November 13, 2014
LAHORE: United States (US) Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in Pakistan Gregory Gottlieb unveiled a plaque marking the inauguration of “Hope Tower”, the USAID-funded women’s hostel at Forman Christian College (FCC) on Wednesday.
FCC Rector Dr James Tebbe, US Consul General in Lahore Zachary Harkenrider and USAID Punjab Director Jeffrey Bakken accompanied him. The $6 million, six-story project will provide on-campus housing to at least 384 female students from remote areas of the country.
“The US government is fully committed to support and strengthen education in Pakistan, particularly by closing the gender gap in higher education. By providing a secure all-female on-campus residence, the US is encouraging women from across the country to pursue higher education,” Gottlieb said.
“The new hostel at the FCC is part of a comprehensive education programme being implemented by the US in Pakistan,” he added
The programme includes a $160 million Pakistan reading project; construction or rehabilitation of more than 850 schools; construction of 16 state-of-the art faculty of education buildings at universities, establishment of centres for advanced studies in water, agriculture and food security, language education for more than 5,000 low-income students and more than 4,800 scholarships for university students through the Pakistan-USAID Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme.
“The new women’s hostel will further help the Forman Christian College to recruit nationally and provide a secure environment for female students that meets the cultural standards of Pakistan.
It also supports our aim of increasing women’s enrolment to 50 percent of the student body,” FCC Rector Dr James Tebbe said “I am delighted to be here at the Forman Christian College during its yearlong quintessential celebrations. We mark a milestone today that celebrates not only our partnership with this prestigious educational institution, but also reaffirms the United States’ long-term commitment to supporting education in Pakistan,” US Consul General in Lahore Zachary Harkenrider said. Farah Shah, a student who has moved into the hostel from Chitral District, spoke of the advantages of living in a campus. “My parents are happy that I live in such a clean and safe environment and I am happy that I can study and participate in co-curricular activities without worrying about the commute,” she said.