LAHORE – Representative of the Department for International Development (DFID) and a renowned educationist Sir Michael Barber on Thursday said that the basic educational structure of the Punjab province was changing owning to the schools reforms roadmap of the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and expressed the hope that the province would be a glaring example in the education field.

Sir Michael Barber said that it was for the first time in the history of the province that such extensive measures had been taken under the vision of the Punjab CM regarding the uplift of the education sector, the enrolment of children in schools, reduction in the drop out ratio and the provision of missing facilities in schools.

On the occasion, Michael pointed out that the initiatives taken by the CM had been acclaimed not only within the country but also by the world institutions including the World Bank. He disclosed that as much as Rs16 billion had so far been spent on the provision of missing facilities including boundary walls, running water, toilets, electricity and furniture in schools. Likewise, as many as 81 thousand teachers had been recruited during the last two years purely on merit basis whereas some 180,000 teachers had also been trained in that context. He said that the attendance of the students in schools remained over 88 per cent while that of teachers recorded over 87 percent during the current year under the Schools Reforms Roadmap. He also disclosed that over three thousands schools had also been upgraded during the last year. He assured that in order to make the reforms programme a success, all out cooperation would be extended.

Special Assistant to CM Punjab on Education Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri, MNA Saira Afzal Tarrar, Secretary Schools Aslam Kamboh, Vice Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund Dr. Amjad Saqib and Punjab Education Foundation Chairman Raja Anwar were also present at the occasion.