Education minister lauds CM’s education reforms


LAHORE – Punjab Education Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman has stated that the provincial government under the sagacious leadership of Chief Minister Mr. Shahbaz Sharif has for the first time in the country’s history introduced far-reaching reforms in education sector for improving quality of education and literacy rate to radically uplift socio-economic conditions of people.
He was addressing participants of one-day seminar on “Regional Economic Cooperation in South Asia” organized by the Centre for South Asian Studies, New Campus at its seminar hall here on Wednesday. Former Foreign Secretary Mr. Shamshad Ahmad Khan, Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar and Prof Dr Javed Ahmad also addressed the audience.
The Education Minister said that unless until the existing two percent allocation for education is raised to four percent, and knowledge of modern sciences and technology is imparted to the younger generation, Pakistan cannot achieve its rightful and honourable place in the comity of advanced nations. Giving details of the revolutionary measures adopted by the provincial leadership, the Education Minister said presently there is not a single ghost school in the entire province. He said a huge amount equal to total provincial development outlay of Rs 150 billion is required to cater to the missing facilities in all the 63000 schools of the province.
He said the government is extending handsome scholarships to meet the academic expenses of 16000 students out of the proceeds of Punjab Education Endowment Fund set up with a seed money of Rs 2 billion. The private schools are also being compelled to adopt the curriculum of government run schools for enforcement of a uniform system of education.
State-of-the-art 2486 IT labs costing Rs 5 billion have been provided at school level so that the students could benefit from the latest computer and internet facility. He said Punjab has taken the lead in introducing BS 4-years programme in 26 colleges of the province to ensure high-quality education to student community. In addition, the Chief Minister is also launching the establishment of Danish School from the remote district of Rahimyar Khan on Thursday where education would imparted to the children of the poor and under-privilege.
Delivering his keynote address, former Foreign Secretary Mr. Shamshad Ahmad Khan observed that 57 Muslim countries posses 70 percent reserves of oil and gas of the world but their share in world GDP is only five percent.
He said the weakest link responsible for our economic backwardness is the criminal neglect shown to educational promotion by our successive rulers.
He said we cannot achieve 100 percent literacy target by setting up islands of state-of-the-art academic institutions for children of affluent classes surrounded by a sea of countless government schools meant for students coming from resource-less and deprived families.
He said the political leadership should atleast spend ten percent of country’s GDP on education. He also stressed the need for riding the country of VVIP culture because unless the present fake degree holder and plunderer of national resources are removed from power, the country cannot be set on the road to progress and prosperity. Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar and nProf Dr Javed Ahmad also addressed the audience.