Lahore—British Ambassador John Casson met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, here Thursday and discussed matters of mutual interest and cooperation regarding promotion of education.
British Ambassador lauded comprehensive reforms and implementation of effective programme for the promotion of education in Punjab. He said that Punjab has displayed outstanding performance in education sector under the leadership of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab government has achieved impressive targets for the promotion of education.
He said that under the leadership of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab government has set commendable example by introducing comprehensive reforms and taking significant measures in education sector. British Ambassador said that he wants to implement successful educational model of Punjab in Egypt and needs cooperation in this regard. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that Britain and Pakistan are strong partners in the journey to progress and prosperity. He said that cooperation of DFID in education, health and skill-development sectors is appreciable.
The Chief Minister said that special resources have been provided for the construction of 36000 new classrooms in schools. He said that more than 19000 additional classrooms in schools and missing facilities will be made available in all schools at a cost of Rs. 28 billion during next financial year. Shehbaz Sharif said that British department DFID is also extending cooperation in this programme of Punjab government.
He said that 11000 out of 36000 new classrooms will be constructed with the cooperation of DFID in next two years which will cost Rs.17.60 billion. Referring to steps taken for the promotion of education in south Punjab, the Chief Minister said that amount of monthly stipend for girl students from class six to ten has been increased from Rs.200 to Rs.1000 in 11 districts of South Punjab and about four lakh girl students of these backward districts will benefit from this programme.
Shehbaz Sharif said that education is the only key for a nation to move ahead and youth of the province are being empowered through education.
He said that more than 50 thousand children working at brick kilns throughout out the province have been enrolled after ridding child labour and now the scope of this campaign will be expanded to workshops, petrol pumps and small hotels.
He said that lakhs of persons have been made skilled through Punjab Skill Development Company and this programme started from South Punjab is being expanded to other districts under a phased programme. He said that 20 lakh youth will be made skilled in accordance with the needs of market within next two years.
He said that Punjab government has recruited teachers through hundred percent merit. He said that educational expenditure of 20 lakh girls and boys are being borne under voucher scheme of Punjab Education Foundation.
He said that the volume of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund has reached 16 billion rupees and four billion rupees more are being given during next financial year which will increase the volume of this fund to Rs. 20 billion. Shehbaz Sharif said that resource less but talented girl and boy students are getting higher education through the income of this fund and the number of such students has reached 1.5 lakh who are studying through educational funds.