RAWALPINDI - Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, has said that under the 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.

He said that besides promotion of education, the measures taken for social development and uplift of other sectors have also yielded positive results. Despite terrorism, energy shortage and other challenges in the country, Punjab government has made remarkable progress in education sector. He said that more than 40 thousand scholarships are being given to poor but talented students from Punjab Educational Endowment Fund worth Rs. 10 billion to enable them continue their studies. He 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 will increase in the days to come.

He was addressing a briefing meeting regarding progress on Punjab Education Reforms Roadmap in Islamabad Tuesday, says a press release. British Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening, educationist Sir Michael Barber, Senator Ishaq Dar, Provincial Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, DFID representative in Punjab Tom Owen Edmundus, First Secretary David Fournier, World Bank representative Dhushyanth Raju, Education Advisor of DFID Javed Ahmed Malik, Country Director World Bank Rachid Ben Messaud and other concerned authorities were also present.

Addressing the meeting, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the strategy adopted for the promotion of education in the province has yielded encouraging results. He said that the target for enrolment of children in schools have been achieved while 91 per cent target of provision of missing facilities in educational institutions has also been realized. He said that the roadmaps have been implemented for education and overall development during the last four and half years due to which the efforts for the promotion of education have produced satisfactory results.

He said that under a comprehensive programme, special attention has been paid to teachers’ training and improvement of standard of teaching. He said that honest, competent and hardworking EDOs have been posted throughout the province while recruitment of teachers has been ensured on merit basis. He said that 92 per cent attendance of teachers and students have been ensured in schools. He said that under Chief Minister’s Ujala programme, distribution of free of cost solar lamps among boy and girl students of schools and colleges has been finalized and this programme will be launched during the current month. He said that 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 that compared to other provinces, meaningful steps have been taken in Punjab for the promotion of education. He said that 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. He said that the cooperation of UK Department for International Development and other international institutions will be welcomed for Punjab Skills Development Programme. He said that funds are being utilized in a highly transparent manner for equipping the new generation with the modern knowledge. He said that provincial government is determined to stand on its own feet without relying on foreign aid. He said that Britain and Pakistan have historical and friendly relations and Britain has extended commendable cooperation for the uplift of various sectors. He said that the cooperation of DFID has helped in achievement of targets in education sector and mutual interaction will further increase in future.

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