ISLAMABAD, The Government of Pakistan through its High Commission in Sri Lanka has awarded SL Rs 4 Million worth of educational scholarships today to 165 bright Sri Lankan students of O/L and A/L under Jinnah Scholarship Programme 2012, says a press release received here Friday from Colombo.
Under the auspices of High Commission of Pakistan, Colombo, award ceremony of Jinnah Educational Scholarship 2012 was held at Bishop College Auditorium.
Johnston Fernando, Minister of Co-operative and Internal Trade Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest for the event. A.H.M Fawzi, Senior Minister of Urban Development attended the event as the guest of honor. The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Seema Ilahi Baloch also graced the occasion. The event was also attended by a large number of students and their families along with Pakistan High Commission officials, dignitaries and a large section of media.
The Government of Pakistan is awarding the Jinnah Educational Scholarship since 2005 and so for nearly 1000 Sri Lankan Students have benefited from this scheme. During the past 7 years approximately SL Rs 24 million worth of scholarships have been awarded for promoting Sri Lankan youth and education sector in Sri Lanka.
The 165 successful candidates for the prestigious Jinnah Scholarship awards 2012 included Ms Ridmi Handapangoda who obtained 9 ‘A’s for her O Level despite being completely visually impaired . This extremely talented girl has kept a record by securing the first position in her class by defeating over 50 students in each class from grade one to 10. Apart from her achievements in studies she had won heaps of certificates for essay writing, poems and singing at school competitions. Ridmi has learned the basics of computer handling, and does her writing using the special software called ‘JOSE’ designed for visually impaired persons.
The Jinnah Scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Under the programme, each successful student receives stipend of SL Rs 24,000 as assistance for one year for following their studies.
The scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub continent, Quaid -e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan.
In addition to Jinnah Educational Scholarships, every year Government of Pakistan offers fully funded scholarships in Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy and Dentistry to Sri Lankan students to pursue higher professional education in Pakistan.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan Seema Ilahi Baloch in her brief remarks during the ceremony said that Jinnah passionately believed in the value of education therefore he donated his entire property in India to a Bombay School and hospital. She further said that it was Mr. Jinnah who declared that “we have achieved Pakistan without war and practically by moral and intellectual force and the power of the pen”. That is why we decided to name this noble venture, designed to help young and deserving students who will be scholars, professionals, administrators and leaders of Sri Lanka’s tomorrow, as the “Jinnah Scholarship Awards”, she added.
The Chief Guest Johnston Fernando, Minister of Co-Operative and internal Trade Sri Lanka in his address praised the Government of Pakistan for the generous assistance to Sri Lanka. He said that Pakistan Government’s support for the educational needs of the needy Sri Lankan students shows her commitment towards bilateral co-operation between these two brotherly countries.
Hon. Johnston Fernando said that Pakistan is a close friend of Sri Lanka and helped Sri Lanka in times of crisis. He said that this scholarship programme has benefited students from all communities for past 7 years to create better professionals amongst the young citizens for the future benefit of this country.
The 165 successful students were presented with cash prizes and certificates by the Chief Guest and the High Commissioner during the ceremony.