| Like doctors and engineers, teachers will also be given licenses after registration. It will help providing better employment opportunities to teachers abroad, says education minister

LAHORE        -        The government will soon table Teacher Licensing Act in the Punjab Assembly, said Education Minister Dr Murad Rass while initiating general discussion on education on Friday. He claimed to fill all vacant slots of teachers across the province within one year.

During speech of education minister, opposition thumped desks, tore down copies of the agenda for the day and resorted to sloganeering against the government. The session started one hour and 50 minutes behind the scheduled time with Panel of Chairman Mian Muhammad Shafi in the chair.

“Like doctors and engineers, teachers will also be given licenses after registration. It will help providing better employment opportunities to teachers abroad”, Dr Murad Rass said, adding, the law would also tackle harassment of students and teaching staff. He claimed that online registration of 60,000 private schools after Eidul Azha would help ending culture of corruption and nepotism.

He lamented that technology was never used in governing educational institutions by previous governments only to keep space for corruption.

He said when he took charge of the portfolio, he thought as if he had been assigned the task of transfer minister as there was a huge load of transfer applications pending for years. He said the PML-N ruled the province for consecutive 10 years but didn’t develop any system to regularize transfers in the education sector. He said the PTI government developed an App without any cost and thus 22,000 transfer cases were settled to the satisfaction of parents of female teachers with only 23 complaints.

The minister said that 70 per cent students gave up learning after clearing primary only because of lack of middle schools in their neighbourhoods. He said at least 100,000 students were brought back to schooling by upgrading 1,227 education facilities, whereas 1,000 evening schools would soon be introduced.

He said that all vacancies in state-run schools in the province would be filled within a year.

During the Question Hour on Forest Department, PML-N’s Raheela Khadim Hussain taunted Minister Sibtain Khan by saying he mentioned only two seasons in response to a query and omitted 10 other seasons, a reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘slip of tongue’ claiming Pakistan has been blessed with 12 seasons.

She said she won’t bother Sibtain Khan too much as he was already being bothered by NAB.

The minister asked the legislator to name the rest of 10 seasons. Referring to the NAB case, he said he had resigned as minister on his own after the case and again joined the cabinet only after he was bailed out.

Law Minister Raja Basharat said the forest minister was sitting here only after securing bail in the NAB case, while they (the treasury) were tolerating opposition leader Hamza Shahbaz though the latter had not secured bail in the NAB cases.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Monday (July 27) at 2pm.