LAHORE - Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan has said that the government has allocated more funds for education than any other province.

Addressing a press conference at Directorate of Staff Development (DSD) on Tuesday, he said that the government allocated record 27 per cent budget for education whereas KPK allocated 19.6 per cent and Sindh 19.5 per cent. Rana Mashhood said that if special education, TEVTA and non-formal education were included, the total educational budget of Punjab reached Rs 400 billion. He said that special attention was being paid to the teachers training and role of DSD was commendable in this regard. He said that due to best performance, teachers from other provinces were also getting training from DSD.

He said that one billion rupees have been allocated for more than 3.5 lakh teachers of Punjab next budget. He said that government has also given laptops to the talented students of other provinces, cash prizes to the position holders, commendatory certificates and foreign tours were also arranged.

He said that Punjab Education Foundation was running 4500 schools under public private partnership and this number would increase to 6000 this year. He said that 500 new primary schools would be constructed while 4 new Daanish Schools open in backward areas in next financial year.

He said that Rs 2 billion have been added in Punjab Educational Endowment Fund. He said that schools were being shifted to solar energy in those areas where electricity was not available. He said that Education Department did not return a penny in existing budget and utilized 93 percent budget whereas remaining 7 percent would be transferred and utilised next year.

He said that objection was raised against development projects of Punjab but these were for common people and transparency has been observed. He said that third party audit has also been conducted. He said that the protesters were not representatives of teachers. He said that all genuine demands of teachers have been accepted and all representative organizations and the government were on one page.

The minister inaugurated Development Resource Centre at DSD and Teachers Training Resource Centre at Pilot Secondary School Wahdat Colony. Project Director DSD Ehsan Bhutta, Principal Advisor German International Development (GIZ) Nighat Lone, Dr Digma, Director British Council Tony Fishers were also present on the occasion.