U.S. Embassy Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Jeffrey Sexton welcomed a new cohort of 200 students from Sir Syed Public School in Rawalpindi to the English Access Microscholarship Program at a ceremony today. The students, ages 13 to 16, will participate in a two-year program to develop English language skills that may lead to better educational prospects and future job opportunities.
“English is the language of opportunity in the twenty-first century,” Sexton told students. “English is a skill that will help you in your future work life, no matter what job you choose.”
Nearly 3,000 students across Pakistan currently participate in the U.S. Embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Program. Since the program’s launch in Pakistan in 2004, more than 11,000 talented 13- to 20-year-olds from all over Pakistan have received after-school English language classes and other intensive training through the program. Participants gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Sir Syed Public School has also hosted two previous Access cohorts from 2007 to 2009 and 2012 to 2014.
Access alumna Syeda Urooj Haider (2007-2009) also addressed the new students, praising the commitment of her teachers in the program. “Access teachers do a marvelous job,” she said. “They support you and motivate you. I thank my teachers for their continuous support.”
More information about the U.S. Department of State’s Office of English Language Programs, including free resources for teachers and students, can be found at AmericanEnglish.state.gov.