LAHORE - Including free compulsory education to the children from five to 16 years, the Punjab Assembly transacted legislation on three important bills on the last day the 10th session on Monday.

The House passed the second bill to counter terrorism in the province in an effective manner while third to empower the Election Commission for delimitation of the constituencies for the Local Government election as per the direction of the Supreme Court. Taking other government business, the House extended to another 90 days implementation of Punjab Explosives (Amended) Ordinance and NUR International University Lahore Ordinance 2014. The House also carried a resolution seeking legislation from the federal government on third proviso of Article 27(1) for the sake of ensuring implementation of the Principle of Policy as envisioned in Article 37(f) of the Constitution.

Presided over by Rana Iqbal Khan, the House carried another resolution in support of democracy and to repose confidence in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. With thumping majority the House condemned the conspiracies against democracy which it held have been going on over some time under the guise of protest and vowed to withstand against these plots with full might.

Article 25(A) of the Constitution requires the government to ensure free and compulsory formal and information and vocational education to the children from five to 16. Under the law titled Punjab Free and Compulsory Act 2014, an authority has been set up at every locality to determine where a child merits education according to his age and capability besides ensuring setting up of the schools in accordance with the number of children. The children would be provided fee compulsory education from class one to 10 which may be either formal or informal or a combination of academic and vacations education.

The government would also provide suitable education to special children while the local government would be duty bound to keep record of the children and assist the parents get their children admission to the school and ensure continuity of their education. The financial burden of the education will jointly be borne by the government and the local authority. If the parents would not opt for admitting their children to the school, they would not be entitled to any subsidy and poverty targeted support.

A school management body will be set up which may also be empowered to collect a voluntarily ‘Farogh-Teleem Fund’ from the philanthropists, alumni, parents and the students and the fund would be totally utilised on the welfare of the students. The teachers have been strictly prohibited from corporal punishment and harassment to the students while uniform, books and all other material will be provided will be provided by the government.

To establish the institutional mechanism for effective counter terrorism measures, formulate security and counter terrorism policy, the government has enacted the Punjab Strategic Coordination Act 2014 under which a Provincial Security Council and Provincial Strategic Coordination Board would be set up. The Board with its different wings will supervise coordination with the Federal and Intelligence agencies besides monitoring the police on collecting data of an incident.

The Board will submit report to the Council which will be headed by the chief minister with law minister, chief secretary, home secretary, provincial police officer and five government-nominated persons as its members. The board will be headed by the chief secretary and eight members. The board will assist the council in the formulation of security and counter terrorism policy, monitor compliance of the policy, improve coordination between the security and criminal justice agencies, carry out research work in the assigned field, support de-radicalisation through public information, and others.

The third act entrusted the authority of delimitation of constituencies on the Election Commission amending section 6, 8 and 9 of the Punjab Local Government Act of 2013. The amended Act provides for the Election Commission to delimit and notify the Union Council and its subordinate wards, a Municipal Committee and its subject wards. The EC will also cause to be prepared or adapted the electoral rolls for the election of Local Government and revise such rolls from time to time.

The thin Opposition in the House opposed the Chairmanship of Provincial Security Council by the Chief Minister saying the CM was such a busy man that he did not have time to appear in the assembly and even appoint vice chancellors of universities how he would be able to give time to the council to deal with security issues of the province. The Opposition wanted circulation of the bill before its enactment for eliciting views from the lawyers and other segments of the society. But objection of Opposition was turned with vast majority in the house.

The session has been prorogued indefinitely.