ISLAMABAD: First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi on Monday called for enhancing the socio-economic inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs) by equipping them with marketable skills and providing them job opportunities as per their skills and abilities in the government and private sectors.
She expressed these views while addressing a certificate and diploma distribution ceremony to students with different abilities (SDAs) here at the National Training Center for Special Persons (NTCSP). Director General Special Education Azhar Sajjad, representatives of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) and Christopher Blind Mission, differently-abled people, parents, and teachers of the NTCSP participated in the event. Addressing the ceremony, the First Lady urged the private sector to come forward and employ the PWDs in greater numbers as they were skilled and hard-working, and the feedback from their employers had been satisfactory.
She termed the fulfillment of job quotas for the PWDs in the public and private sectors essential for their enhanced economic integration.
The First Lady appreciated the NTCSP and the ICCI for collaborating to provide jobs to 104 PWDs in different sectors of the economy. She also lauded the Christopher Blind Mission for providing sewing and mobile repairing kits to 25 PWDs and enabling them to become self-employed. She called upon other organizations, especially the chambers of commerce & industry and welfare organizations, to expand their efforts for the welfare and financial empowerment of the PWDs.
Begum Samina Alvi underscored the need to enhance coordination among federal and provincial departments to learn from each other’s best practices, and expertise, benefit from the training facilities and make coordinated efforts for the socio-economic inclusion and empowerment of the PWDs.
She added that teachers of government and private schools should be trained in greater numbers to make schools inclusive and friendly for the PWDs.
She said online training for school teachers could be provided to improve their capacity to impart education and skills to students with disabilities.
The First Lady called for ensuring the availability of safe and usable ramps for the PWDs in banks, parks, markets, and other public places to improve the mobility and access of differently-abled people.
She also emphasized the need to treat the PWDs with respect and called for greater awareness about their rights and the problems being faced by them.
Earlier, the First Lady was briefed by Director General Special Education Azhar Sajjad about the National Training Center for Special Persons (NTCSP) and the facilities being provided to students with disabilities. It was informed that students with disabilities were trained in different trades, including computer skills, graphic design, mobile repairing, tailoring, and other professions.
He further stated that 1,715 students with different abilities (SDAs) were currently enrolled in different government and private schools in Islamabad, adding that the NTCSP had so far trained 850 teachers to equip them with skills to provide education to the SDAs.
The First Lady visited different labs and training facilities and interacted with the SDAs.
She appreciated the NTCSP for providing market-oriented skills to the SDAs, besides ensuring job placements for them with the help of the private sector.
She also distributed certificates and diplomas among students who had completed their skills training in different fields. (APP)