LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the aim of progress and prosperity can be achieved only through education and women will have to take an active part in the development process. He said that Pakistan at present is at the crossroads and there is need for working hard and relying on our own resources for the progress of the country and transforming it in accordance with the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. He said that Government Home Economics College is a leading educational institution and the students of this college have played a commendable role in national development. He announced three coaster buses, one hundred computers, sixteen printers and five generators for the college besides covering of the drain passing near the college. He was addressing 41st Annual Convocation of Home Economics College in Gulberg here on Tuesday, said a handout. Provincial Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Assembly Members, Vice-Chancellor Punjab University and a large number of parents of girl students were present. The Chief Minister said that education of new generation on modern lines is essential for setting up a progressive society. He said that not palaces and mansions but knowledge, hard work, vision in philosophy are the prerequisite for the progress of the country. He said that besides religious education, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey and other Islamic countries have also introduced latest knowledge and science & technology to their youth and that is why the students graduating from educational institutions and seminaries of these countries are also playing an important role in medicine, engineering and banking sectors. He said that there is a need for equipping the young generation with the modern technology and scientific education so that it could play its due role in national development and prosperity. He said that Punjab government has taken unprecedented measures for the uplift of education sector and imparting latest knowledge to the youth. He said that computer labs have been set up in more than 4000 schools of the province and every year 32 lakh students benefitting from these labs will be able to play an important role in the progress of the country. He said that the scope of this programme will also be extended to middle and primary schools level. Similarly, he said that setting up of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund is another historic achievement of the government under which educational scholarships are being given to poor and talented students to enable them to continue their studies. He said that talented students of other provinces are also being given scholarships from this fund. Shahbaz said that due to educational fund, the dream of talented but poor students to study at prestigious educational institutions for higher studies has been realized. He said that five students will be sent to Ivy League Universities under this programme, for studying special subjects whereas ten students will be sent to these universities next year. He said that Punjab government is concentrating on curricular and co-curricular activities and cash prizes worth Rs.20 crore have been distributed among boy and girl students achieving prominent positions in speech and essay writing competitions in the province. Similarly, he said position holder students of different examinations are being sent to study tour of leading educational institutions abroad. The CM further said that young generation is the guarantee of the glorious future of the country and it should come forward for playing its due role in this regard. He said that Punjab government has also set up Youth Employment Fund for benefitting from the talent of the young generation. He said that women of rural areas work side by side with men in the fields for earning livelihood for their families and producing food for the country. Addressing the girl students, he said that these women despite being uneducated are playing their role in the national development whereas they, being educated on modern lines, should also utilize their energies and talent for national progress. He said that girl students after receiving medical degrees, sit idle at their homes and are not able to serve the ailing humanity. He said that an amount of Rs. seven lakh is being spent on the medical education of a doctor in public sector institutions whereas a sum of Rs.20 lakh is incurred in private institutions, therefore, girl students receiving medical education should play their due role in the service to ailing humanity. He said that the aim of progress and prosperity cannot be achieved without ensuring participation of women in the development process, therefore, educated women will have to come forward as their services are required by the country. He said that Government College of Home Economics is equipping girl students with latest skills in arts and the requirements of the institution will be fulfilled. Earlier, College Principal Dr Samia Kalsum while giving annual report of the institution highlighted its curricular and co-curricular activities. She also paid tributes to the Chief Minister on his efforts for promotion of education sector as well as quality education in the province. Certificates and gold medals were also given to the girl students.