Mr. John Groarke, Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development, and Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Tahir Amin performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the USAID-funded Faculty of Education building at the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan today. Consul General Lahore, Zachary Harkenrider, and Dr. Nizam Uddin, Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission, as well as students, faculty, educators and government officials attended the event to celebrate the partnership in higher education and research between the United States and Pakistan.
“This Faculty of Education will serve to advance not only the quality of teacher training, but also the progress and prosperity of Punjab and Pakistan,” stated Mr. Groarke, addressing a gathering of university students, faculty and members of the community.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Tahir Amin, appreciated the efforts of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and partner universities for carrying out this initiative.
The USAID-funded Faculty of Education building – being built at a cost of $1.5 million – is an environmentally-conscious and earthquake-resistant facility with accessibility features for persons with disabilities. Once completed, the building will cover 24,134 square feet of covered area, and include a 200-person multi-purpose hall, classrooms, conference room, seminar room, library, common rooms, and post-graduate and administrative offices. This facility will cater to approximately 275 students and 15 faculty members and other staff. Other features include low maintenance design, energy-efficient and green building concepts, and landscaping.
USAID Pakistan is providing $45 million for the construction or rehabilitation of 17 higher education institution buildings across Pakistan, including 6 projects in Punjab: two at the University of Punjab and one each at Fatima Jinnah Women University, University of Education- Lahore, Islamia University- Bahawalpur and Bahauddin Zakariya University-Multan. Seven of 17 Faculty of Education buildings have been completed and the remaining 10 will be finished in 2016. Combined, these facilities will have the capacity to support more than 5,000 students and 200 faculty members each year.
For more information on USAID assistance programs in Pakistan, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/pakistan