The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has taken a really important initiative in setting up an educational corridor, as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Education, till now has not been thoroughly discussed by think-tanks or media outlets, therefore this is a significant development for the country’s progress through CPEC. The Vice Chancellor of AIOU, Shahid Siddiqui, has said that the university is in collaboration with five Chinese universities to set up language and culture centers across Pakistan.
“The plan in line with the government’s efforts to develop an educational corridor as a part of the CPEC,” said Vice Chancellor Shahid Siddiqui, while reviewing the on-going projects for setting up Chinese language centers in Pakistan in collaboration with the Chinese universities.
The AIOU is in collaborative partnership with five Chinese universities, including Open University of China, Sichuan University, Beijing Shanghai Open University, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, Yunnan Normal University and Yunnan Open University Kunming.
A considerable progress has been made to set up language and culture center at Gwadar in collaboration with Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication. The facility will also be available to the local community. This center is expected to start working by the end of this year. It will meet the language requirements of the Pakistani workers engaged in the ongoing projects at Gwadar seaport.
The university has also planned to establish Chinese language centers along the route of CPEC, where its regional offices are situated. Initially, these centers will be set up in Islamabad, Lahore, Multan and later on in Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Gilgit, and DG Khan.
During the last three and a half years, various initiatives were taken to achieve the purpose. A letter of intent has already been signed to establish China’s Confucius Center at Gwadar and AIOU’s main campus. The Gwadar center will be a major step forward in the teaching of Chinese language in Pakistan.