Karachi Education City: A project that can set off an era of prosperity

Published: September 22, 2013
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The map above shows the land allotted to various universities in the proposed 8,900 km Education City. PHOTO: FILE

The map above shows the land allotted to various universities in the proposed 8,900 km Education City. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Education is undoubtedly the most powerful weapon to combat all sorts of mafia operating in Karachi. Fortunately, the Sindh Board of Investment has prepared a blueprint for an Education City covering an area of 9,000 acres on the main Super Highway that will house over 50 nationally and internationally acclaimed institutions to educate over 150,000 students.

But there seems to be a lack of will to kick-start the project. In fact, it should have been started as swiftly as possible to take the troubled city of Karachi to an era of peace and prosperity.

The institutions all set to establish their campuses in the city include renowned ones such as the Aga Khan University Hospital, Sindh Institute of Urology, Quaid-e-Azam Public School (a project of Sindh Madressa Board), Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, Ziauddin University, Habib University Foundation, Newports Institute of Communication and Economics, Dow University of Health Sciences and the Judicial Academy of Sindh.

The Education City will have a unique combination of junior schooling, higher learning, educational and vocational training providers.

The literacy rate in Karachi now stands at almost 80%,according to a survey and as such there is still room for quality institutions to cater to the needs of teeming high-school students passing out every year from Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

At present, there are about 300 colleges and universities in Karachi imparting education in many disciplines. With an estimated 103 million people, or 63% of the population, falling under the age of 25 years, Pakistan is blessed with a great potential of human resource which needs to be equipped with education and training to put the country on the path of prosperity.

It is encouraging that the private sector is taking an active part in the promotion of quality education. If everything goes according to plan, Education City will undoubtedly be a model for other provinces also.

The city will be a model for collaboration between the public and private sectors, and academia to pump substantial investment into the future growth of the country. The project aims to provide a centre of excellence and intellectual interaction for future scholars in the province in particular and the country in general.

The Education City shares four core principles:

*The whole city serves as a learning and education zone for its citizens – from “a school in the city” to “a city as a school.”

*The city takes responsibility for education throughout a citizen’s life.

*The city encourages proactive citizen participation and city-wide collaboration.

*The city helps its citizens understand, take pride in, and leverage their identity on a local, national and global scale.

An Education City that realises these values in each and every sphere of life constitutes a tremendous driving force for personal, social, communal, economic and urban development.

This educational complex is being built on the lines of the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), which is the world’s only free zone dedicated to higher education. Established in 2007, DIAC aims to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy.

It is the premier destination for higher education in the region, with a campus spread over 18 million square feet equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. DIAC has 21 of the UAE’s 37 International Branch Campuses from 11 countries, which is the largest number in any one location in the world. DIAC is host to a large student community from 137 nationalities who  have access to over 400 higher education programmes.

While a large number of local institutions of high repute are already planning campuses in the Education City, the Sindh Board of Investment will undertake an extensive marketing campaign to attract international educational institutions and will also explore various sources of funding for infrastructure development.

The writer works for the National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Agha Waleed Hasan
    Sep 22, 2013 - 9:22PM

    Out of all the bad things going on, there always seems to be a tiny glimmering ray of hope in Karachi. This plan is what will transform the aspirations of our people into reality, to create and produce our educated leaders for tomorrow. Masha Allah.

    Recommend

  • Munis baloch
    Sep 22, 2013 - 10:56PM

    This is change.. Well done ppp.. U r showing da people how to bring change rather than jst showpieces lik in other provinces.. Today feeling proud to b a ppp voter..

    Recommend

  • Hammad Mujahid Siddiqui
    Sep 22, 2013 - 11:14PM

    The Best news i have heard after a very very long time! All praises to the person who initiated the Idea and a suggestion to all the Education related NGOs to work together to make this plan successful. Inn Sha Allah!

    Recommend

  • iftekhar hussain
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:51AM

    The government of Zardari has nothing to be proud about. Let him be at least proud about this city of learning. It is his chance to undo several misdoings.

    Recommend

  • Nadeem Usmani
    Sep 23, 2013 - 9:09AM

    Can;t believe that. There are many city like that which are created on the paper and die out on the paper.Many million will be allocated for that paper work that will only shift money figure on the paper and names would be changed on the paper.Don;t show me the dream world. Whatever private institution are doing efforts to improve the educational standars ,let them to do it.

    If Sindh board of investment really serious they should take notice of exorbitant rate of increase in the cheating during examination ,throughout interior Sindh schools and colleges and cities are not much behind.

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  • arman
    Sep 23, 2013 - 9:57AM

    Atleast some reasonable step is taken by the government for the well bieng of its citizen. we should encourage this positive step.

    Recommend

  • fact is fact
    Sep 23, 2013 - 12:22PM

    @Munis baloch:
    FYI: the project got approved by musharraf but shelved by ppp bcz your minister needed more money from aga khan as he was planning to make faculty of arts and sciences frim hus own money but ppp decided to create hurdles and unfortunately the project is shifted to nairobi.

    Recommend

  • Abid P. Khan
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:11PM

    @fact is fact:
    “@Munis baloch:
    FYI: the project got approved by musharraf but shelved by ppp bcz your minister needed more money from aga khan as he was planning to make faculty of arts and sciences frim hus own money but ppp decided to create hurdles and unfortunately the project is shifted to nairobi.”

    .
    The unnamed Minister > Great Patriot
    Musharraf > Enemy of Pak

    Recommend

  • Gemini
    Sep 23, 2013 - 2:05PM

    @Abid P. Khan: Agree with you, This project was planned to built many years ago in the decade of Musharraf but PPP ministers asked for money of their quotas.

    Recommend

  • Syedpk
    Sep 23, 2013 - 3:13PM

    @Munis baloch:
    This project was initiated by MQM under Musharrafs rule, PPP has got nothing to do with it. The only contribution of PPP to this project is that there hasnt been any progress on it since last 5 years.

    Recommend

  • AES
    Sep 23, 2013 - 3:39PM

    My ancestors have struggled all their lives developing an educational lifestyle for Sindh. I feel so proud of seeing such great development in our land. Congratulations Pakistan here is a great news to celebrate and feel proud of forever. Let us all support to become a better Pakistan!!Recommend

  • antanu
    Sep 23, 2013 - 10:30PM

    This is a wonderful news…..such constructive projects can change the the image of pakistan. I wish India, having more expertise in the field, could come forward and help pakistan setting up this facility.For once both the nations can be greatly benefited.

    Recommend

  • sameer
    Sep 24, 2013 - 3:46PM

    is this education city have any cadet college school

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:27PM

    @antanu:
    “…..such constructive projects can change the the image of pakistan. I wish India, having more expertise in the field, could come forward and help pakistan setting up this facility.For once both the nations can be greatly benefited.”

    .
    You are not interested in any worthwhile changes in Pakistan but to improve the image. For that you want India to help. I thought they have a big enough backyard of their own.

    Recommend

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