LAHORE – Punjab has the highest teacher presence in percentage terms than any of the 22 countries provided with DFID financial support. Teacher absenteeism has been reduced from 20 percent to less than eight percent in a matter of less than two years.

This was disclosed in a report of a think tank called “Reform” which would be released during a lecture by eminent British Educationist, Sir Michael Barber, at the LUMS today.

“Reform” is an independent, non-political think tank whose mission is to set out a better way to deliver public services and foster economic prosperity.

In the report, DFID’s representative in Pakistan Sir Michael Barber paid rich tributes to the Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif for patronizing and personally supervising the matters of school education.

Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, in his foreword for the report, highly appreciated the efforts of the leadership and commitment of the Punjab Government for achieving such palpable improvements. He also lauded the services of Sir Michael Barber and his team at DFID for supporting this effort and assistance of the World Bank.

The report indicated that in August 2011, only 22% of schools were being visited each month by District Administration authorities to check on the situation, whereas in November 2012, 96.2% of all schools of the province were being visited by the District Administration authorities each month for spot checking and monitoring.

The changes achieved were made possible by the empowerment and accountability of the Education sector’s managers and the Executive District Officers for Education in each District, the report revealed.

CM meets Sir Michael Barber: The CM on Monday said with the implementation of Punjab Education Reforms Programme Roadmap, positive and powerful results have been garnered.

The CM during a meeting with renowned British Educationist Sir Michael Barber said that under programme, provision of educational facilities to schools had been ensured, while thousands of new children have been enrolled in schools to acquire education. He said that education plays a central role in the development of any country. He said that the country could only be made prosperous by imparting modern education to the younger generation. He said that the Punjab government had made education its top priority, and took concrete steps, during the last five years, for its promotion

 Chairman Planning and Development, Javed Aslam was also present on the occasion.

Sir Michael Barber said that Punjab government has effectively implemented Punjab Education Reforms Roadmap. He said that Shahbaz was an education-friendly CM who took concrete steps for promotion of education.

He said that the Education Reforms Roadmap had been powerfully enhanced by Punjab government, under the dynamic leadership of Shahbaz Sharif. He said that department for International Development (DFID) UK would continue its co-operation and collaboration with the Punjab government for further promotion of education in the Punjab province.