What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear someone talk about Intel?
Micro-chips? Computer processors?
But Intel’s investment is also in education and it spends approximately $100 million in 50 different countries around the world, including Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Intel Pakistan organised its eighth annual Education Awards Ceremony at Pearl Continental Hotel for outstanding teachers in Sindh. Through the Intel Teach Programme, they train teachers to use technology to help their students learn more. To date, Intel has trained more than 300,000 teachers in 75 districts of the country.
According to Intel’s country manager Naveed Siraj, the organisation designed the training programmes to cater to the needs of public sector schools. He added that the organisation’s education initiative programme’s aim was to make children fluent in effective communication, critical thinking, problem solving and techno-media literacy.
“We have to have a broadband access everywhere in addition to the government spending on infrastructure and collaborating with non-governmental oragnisations (NGOs),” he said. “Otherwise our children will never be able to get rid of this old and conventional education system.” Siraj added that access to information was a basic human right. Sindh Education Minister and chief guest Pir Mazharul Haq said that the government understood the importance of educational needs and role of technology in education. Haq added that the education department had started the process of recruiting teachers on merit and so far had recruited 14,000 primary and secondary school teachers. The minister said that another 14,000 teachers would be recruited in the next couple of months.
“Elementary school teachers will now be recruited on a basic pay-scale 16 while senior school teachers will have basic pay-scale 18,” he said. “After they are recruited they will start with their pre-service training and be provided with a Rs20,000 stipend.”
DHA Education Director Commodore (Retired) Imran Ansari said that more than 20 public sector schools and 1,000 teachers fell under the DHA banner.
He added that after collaborating with Intel, nearly 800 teachers were trained in two months. “There is a great change in our teaching staff,” he said. “All credit goes to Intel.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.