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Pakistan

CM chairs meeting to review progress on schools reforms programme

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday presided over a three-hour meeting here to review progress on the School Reforms Road map Programme.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said the reforms in the education system introduced by the Punjab government were producing positive results and the provincial government has made wonder progress in this regard and considerable progress had been made in achieving targets.

He said education standards had improved due to introduction of IT.

He said the Punjab government had outsourced 4,300 schools under the private-public partnership, and the enrollment of students and quality

of education had increased in these schools after the initiative of public-private partnership.

The CM said the model of the public-private partnership would be further extended. He said standardized education was the right of every child and this right would be ensured at any cost.

He said the implementation of the road map of school reforms would be ensured with continuity. He said enrollment from private schools to public schools had increased to 33 per cent, while percentage of retention had increased by 57 per cent but more hard work was needed to achieve enrollment target.

Shehbaz Sharif said merit was being ensured at any cost in every project of the Punjab government and lakhs of teachers had been recruited purely on merit.

He said the Punjab Education Endowment Fund was a great project and over 200,000 deserving students had got benefited from the fund and the project was the biggest project of South Asia.

The Chief Minister said the Punjab government had distributed education scholarships worth Rs 12 billion and by the end of this year the students benefited from this project will increase to 350,000.

He said girl student of less developed districts of the province were getting scholarship from the Zewar-e-Taleem Project and more vouchers under this scheme would be distributed by 2018 and this project would change education scenario in the province. He said we should work as a team to achieve targets of the road map reforms.

Managing Partner DFID Sir Michael Barber said the Punjab government was proceeding with the road map program in excellent manner and immense improvement had been noted in the enrolment and education quality.

He said due to personal interest of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif the road map programme was moving forward at the fast pace. He said Shehbaz Sharif had promoted merit and transparency in every field.

Chief DFID Joanna Reed said the Punjab government had made remarkable progress in the education sector under the strong leadership of CM Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab was moving in the right direction under his leadership.

The DFID will continue support in the education sector. The measures of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the education sector were praiseworthy, Joanna added.

Besides senior officials of World Bank, British Council, UNICEF and Roadmap Programme, 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.