CM chairs meeting to review progress on schools reforms program

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif here today presided over a three hour meeting here to review progress on the School Reforms Roadmap Program.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said the reforms in the education system introduced by the Punjab government are producing positive results and the provincial government has made wonder progress in this regard and considerable progress has been made in achieving targets. He said education standards have improved due to introduction of IT.

He said the Punjab government has outsourced 4,300 schools under the private-public partnership, and the enrolment of students and quality of education have increased in these schools after the initiative of public-private partnership. He said this model of the public-private partnership will be further extended. He said standardized education is the right of every child and this right will be ensured at any cost.

He said the implementation of the roadmap of school reforms will be ensured with continuity. He said enrolment from private schools to public schools has increased to 33 per cent, while percentage of retention has increased by 57 per cent but more hard work is needed to achieve enrolment target. He said merit is being ensured at any cost in every project of the Punjab government and lakhs of teachers have been recruited purely on merit. He said the Punjab Education Endowment Fund is a great project and over 200,000 deserving students have got benefited from the fund and this project is the biggest project of South Asia.

The Chief Minister said the Punjab government has distributed education scholarships worth 12 billion rupees and by the end of this year the students benefitted from this project will increase to 350,000. He said girl student of less developed districts of the province are getting scholarship from the Zewar-e-Taleem Project and more vouchers under this scheme will be distributed by 2018 and this project will change education scenario in the province. He said we should work as a team to achieve targets of the roadmap reforms.

Managing Partner DFID Sir Michael Barber said the Punjab government is proceeding with the roadmap program in excellent manner and immense improvement has been noted in the enrolment and education quality. He said due to personal interest of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif the roadmap program is moving forward at the fast pace. He said Shehbaz Sharif has promoted merit and transparency in every field.

Chief DFID Joanna Reed said the Punjab government has made remarkable progress in the education sector under the strong leadership of CM Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab is moving in the right direction under his leadership. DFID will continue support in the education sector. The measures of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the education sector are praiseworthy,’’ Joanna added.

Besides senior officials of World Bank, British Council, UNICEF and Roadmap Program, provincial education minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, provincial minister higher education Syed Ali Raza Gillani, Adviser Dr. Umer Saif, Chief Secretary, Chairman Punjab Education Foundation, Secretaries of concerned departments and education experts were present on the occasion.