Saudi Arabia Expands Scholarships and Teacher Exchange Program for Pakistani Students
Saudi Arabia has recently announced an increase in scholarships for Pakistani students and the introduction of a teacher exchange program. The decision comes as part of efforts to strengthen the educational ties between the two countries and foster research on the life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
In a meeting with caretaker Education Minister Madad Ali Sindhi, representatives from Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh’s Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University President Dr. Ahmed Bin Salem Al Amri, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Saeed Al Malkiy, and International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) President Prof Dr. Hathal Homoud Alotaibi, discussed the collaborative initiatives.
During the meeting, Minister Madad Ali Sindhi lauded the prestigious history of Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University and emphasized his focus on enhancing the quality of education, reducing the number of out-of-school children, and promoting research on ‘Seerat-un-Nabi’ (PBUH). He also extended an offer of 15 research fellowships to Saudi Arabia at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.
The education minister expressed his admiration for the efforts of IIUI President Prof Dr. Hathal Homoud Alotaibi, commending the consistent improvement in the standard of education at IIUI under his leadership.
One of the agreed-upon collaborations is the exchange program for teachers at the university level to conduct research on the life and teachings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). This program aims to deepen scholarly understanding of Seerat-un-Nabi.
Furthermore, Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University President Dr. Ahmed Bin Salem Al Amri shared that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers 700 scholarships to Pakistani students, with plans to increase this number according to the demand from Pakistan’s education ministry. He also highlighted the potential for collaboration in various fields of mutual interest, including medicine, cyber security, climate change, engineering, artificial intelligence, distance learning, and renewable energy.
Recognizing the importance of knowledge exchange, both sides agreed to begin an exchange program aimed at training faculty at the university level. This initiative will promote the sharing of expertise and facilitate mutual learning.
Addressing the need for training teachers at madrassas, Minister Madad Ali Sindhi proposed that Saudi Arabia could play a pivotal role in training clerics teaching at seminaries in Pakistan. He further emphasized the importance of creating Arabic language courses to meet the linguistic needs of the Pakistani populace.
Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University President Dr. Ahmed Bin Salem Al Amri suggested that Saudi Arabia’s excellent Arabic language institutes could extend their programs to universities in Pakistan through distance learning or teacher exchange programs.
In conclusion, this meeting between Saudi Arabian representatives and the caretaker Education Minister Madad Ali Sindhi reflects both countries’ commitment to reinforcing their strategic relationship. Through increased scholarships and the introduction of a teacher exchange program, Saudi Arabia aims to promote research and academic collaboration, fostering mutual understanding and benefit for Pakistani students and the broader society.