LAHORE Education is the only way to put a nation on the path of progress and prosperity. It is historical fact that only those nations made progress which prioritised the education. Quality education and economic progress are concomitant to each other. These views were expressed by the speakers of a session held in connection with World Literacy Day at Aiwan-e-Waqt Forum under the auspices of TheNaiton, Nawa-i-Waqt and Waqt News here on Wednesday. The session was presided over by Provincial Education Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman while the speakers including Col (r) Ikram Ullah, Punjab School Education Department Additional Secretary Malik Mukhtar Ahmed Naul, Additional Secretary Literacy Department Mohammad Mahmood and Working Women Organisation Executive Director Aima Mahmood. Speaking on the occasion, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rahman said that Punjab government believed in good governance and had adopted the policy of merit. He said Punjab Chief Minister had chalked out a programme with a clear roadmap to ensure 100 per cent enrollment and retention of children in schools. For the first time in the history of the country, quality education for the poor and less affluent is being ensured through Daanish School System in Punjab. All the secondary schools are being equipped computers and science laboratories while missing facilities are being provided in all schools, he added. The minister said increase in literacy rate from 59 to 64 per cent in three years was an evidence that uplift of education was first priority of Punjab government It is universally accepted that prosperity is closely linked with number and quality of literate population. But with such state of affairs where 37 million people of different age groups are illiterate in the province, the achievement of prosperity is a great challenge for all of us and there is need of collective efforts to achieve the goal of hundred percent literacy rate he added. Mujtaba further said that the government had taken number of initiatives to address the issue of illiteracy including Daanish School System. He said the govt was implementing projects in the province for adult literacy with lifelong vocational skills, enabling the adults to start a vocation and get out of vicious circle of poverty. Punjab government is fully committed to provide quality learning opportunities to the people of Punjab. For this purpose, an amount of Rs 1,100 million has been allocated for literacy department which is more than 220 per cent higher than the allocation for 2008 that was 300 million, he added.