LAHORE - Qatar and Punjab have joined hands for cooperation in education and skill development sectors.

A delegation of Qatar education experts called on Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday. They included Dawood S Al Bourshaid, Resource Mobilisation Manager of Special Programmes Division of Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development of the Islamic Development Bank, Fahad Hamad Hassan al Sulaiti, Chief Executive Officer of Education Above All, and other officials.

During the meeting, different matters pertaining to education, especially promotion of bilateral cooperation in skills development, came under discussion, and it was agreed to promote partnership in this sector.

According to a handout, CM Shehbaz spoke with the delegation in ‘fluent Arabic on which the delegation expressed its pleasant surprise.’ It also appreciated the steps taken by the chief minister for the promotion of quality education, and showed their interest for enhancing cooperation in the field of skills development.

Shehbaz observed that as promotion of education helps in the development, the Punjab government has granted the youth their basic right of education as students’ enrollment ratio has been sufficiently increased due to the steps of government. “Provision of recourses for empowerment of the youth is not expenditure, but a beneficial investment,” he told the delegates.

He further said that the new generation holds the key of national development and prosperity. He proposed that joint efforts should be made to further empower the new generation though skills development.

“Punjab Endowment Education Fund has opened the doors of higher education to the bright but deserving children of the lower stratum. This is not only benefiting the students from Punjab, but also from other provinces including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, who are also fully benefiting from this most beneficial educational programme.”

He further informed that 250,000 deserving students were getting education through the platform of Punjab Education Foundation while hundreds of thousands of laptops have also been given to bright students purely on merit.

“Child labour has been totally eliminated from brick kiln sector,” the CM claimed and assured this practice will also be ablished from auto workshops, hotels and petrol pumps.

More than 80,000 children of brick kiln workers have been enrolled in schools by the Punjab government under education package, according to the CM. “Every child has been provided free books, uniform and stationery items, besides provision of one thousand monthly stipend.

“Similarly, parents of the school going children have also been given stipends. Forcing the children to work is a social as well as economic evil,” he added.