ISLAMABAD - Federal Directorate of Education on Thursday launched an integrated school-based health programme across all public educational institutions in ICT.

The launch ceremony has held in Islamabad Model College for Girls, G-6/1-4. Shafqat Mahmood, Minister for Federal Education & Professional Training was the chief guest at the occasion.

Addressing the participants, Shafqat Mahmood emphasized importance of proving healthcare facilities to school going children.

He stated that the government was trying to ensure that children not only receive quality education but also the necessary health interventions that remove impediments to their learning and development.

The minister appreciated the technical assistance being provided by local and international partners to achieve the objectives of this initiative.

He also appreciated the commitment of FDE employees, particularly the teachers, who will be at the forefront of this programme.

Minister reiterated his resolve to reform the ICT educational institutions as role models for the rest of the country.

The ceremony also marked the launch of the vision screening component of the initiative by FDE with the support of Sightsavers.

Speaking at the occasion, Munazza Gillani, Country Director of Sighsavers explained that under the program, over 200,000 students in public schools across Islamabad would be screened for eyesight related problems over the next few years.

She explained that the screening would be conducted by 9000 FDE teachers trained by Sightsavers.

Students who are identified as having vision problems would be further assessed by optometrists, provided by Sightsavers, for refractive and low vision problems. She said that Sighsavers would provide spectacles and low vision devices on one time basis to students who require the same along with eye drops and ointments.

 Earlier, welcoming the honourable Minister and the distinguished guests, Syed Umair Javed, Director General Federal Directorate of Education explained that a health profile card for every student enrolled in FDE educational institutions would be the cornerstone of this initiative.

In the first stage, basic indicators including age, weight, height etc are being recorded which will enable education and health authorities to track development through standard anthropometric measurements.