Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal admitted on Sunday that 5.5 million or 40 percent of the Pakistani children were still out of schools.

Addressing a prize distribution ceremony held at Narowal under the auspices of National Rural Development Programme (NRDP), he said that according to UNESCO reports, 5.5 million children do not go to the schools in Pakistan, which is criminal negligence of the officials concerned.

He added that the promulgation of uniform education system for everyone in the country was the demand of the day and the government was actively focusing on it. He said that the educational upgradation and development is vital for social development and national prosperity.

He said that students were the future of the country and the coming generations would have to defend the ideological and geographical boundaries of the country by making as it was envisaged by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Later, he distributed prizes to the local brilliant students.

However, he added that the government was encouraging brilliant students by providing them with various opportunities to shine and then serve the nation in a better way.

He stressed a need for promoting quality education. He urged the teachers and parents to focus on the character building of students and providing them with quality education. He said children are the future of the nation.

He said that the government had established 150 new schools in Narowal district during the last eight years. He said that 3,000 students had been enrolled in different schools jointly by National Rural Development Programme (NRDP) and British Council Islamabad under British Council’s specially designed programme “Take a child to school”.

Addressing a public meeting at Kundanpur near Sucheetgarh, MNA Armughan Subhani said that the time was ripe to fulfill all the political promises made to the masses. He said that the government was striving to eliminate the backwardness of the Sialkot border villages by raising the living standard of the people by ensuring the easy and smooth provision of basic facilities at their doorsteps.

He expressed complete solidarity with the people living in Sialkot border villages against the hostilities of Indian Border Security Forces (BSF). He added that early elimination of backwardness of the Sialkot border villages was the priority of the government.

He said that the construction work of projects of establishing Govt Girls Degree College at bordering village Bajra Garhi and construction and conversion of Sialkot-Kingra Road, in Pasrur tehsil along the Sialkot Working Boundary was briskly underway.

The MNA revealed that the government was spending Rs1.20 billion on these projects for providing better education and communication facilities for students.