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English Works!: A U.S. Consulate Lahore’s Initiative for the Youth of Southern Punjab Setting standards to give extra-education of English & IT to the under privileged youth of lesser developed areas of Punjab

 

“English Works! is a six-month intensive (minimum 240 contact hours) English program for young adults ages 17-25 designed to provide vulnerable youth with improved English language proficiency, job-search skills, and an introduction to entrepreneurship. It is an initiative of the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Embassy Islamabad. Five English Works! programs, including two programs in Punjab (Multan and Bahawalpur) have just completed and benefited 200 students.

Education for Skill Development Association (ESDA) implemented English Works! program in Multan for 100 students at Multan Poly Technical Institute (MPTI) and College of Tourism & Hotel Management (COTHM). The classes were conducted in afternoon as the students enrolled in this program are regular students of technical and vocational training institutes. They received 240 hours of classroom instructions and industry visits, in addition to interaction with guest speakers from different walks of life. English Works! not only enhanced their confidence and communication skills but also groomed their personality and adaptability skills which surely lead them to better employability and entrepreneurship. The awareness of opportunities and the confidence of availing them have eliminated the sense of uselessness from the underprivileged youth. The entrepreneurial skills joined with advance IT skills gave them an exposure to know about the United States as a platform of business and education.

More than 70% students in MPTI and COTHM come from rural areas of Muzaffar Garh, Khanewal, Lodhran, Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Rajan Pur and Vehari districts. The diversity of the audience increased the outreach of English Works! program. In English Works!, those students were selected who were about to complete their technical courses so that they could get more benefit from it. The graduates usually look for jobs as soon as they pass out, but the training of entrepreneurship has increased the scope.”

 

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Rashid Afzaal

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