LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday approved merging Smart Schools Programme in “Khadim-e-Punjab Schools Programme” under which thousands of classrooms would be built in the schools across the province.

In the first phase, 10227 additional classrooms will be constructed at a cost of Rs16 billion during current fiscal year, the chief minister said while presiding over a meeting yesterday.

These classrooms will be constructed in a total of 5834 schools, he added.

In the first phase, additional classrooms will be constructed in the schools of southern Punjab. Some 1401 additional classrooms will be constructed in Dera Ghazi Khan with a cost of more than Rs2b.

Shehbaz Sharif said that male and female students will get more facilities with the construction of additional classrooms which will leave a positive impact on education sector.

“Students will be taught with the help of modern technology through smart schools and LED screens will be installed in classrooms while tablets will also be given to the teachers under this programme,” he added.

The CM said that teachers training centers will also be digitalised gradually. “Khadim-e-Punjab Schools Programme is a big project of public welfare and no compromise will be made on its standard,” he told the meeting.

Provincial ministers Tanvir Aslam Malik, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, chief secretary, communication & works secretary, NESPAK MD and other authorities concerned attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the CM presided over a high level meeting which reviewed measures for promotion of higher education in universities of the province. The higher education secretary gave a detailed briefing on the occasion.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said research and development is of vital importance in education sector therefore due attention to this sector in universities is the need of the hour. “Punjab government is attaching top priority to development of educational sector and promotion of latest knowledge and all out resources are being utilised for this purpose,” he added.

Albayrak meets Shehbaz

Ahmat Albayrak, chairman of a prominent investment group of Turkey, called on Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday and expressed his interest in investing in the development of basic structure of social sector in Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that Pakistan and Turkey are bound in strong historical and friendly relations and Turkey has stood by Pakistan in every hour of need. He said that the commitment shown by Turkish people with democracy under the leadership of their great leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is commendable.

Shehbaz Sharif said that a number of Turkish companies and investors are making investment in Pakistan especially Punjab and special incentives are being given to foreign investors in the province.

Albayrak said that all out cooperation will be extended to Punjab for the improvement of basic structure of social sector. He lauded the efforts of Shehbaz Sharif in promotion of ties between Pakistan and Turkey.