The Government of Pakistan through its High Commission awarded SL Rs. 2.56 million educational scholarships on 17 June 2011 to 107 bright Sri Lankan O/L and A/L students under Jinnah Educational Scholarship programme.
Under the auspices of High Commission of Pakistan, Colombo, the award ceremony of Jinnah Educational Scholarship 2011 was held at Ananda College Auditorium in which Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice participated as chief guest. The High Commissioner of Pakistan Seema Ilahi Baloch, Embassy officials and other dignitaries participated in the ceremony besides a large number of students and their families.
The Government of Pakistan is awarding the Jinnah Educational Scholarships since 2005 and so far over 800 Sri Lankan students have benefited from this scheme. During the past 6 years over Rs. 20 million worth of scholarships have been awarded for promoting the Sri Lankan youth and the education sector in Sri Lanka.
The scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Under the programme, each successful student receives a stipend of SL Rs. 24,000 as assistance for a year to pursue their education.
The scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub Continent, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
In addition to the Jinnah Educational Scholarships, every year the Government of Pakistan offers fully funded scholarships in medicine, engineering, pharmacy and dentistry to Sri Lankan students to pursue higher professional education in Pakistan.
High Commissioner Baloch in her brief remarks during the ceremony emphasised the importance of collaboration between the two brotherly countries for the upliftment of people. She reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Sri Lanka in enhancing the younger generation’s nation building capacities with better educational opportunities. She stated that only strong societies will have resilience to sustain against emerging challenges; Strong societies make stronger nations. “We need to help each other to be stronger in the face of contemporary challenges,” she added.
Chief Guest, Minister Hakeem in his address praised Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah for his efforts to emancipate the people of the sub continent from the shackles of colonialism. He said that Pakistan government’s support in the education of the needy Sri Lanka students shows its commitment towards bilateral cooperation between these two countries.
He said, that Pakistan was a close friend of Sri Lanka and had helped Sri Lanka in times of crisis, and added, that this scholarship programme had benefited students from all communities for the past 6 years to create better professionals of the young citizens for the future benefit of this country. “This will also further cement the good relationship between these two great nations, he concluded.
The 107 successful students were presented with cash and certificates by the distinguished guests during the ceremony.