President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi Presided Over the third Convocation of the University of Baltistan, Skardu
The third Convocation ceremony of the University of Blatistan, Skardu held in the Anchan Campus of the university in Skardu on August 8, 2020. As many as 55 students were awarded degrees in the convocation. Likewise, 12 students received Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. The convocation ceremony was also attended by the Governor Gilgit-Baltistan, Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon, who also conferred degrees to the students. Other dignitaries including the Ex-Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan, the Caretaker Advisor to CM on Finance, Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University, Commissioner Baltistan Division, management, faculty, students and staff members of the Baltistan University, local government officials, heads of departments, national media representatives, and other dignitaries from all walks of life attended the convocation ceremony. The convocated ceremony held strictly following the COVID-19 SOPs.
Professor Dr. Muhammad Naeem Khan, Vice-Chancellor of the University welcomed Dr. Arif Alvi, the President of Pakistan and the Chancellor of the University of Baltistan and all other guests. He said, “It is an honor for the novice university that the President of Pakistan and the Chancellor of the university preside over the convocation. Despite the COVID -19 pandemic, accepting our request and visiting the university to confer degrees and awards to our graduating students in the convocation, showcases the love of Mr. President to spread the light of education across the country. This has recharged us today. Our aims are higher than the peaks of Himalayas and Karakoram”. Professor Naeem Khan further added and said, “The novice university is among the first universities in the country who continued its teaching, learning, and assessment practices through the Online Learning Management System and successfully completed the Spring Semester online examinations on July 26, 2020”. The Vice-Chancellor also thanked the Federal Government and the Higher Education Commission for the allocation of funds for the construction of the university buildings and infrastructure. He also thanked the GB government for the allocation of land as well as for their unprecedent support to the university when and where needed.
Addressing the Convocation, Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan and Chancellor of the University of Baltistan, Skardu congratulated the graduating students, their parents, and teachers. He lauded and appreciated the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor and his team to continue teaching and assessment through the online mode and conducting three successful convocation in two years period. The president mentioned that education should bring humbleness, respect, compassion, and tolerance among the learners. He further expressed that education should enable the youth to turn obstacles and challenges into opportunities. The President appreciated the Smart Lockdown Policy of the government and mentioned that “due to the policy, the government has shown great success to control the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in unprecedented improvement in the socio-economic development of the country. Other countries have started to adopt our model and procedures to combat the pandemic”. The President further mentioned, “besides IT, tourism and agriculture sector can be the key sources of income and employability in Gilgit-Baltistan and elsewhere in the country”.
Dr. Alvi, the President, mentioned that girl students have outnumbered the boys in receiving the medals. They also need to come forward in every field. We believe in women empowerment and our policies are based on equity and equality. Our support with the University of Baltistan will continue to educate the young men and women in the region”.
The medal receiving graduates dedicated their successes to their parents and teachers. They also appreciated the efforts of the University of Baltistan to provide them with opportunities of higher education in their door-steps. “Due to socio-economic conditions and cultural restrictions, my parents were reluctant to send me to other parts of the country for higher education. Thanks to the Baltistan University that enabled me to turn my dreams into realities and today I received a Gold Medal”, said a medal receiving girl student. Another Silver Medal receiving girl student expressed, “had the Baltistan University not been there, my dreams of higher education would not have come true”.
Just after the Convocation ceremony, President Arif Alvi also held a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor and Senior Management Team of the university. Professor Muhammad Naeem Khan, the Vice-Chancellor, presented the progress report and future prospects of the university. The President appreciated the efforts and provided relevant guidance where needed.