islamabad - Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Baligh Ur Rehman said that youth were the biggest assets of Pakistan and investment in youth was vital to ensure the country’s bright future.

He said this while addressing as chief guest at Pearson annual outstanding learners award ceremony at a local hotel on Wednesday. Pearson is the UK’s largest degree awarding body and offers diverse range of academic and vocational qualifications in collaboration with the British Council.

“I am pleased to congratulate the high achievers for making their parents and country proud. I am expecting that each one of you will utilize the knowledge and skills to serve humanity and the country with strong sense of patriotism and responsibility”, said the minister.

He said that budget allocations for education sector had been enhanced and steps were being taken for promotion of education in the country. He noted that number of out-of-school children in the country had dropped sharply.

He said that government believed in establishing public-private collaborations for introducing new concepts and best practices in the country.

He said that Pearson worked closely with government of Punjab. Sir Michael Barber from Pearson visits quite frequently as adviser to Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on bringing reforms in education sector and is currently engaged in different projects, he added.

In recent past, Shahbaz Sharif visited Pearson head office in London where chairperson TEVTA Irfan Qaiser Sheikh signed an MOU with the Pearson to introduce its vocational qualifications in TEVTA Punjab centres, he said.

The federal minister said that the joint initiative of British Council and Pearson not only imparted foreign qualification to the students but also strengthened cooperation among the countries. On this occasion, he also presented awards and certificates to the high achievers.