IT is good to know that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif is paying particular attention to the uplift of education in the province. He devoted as many as six hours on Saturday, discussing different aspects of the education policy with experts, both from public and private fields, and concerned officials, taking several decisions to improve educational standards. He claimed that revolutionary and unprecedented measures had been taken to effect improvement, a comprehensive system of training of teachers had been adopted, the use of information technology in all institutions of learning was being promoted and merit was being recognised. Even the services of retired teachers known for their good performance are being tapped. The above task is a tall order. It not only calls for an unconditional government commitment to the cause, but also stipulates readily available finances. As it is, neither would be easily forthcoming, at least going by past experience as well as with the present set-up. The staff needs gingering up, and the funds, even though the Chief Minister has in another context asked for the cutting down of expenditure on non-developmental works, would be hard to come by. The condition of public educational institutions in the province, or for that matter in the country, is so miserable that it beggars description. From the directives of Mian Shahbaz to the concerned officials to ensure the provision of water, electricity and washroom facilities it is clear that as yet there are certain educational institutions where these essential needs are missing. While this stupendous job of work is before us, it sounds odd that the Chief Minister should be thinking of making it compulsory for all schools and colleges, public as well as private, to adopt one uniform dress for the students. It seems that the crushing burden of inflationary pressures and the consequent growth in poverty have not been given due weight. The order needs to be withdrawn.