Islamabad - Physical up-gradation of 200 schools under the Prime Minister’s Education Reform Program (PMERP) would be completed before the end of December, an official said on Tuesday.

The meeting of Steering Committee for the implementation of PMERP was held to oversee the progress and quality of work on the physical up-gradation of educational institutions in Islamabad.

The Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb jointly chaired the meeting. The meeting was attended by the Secretary CADD, Nargis Ghalloo, Advisor of CADD on Education, Ali Raza and other members.

Project Director of the PMERP briefed the committee that civil works is in progress in all the 200 schools included in this phase of the project and would be completed before the end of December.

The committee expressed satisfaction over the speed and quality of work in schools. In the meeting, Dr Tariq Fazl Chaudhary directed CADD officers to personally visit the up-gradation work in the schools and maintain proper record of monitoring. He directed the project director to take the relevant principals and local political representatives on board regarding the civil works. Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry said that a sum of Rs2.74 billion is earmarked in the current phase for the physical up-gradation and provision of facilities in the 200 schools of CADD.

In the pilot project, civil works on 22 schools have been completed.

The program is focusing on the establishment of new classrooms, libraries, laboratories, washroom blocks, rising of boundary walls, provision of furniture for students and teachers, security arrangements and other civil works. Under the project, a ‘Wall of Fame’ will also be erected in schools which will contain photographs and ‘sayings of wisdom’ of national heroes to provide useful information and motivation to the children.

PBM, PRP signs MoU for supporting breast cancer awareness

Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pink Ribbon Pakistan (PRP) to support Breast Cancer awareness and treatment under the corporate social responsibility.

In the ceremony held here, the Managing Director (MD) PBM Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh and CEO Pink Ribbon Omer Aftab signed the agreement.

MD PBM referred an unfortunate aspect that Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia, about 90,000 breast cancer cases being annually reported in the country and nearly 40,000 deaths caused by it.

He underlined the need of producing an environment conducive for all the stakeholders for generating joint efforts to manage the fatal disease since early diagnosis can save lives and make a difference.

Highlighting the various steps taken during the last four years by PBM, MD Barrister Abid Sheikh told that around 80 per cent of the budget is utilised in healthcare sector and poor patients of cancer, cardiac, thalassemia, hepatitis, kidney and others from all over the country have been supported for their essential medical treatment on preferential basis.  Appreciating the PRP efforts, MD PBM said that this leading organisation has been significantly contributing in reducing breast cancer mortality in the country.

PRP Chief Executive Officer Omar Aftab lauded the PBM’s proactive role for extending maximum support to the deserving cancer patients in the country.

He marked the MoU ceremony an imperative milestone for trimming down the miseries of poor patients suffering from breast cancer.  Under this MoU, PBM will support PRP for Breast Cancer Awareness and Treatment.  PBM and Pink Ribbon will also collaborate for treatment interventions including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy of deserving patients.

In a separate event, Chairman Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Dr Saeed Elahi emphasized the need for participation of all schools of thought in the “Give Way to Ambulance, Save a Life” campaign in order to sensitize the citizens to the importance of ambulance.

The campaign, launched by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the PRCS, is successfully going on in the country.

Talking to a delegation of volunteers at the National Headquarters (NHQ) here, Dr Saeed Elahi said drivers, particularly the public transport drivers, should be educated about the importance of an ambulance carrying someone needing immediate medical attention.

He said the drivers ought to give way to an ambulance soon after hearing a wailing siren so that it reached a medical facility within the shortest possible time to save a precious human life.

Dr Saeed said hogging a road despite seeing a fast approaching ambulance was a pure inhuman act and clinical insensitivity.

He said it was the bounden duty of city and town administrations to ensure no tailbacks on roads for uninterrupted passage of an ambulance.

He emphasized the need for a change in the society’s behaviour and attitude while on road.