LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided to launch a pilot programme for mobile training of teachers, taking another initiative under its reforms programme in education sector.

Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif presided over a meeting yesterday and reviewed the pace of reforms implementation. The meeting expressed its satisfaction over the steps taken for ensuring attendance of teachers in schools and promotion of quality education.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that Punjab government has evolved a splendid programme for achieving the targets in education sector till 2018. Under ‘Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab’ programme, the attendance of teachers has substantially improved in schools, he added.

“Quality education is the basic right of every child and Punjab government is ensuring this right,” said Shahbaz Sharif, adding that promotion of quality education is his mission, which will be accomplished at any cost.

“Punjab government will continue to provide funds for this purpose in future as well. Appointments of teachers in Punjab have been made purely on merit due to which the standard of education is improving.”

During the meeting, Musharraf Zaidi of Alif Ailan Programme gave a briefing to Shahbaz Sharif on the survey of schools in Gujranwala and Narowal and the pace of implementation of education reforms programme. During the survey attendance of teachers was 97 percent, the CM was told.

Zaidi lauded the policy of Shahbaz Sharif regarding appointment of teachers on merit which was resulting in improvement of standard of education in schools.

Provincial Education Minister Rana Mashhood, Secretary Schools Education, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board, representative of DFID and concerned officers attended the meeting.

The CM also announced a cash prize of Rs50,000 each for EDO Education Gujranwala Muhammad Sohaib Imran and EDO Education Narowal Ayaz Sabir for their outstanding performance for achieving educational targets. In a separate meeting, the chief minister approved the appointment of mentors on tehsil level for the guidance of special persons.

Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government has taken exemplary measures for the welfare of special persons. “Special persons are an important segment of the society and they will soon be made useful citizens.

“Help and rehabilitation of special persons is responsibility of the state and all out resources will be utilised for this purpose,” he added.

Shahbaz further said that Khidmat Card programme has been started for the assistance of special persons. “The registration is in process across the province.

“Financial assistance of 1200 rupees per month is being given to special persons through the Khidmat Card,” said the CM, adding that the quota of disabled persons in jobs has been increased from two percent to three percent.

According to the CM, job opportunities have been created for 950 blind persons in public sector institutions and for 721 highly educated disabled persons in universities and colleges.

Registration of 26000 blind persons has been completed and they will be given age relaxation of up to 10 years in government jobs. Special centers have been set up 13 districts for the rehabilitation of blind persons.

Besides free treatment facilities, 50 percent reduction in transport charges has been made for special persons. Special persons are also being imparted skills under Skills Development Programme, Shahbaz told the meeting.

On the occasion, the senior officials of Civil Protection Authority gave a detailed briefing on the steps taken for the welfare of special persons.

Governor calls on CM:

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana discussed matters on mutual interest, law and order situation and development projects in the province during a meeting yesterday.

“There is no room for extremism, terrorism and sectarianism in the country,” said the CM, adding that Punjab government has taken effective measures for the protection of life and property of citizens.

Shahbaz told the governor that a splendid example has been set by saving billions of rupees in development projects. Transparency and high standard in the execution of development projects is the hallmark of Punjab government, he added.

Governor Rajwana said that Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is implementing revolutionary programmes for the welfare and uplift of masses.