Rs273m programme trains 3,000 IT students

In Business
April 04, 2024


The Sindh Information Science and Technology Department (IS&TD), under the IT Industry Academia Bridge Programme (IABP), provided top-notch and free IT training to 3,000 IT graduating students and 220 faculty members from 34 public and private universities over a one-year course. The initiative aimed to boost the number of the IT-trained professionals, businesses and exports in Pakistan as the country needs around 500,000 skilled professionals, trainers of the programme told The Express Tribune.

The one-year programme, worth Rs273 million, started in February 2023 and completed on February 29, 2024. It consisted of eight courses; each spanning 18-weeks or 80-hour training sessions.

These courses included MERN Stack (ES6 + REACT), Web Engineering Basic LAMP/WAMP stack (PHP Core, and Code Igniter), Cloud Solution Architecture, SQA (Selenium and Test Complete), Mobile App development (Flutter), MERN Stack (Express, Mongo and Node), Web Engineering Advanced (Laravel and Yii) and Mobile App Development (React Native). Each student could apply for one course and was registered based on a CNIC-based course, ensuring transparency and rights to maximise students’ participation.

The trainers further highlighted that software houses call for over 50,000 IT-trained graduates per annum, yet only 34,000 students are produced in the country. Moreover, hardly 10% or 3,400 graduates belonging to prestigious educational institutions may be employable, with the rest not being suitable due to lack of practical skills.

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“Sindh government launched it and our company Hazza Institute of Technology Islamabad has won the project and executed it successfully. We trained 3,000 graduating students of sixth, seventh and eighth semester in employable IT skills including ways of online businesses. Moreover, we also trained 220 faculty members with slight honoraria as they were spending time and energy on industry-specific courses as we developed state-of-art curriculum, while consulting Pakistan and USA IT companies so that students can grapple with future challenges of the industry and teachers can produce more students with delicate skills.

We have 65 companies’ consortiums and 92 practitioners of these 65 software houses have been singled out as trainers who imparted trainings to both students and faculty members,” said Executive Director of Hazza Institute of Technology, Islamabad and Chief organiser of the programme Professor of Practice, Tahir Mahmood Chaudhry. who is also President of Computer Society of Pakistan.

Chaudhry noted that approximately 80% of students have secured jobs on an average salary of Rs100,000 per month. He added that students who are eager to study in foreign universities can easily obtain foreign-funded bursaries/scholarships.

“If we need to boost our IT export just to $1 billion with existing exports, we will require 100,000 IT-trained professionals, if we need another $1 billion export, we will again need another fully-fledged 100,000 practitioners in the country. We also need good speed internet services without any internet disruptions, stable and uninterrupted power supply, spacious buildings (in the country) for IT parks where 40,000-50,000 individuals can sit and learn technical skills, except for rules and regulations, and cybersecurity,” he said

IT Trainer Adnan Saleem highlighted after completing training and honing skills, many students sought jobs. Those students who are already employed in some software houses or IT companies have been promoted, while freelancers have also obtained businesses due to the high quality of their work. Earlier, students were just achieving bookish knowledge instead of getting hands-on computer training in accordance with requirements of the IT industry.

Saleem highlighted that these courses benefited graduating students and lifted their spirits to turn to a trend of pursuing international certifications.

“In the past, students had to do such professional and practical courses privately, while incurring private institution fees and transportation costs. We imparted training to students at their respective classrooms, laboratories and universities, while making up for deficiencies in IT laboratories so that other students could tap the laboratories to a great extent in future,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2024.

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