The appointment of senior civil servant and a renowned educationist Dr. Allah Bakhsh Malik as Secretary Schools’ Education Department in the population-wise largest province, Punjab, is good news indeed. He carries rigorous educational as well as administrative experience of many years with him, and it is hoped that he will utilize his expertise to help advance the educational reforms agenda which would ultimately benefit the students. 

With the Punjab government is in the last leg of its five-year tenure, it was all the more important that an experienced person of his stature and calibre should be brought in to give solid footing to the education department. And I believe that Dr Malik is the best choice. He is a balanced blend of a civil servant and an educationist. 

It may be added here that he is the architect of Punjab’s largest free school education program, who revamped and expanded the Punjab education foundation to emerge as the strong ray of hope for the hopeless. He introduced the education voucher scheme to help children from low income families to study free of cost in partner schools. 

Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik is a Ph.D. and Post Doctorate from Cambridge University, Colombia University and Punjab University, Lahore. He has also worked as Chairman of the Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Additional Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, Director General of Academy for Education Planning and Management in Islamabad, Director General of the National Commission for Human Development, Secretary for Literacy and Non Formal Basic Education and Secretary for Youth Affairs, Tourism and Sports. In recognition of his leadership role for promotion of education, the UNESCO awarded him coveted Confucius Award and title of ‘Honourable’ in 2011. He is also author of many books and research articles on education. 

I am quite hopeful that his vital contribution in Schools’ Education Department will wholly benefit the students. 

QUDRAT ULLAH,  

Lahore, May 14.