MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): A new building for the engineering faculty of Balkh University was opened on Wednesday when the foundation stones for a girls’ hostel and three faculties were laid on the campus in Mazar-i-Sharif, officials said.
Higher Education Minister Dr. Obaidullah Obaid, Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor, Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Sadiq Khan, the university chancellor, lectures and students attended the inauguration ceremony. Provincial council and Wolesi Jirga members were also in attendance.
The building for the engineering faculty cost $18 million provided by Pakistan, said Mokamal Alokozai, the university chancellor.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News foundation stones of the faculties of economics and Shariah and Law were also laid. The proposed structures would cost $3million and would take a year to complete.
Governor Atta Mohammad Noor thanked Pakistan for the assistance, making an appeal to regional countries for launching similar projects in Afghanistan.
Obaid, who also thanked Pakistan, said they could bring positive change to the society by opening educational institutions.
Pakistan's ambassador Mohammad Sadiq said Afghanistan needed educational centres and his country intended to continue supporting higher education in Afghanistan. The faculty building was the third to be constructed by Pakistan, he continued.
The proposed girls’ hostel at Balkh University is estimated to cost $2.2 million pledged by the US.
The foundation stone for another building for the university's public administration faculty was also laid. It would cost $2.2 million with financial support from a German organisation, GIZ.
More than 13,000 students, 40 percent of them females, are studying at faculties of medicine, engineering, law and political sciences, economics, Shariah Law, literature, journalism and public administration at Balkh University.