaboration with Akhuwat Foundation, has provided interest-free loans to more than 7,000 students,” he added.
Emphasizing on the need of such loans, he added Japan and Turkey had provided similar initiatives to its students. “Everyone can witness see where these countries stand globally,” he added. “A skilled person in Canada is getting a salary seven times that of a simple graduate.”
Irfan further explained that these loans would help students play their part in not only strengthening the economy of the country, but also tackle the expenses of their families. He said all loans would be provided on merit.
Recently, TEVTA, in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaftfur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, National Vocational and Technical Training Authority (TECTA) and other private sector entities, participated in the first meeting of the Punjab Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Advisory Forum.
The forum served as a platform for stakeholders from public and private sectors to improve advocacy and awareness, while providing strategic guidance on the implementation of TVET reforms. It also discussed policy issues and made recommendations for improvements. Participants agreed on the constitution of the forum, along with the terms of reference, and showed interest in the scope of such a platform.
Before that, TEVTA and Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TiKA) were to start technical and vocational training courses.
The Turkish delegation called on Irfan Qaiser Sheikh to say that the authority could now offer courses in hospitality, fashion designing and information technology sectors. The agreement was to be signed between both organisations in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2017.