LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that under Education Reforms Roadmap the targets of enrolment in schools, provision of missing facilities, setting up of new educational institutions, teachers training and attendance of teachers and students have been successfully achieved.

Addressing a briefing meeting regarding progress on Punjab Education Reforms Roadmap in Islamabad on Tuesday, the chief minister said besides promotion of education, the steps taken for social development and uplift of other sectors had also yielded positive results.

“Despite terrorism, energy shortage and other challenges in the country, Punjab government has made remarkable progress in education sector. More than 40 thousand scholarships are being given to poor but talented students from Punjab Educational Endowment Fund,” the CM held.

The chief minister expressed gratitude to UK Department for International Development and other international institutions for cooperation for the promotion of education and expressed the hope that this cooperation would increase in the days to come.

Shahbaz Sharif said the strategy adopted for the promotion of education in the province had yielded encouraging results. He said the target for enrolment of children in schools had been achieved while 91 per cent target of provision of missing facilities in educational institutions had also been realised.

The chief minister said the roadmaps had been implemented for education and overall development during the last four and half years due to which the efforts for the promotion of education had produced satisfactory results.

“Under a comprehensive programme, special attention has been paid to teachers’ training and improvement of standard of teaching. Honest, competent and hardworking EDOs have been posted throughout the province while recruitment of teachers has been ensured on merit basis,” the CM informed.

He said 92 per cent attendance of teachers and students had been ensured in schools. He said under the Chief Minister’s Ujala programme, distribution of free of cost solar lamps among the students of schools and colleges had been finalised and this programme would be launched during the current month,” he added.

The chief minister said under his last tenure, solid measures were also taken for the promotion of quality education in the province and ghost schools were eliminated from the province while facilities were improved in educational institutions. He said compared to other provinces, meaningful steps had been taken in Punjab for the promotion of education.

“For the purpose of empowerment of youth, a number of programmes are being successfully implemented and Skills Development Programme is continuing in a successful manner in South Punjab,” the chief minister added.

Shahbaz Sharif said the cooperation of UK Department for International Development and other international institutions would be welcomed for Punjab Skills Development Programme. He said funds were being utilised in a transparent manner for equipping the new generation with the modern knowledge.

He said the provincial government was determined to stand on its own feet without relying on foreign aid. He said Britain and Pakistan had historical and friendly relations and Britain had extended commendable cooperation for the uplift of various sectors.

British Secretary of State for International Development, Ms Justine Greening, while expressing her views, said the Punjab government had successfully achieved the targets of Education Reforms Roadmap while DFID programmes in education and other sectors had also been implemented in a satisfactory manner.

She said the DFID cooperation with the Punjab government for the promotion of education and development of other sectors would continue in future as well.  

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif expressed deep sense of grief over the sad demise of legendary coach and former Int’l hockey player Aslam Roda.