The Federal Minister of Planning & Development – Asad Umar, chaired the signing ceremony of a historic MoU between the Governments of Finland and Pakistan, to launch an initiative to train 1 million Pakistani students on disruptive-technologies like; Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), Gaming-Tech, Health-Tech, etc. This is the first and the largest ‘Mass IT Education Program’ in collaboration with the Government of Finland. It will be managed by prestigious institutions like the “Kajaani University of Applied Sciences”, Finland, “Allied ICT”, Finland and the Virtual University (VU) Pakistan, while also engaging a local partner – Integration Xperts (IX), in Pakistan to provide technical expertise.
The former Minister of Information-Technology – Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui (MNA) also graced the occasion, accompanied by senior officials of the Ministry of IT & Telecom, CEO of Kajaani University Matti Saren, Rector of VU-Mr. Naeem Tariq, Delegates of Allied ICT Finland and Global Alliance, etc., while the CEO of Vendor Junction (Regional Partner) – Sayed Jawed also witnessed the signing ceremony, along with Mr. Umair Azam – Managing Director of Integration Xperts (Representative in Pakistan). All these stakeholders have been working hard for the last one year, to make this venture a reality.
Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui thanked the Government of Finland for their support and stated that: “This valuable initiative reflects Pakistan government’s commitment to enrich the economy with an additional qualified workforce of one million youngsters, educated on European professional standards, to learn special skill-sets. It will enable them to capitalize on the latest trends evolving in Information-Technology. With their globally recognized certifications, these fresh human-resources will strengthen Pakistan’s IT industry, by nurturing a wide range of technology start-ups. Pakistan will thus gain competitive-advantage in the global free-lance work-space, to become an attractive destination for international companies searching for qualified technology experts.”
The President & CEO of Kajaani University and Member ICT Finland – Matti Saren, said: The Economist Intelligence Report has declared Finland as the best country in the world for future skills-education, while the PISA research by OECD also ranks Finland as the best higher-education & training system in the world. Since Last year, Vendor Junction and Integration Xperts have been exploring ways to access the highest quality of mass-education, technologies and ideas. By following the proven system of Finland, millions of Pakistanis will now become highly-rated experts in the global business environment. The European enterprises are also being engaged to identify investment opportunities in this region, which promises great talents for building innovative businesses.
Anas Al Natsheh – Director of International Education Cooperation at Kajaani University said: Resourceful international collaborations and digital technologies are enabling accessibility to quality education across the globe, nurture innovations, new ideas and products. These collaborations serve as great platforms for knowledge-exchange, teaching and learning. Rapid advancement promises accelerated progress, especially for developing countries.
Jarmo Jarvenpaa, member of Allied ICT Finland and CEO of iSTOC stated: Digitalization is creating a whole new world of possibilities for growth. Partnerships are enabling new ways to attract investments and achieve agility for success. Working research institutes and local healthcare partners, Allied ICT has already executed a successful infectious-diseases program in Pakistan. Now we are implementing this international training program for nurses and healthcare workers, through mHealth education.
The experts involved in this initiative recognize that; AI, IoT, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Digital Networking, Gaming and Drone Technology, are essential skills for success in the global ICT market. Investing on quality incubation and commercialization centres with accredited certifications are needed to nurture local talent, start-ups, based on research, that can impact, sustainability and lives in society as a whole.