LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that successful military operation in Malakand, Swat and Dir is a big achievement of Pakistan Army for which Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani deserves appreciation. He said that the Army operation has given a fatal blow to militancy, terrorism and extremism and the names of Army Jawans who embraced Shahadat in this operation will be written in golden letters in the national history. He said that after restoration of peace in the NWFP, it is now the responsibility of federal and provincial govts to work dedicatedly for normalizing life in the affected areas and ensure supremacy of law. He was talking to media after a special ceremony to present guard of honour to 29 girl students who obtained top position in matriculation examination in various boards of education at Government House Murree, today. Wife of the Chief Minister Begum Nusrat Shahbaz Sharif and the girl students were also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that only educated and conscious nations put their country on road to progress and prosperity and keeping in view this fact Punjab government is openly acknowledging the talents of such students as have passed their examination with distinction. He said that these outstanding students are being given the respect they deserve. He said that the girl students who have achieved extraordinary success in the examinations are an honour and pride for the society and it is the responsibility of the govt to provide them a conducive educational atmosphere and modern academic facilities and Punjab govt is fulfilling all its obligations in this regard efficiently. He said that the objectives of social development and economic prosperity can be achieved only through educational revolution therefore maximum resources are being spent on the projects aimed at uplift of education sector. He said that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani is also encouraging position holder students and other provinces should also emulate this example as such students are a precious national asset. He said that girl students who do not continue their studies after Matric, FA and F.Sc. would be imparted vocational training for making them self-sufficient. The Chief Minister further said that in order to polish the talent of brilliant male and female students and to provide them opportunities for further education, Educational Endowment Fund has been set up first time in the province with a sum of four billion rupees to which an amount of two billion rupees would be added each year. He said that this amount will reach the figure of ten billion rupees within next five years which will be spent on providing educational scholarships to brilliant and intelligent students so as to provide equal opportunities to the children to move ahead without any discrimination. He said that 20 position holder students of the last Matriculation examination have already been sent to Germany and Britain on a study tour while 50 position holder students will be sent abroad this year. He said promotion of education is essential for elimination of poverty, ignorance and unemployment as well as overcoming socio-economic problems. Therefore a comprehensive policy has been adopted to provide financial assistance to brilliant students of any area of the province hankering for knowledge so that they could pursue their studies. He said that teachers are the architects of a nation and they will have to play a key role in national development. He said that teachers are a highly respectable segment of the society and in order to give them due status and encouragement an amount of one billion rupees has been allocated in the budget. He said that cash prize of Rs.50,000 each would be given to one thousand teachers showing extraordinary performance with regard to results, attendance, enrollment, community participation, interest in the provision of academic facilities and utilization of funds. He said the glorious results of students are a proof of the fact that due to patronage and guidance by the government there is a growing trend of competition among the students and the education standard in the province is on the rise. Earlier, a smartly turned out contingent of Punjab Police presented guard of honour to position holder girl students. Position holder students paid rich tributes to the Chief Minister for taking revolutionary measures for the uplift of education sector in the province as well as encouragement of students.