ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has developed designs through a research study in order to expand out-door open spaces in Rawalpindi and Islamabad for physical activities of adolescent schools’ girls.
The study was conducted in collaboration with Pakistan Institute for Environment-Development Acton Research (PIEDAR) and Pakistan Strategy support programme of the Planning Commission, funded by USAID.
The research-findings were presented at a seminar held here at the AIOU main campus that was presided over by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui.
The proposed design suggests ways and means to improve the safety, security, accessibility, comfort and provision of the facilities in specific parks and playgrounds of schools and colleges in the twin-cities.
Chairperson department of Home and Health Sciences Prof. Dr. Nomana Anjum while giving detailed presentation on the research-based study said that they have consulted the local town planners, education and health specialists for practical and cost-effective measures to improve the access of adolescent girls to outdoor physical activities which are must for their healthy growth.
The researchers also introduced gender-sensitivity training courses for boys and girls which could be conducted in schools and colleges in collaboration with the civil society organizations.
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui said the University was encouraging and motivating the academicians to focus on linking their research-study with overall development of the society.
“We must find out the solution of the socio-economic problems particularly those of local nature through scientific research study,” he asserted.
He emphasized that the educational institutions and the local governments should fulfill their responsibilities of providing reasonable open spaces in their surrounding areas for physical activities of the girls and boys.
“We must take care of gender equality in all sphere of life while doing future planning”, he added. He hoped that the local governments will revisit their Urban development plan for availability of proper open places for the female students.
He announced that a health club will soon be set up at the University’s main campus for physical exercise and recreation of their employees.
The seminar was also addressed by Dr. Sohail Malik, representative of Strategic support programme who highlighted the benefits of the outdoor spaces for adolescent girls, hoping that the research-findings will help to achieve stipulated targets establishing safe and secure outdoor open places for the youth.
Syed Ayub Qutub Principal Investigator of the Research-study was also present on the occasion.