Chief Minister Najam Sethi has said that the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) is playing an important role in equipping the children of poor families with education.

Presiding over a meeting at Chief Minister’s Secretariat Wednesday, the chief minister said, no doubt, education was the path to development of any nation and the country. He said the dream of development and prosperity could be materialised by equipping the boys and girls with education.

Sethi said education was an effective tool for eliminating problems like poverty, unemployment and extremism. He said providing education to the boys and girls of deserving and less-privileged families was the basic responsibility of the government and the role of the PEF, in that regard, was commendable.

The chief minister said the solution of problems being faced by the country lay in the promotion of education. He said that education was the only tool through which problems like poverty, unemployment and extremism could be overcome. He said provision of resources for providing education to new generation was a beneficial investment.

He said various educational programmes launched by the PEF for the deserving male and female students of the province were continuing successfully and millions of such students were benefiting from these programmes.

PEF Managing Director Ambreen Raza, giving briefing, informed that more than 11.5 lakh deserving students of partner schools, were benefiting from the educational programmes of the PEF in 36 districts of the province.

She disclosed that Rs 400 per month was being paid to the parents of deserving boys and girls through voucher scheme of the PEF for bearing their educational expenses. She told the programmes of imparting training to the teachers of partner schools of Punjab Education Foundation meant for their capacity building, were also continuing successfully.

Secretary Schools Education Muhammad Aslam, Secretary P&D Arif Anwar Baloch, Secretary Information Amjad Hussain, Special Secretary Finance Dr Arshad Mehmood, Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund Dr Amjad Saqib and Educationist Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed the programmes of Punjab Education Foundation.

Also, Balochistan Caretaker Chief Minister Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai called on Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi at Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Wednesday. Matters relating to general elections and mutual interest were discussed during the meeting.

Separately, Sethi said the skilled manpower played an important role in the development of the country. He said the destiny of the country and the nation could be changed by equipping the youth with technical education. He said that the skilled workforce became the source of economic stability of the country which could earn precious foreign exchange in return by getting jobs abroad. The Chief Minister stressed the need for preparing manpower in consultation with industrialists according to the market needs so that job opportunities could immediately be provided to those completing courses. The Chief Minister directed that the introduction of new courses of skills, according to the market needs, be considered.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting with regard to Punjab Skills Development Fund at Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Wednesday. Secretaries of Industry, Planning and Development, Livestock & Dairy Development, Special Secretary Finance, Chief Executive Officer Punjab Skills Development Fund and other concerned officers attended the meeting.

Sethi said the future of the country was linked with technical education. He said the goal of development and prosperity of the country could be achieved by promoting vocational education. He said that not only poverty could be eliminated by promoting technical education but also the problem of extremism could be overcome.

The chief minister said the youth could be made self-reliant by imparting them training of various skills. He said more than half of the population of the country consisted of women and they could be included in the process of development of the country by making them skillful.