Double shifts in schools: The way out

TAKING yet another important and apt initiative to ensure provision of quality education to all children, the Punjab government has decided to launch double shifts in public sector schools with the aim to accommodate maximum number of students who cannot afford going to private schools. The step will also help ensure maximum utilization of facilities available in government schools.
Unfortunately, the country, which takes pride for being a nuclear state is still ranked amongst those few countries where the number of out of school children runs into millions. If we go by the official figures, about twenty four million children are not attending the schools at all while the ratio of dropouts is also very high. These startling figures speak volume of the criminal negligence meted out to the education sector by our successive governments. Present government, however, deserves ovation for devoting its energies and launching different programmes aimed at ensuring maximum facilities in the schools and bring out of school children within the premises of the educational institutions. We are confident that these measures, if were carried out in a sustained manner, will augur well for the future of the country which is faced with multiple challenges including that of extremism, terrorism, sectarianism and intolerance; and in fact equipping the youth with education is the true antidote to address all these evils. As regards Shahbaz Sharif government’s decision to launch evening classes, we understand it is the right step to achieve universal primary education goals and encourage the students especially of poor families to get themselves enrolled in the schools and take a leap towards making their future bright and secured. Provincial government’s decision to recruit forty three thousand teachers and increase the stipend of girls belonging to Southern Punjab to Rs 1000, reflects its strong conviction to promote education by all means. Providing stipends to the students of poor families will indeed help enhance the ratio of enrollment. Taking clue from the Punjab government’s initiative, we will also urge the judiciary to start double shifts to clear huge backlog of cases.

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