Punjab stocktake meeting reviews education, health reforms


LAHORE: The education and health stocktake meeting, organised by the Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit (SMU), was held on Thursday in which the Department for International Development (DFID) Managing Partner Sir Michael Barber briefed about the progress achieved on roadmaps in the recent years.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is on a London visit for his medical check-up, participated in the meeting through video link. He was briefed that the education landscape of the province had transformed as another 1.6 million children were in public schools since 2012, with 122 per cent elevation in the budget allocated for education.

350,000 students were receiving special scholarships from the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) and the department of education had reconstructed 7,400 dangerous buildings of schools, Barber briefed the meeting while adding that the initiative of education reforms roadmap helped in the tracking of 11.4 million students in real-time throughout Punjab.

Moreover, the reports of Alif Ailaan and The Economist were presented as evidence to prove that there had been an actual change in Punjab. Barber praised Shehbaz for attending over 50 stocktakes himself.

As far as the health reforms roadmap is concerned, Barber briefed that a million children were being protected by diseases such as measles, 90 per cent children were vaccinated and the establishment of basic health units (BHUs) had increased from 70 in 2014 to 1000 in the year 2018.

It was also told that the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) helped in the geo-tagging of the hospital staff, which ensured regular tests like ultrasound, temperature and blood pressure pulse. The next few targets were to go above 90 per cent immunisation, to increase skilled birth attendance and improve the current malnutrition treatment mark of 18,000.

Joanna Reed, DFID chief, stressed to continue on the roadmap while the Punjab chief minister admired the team for fulfilling his vision for the province and expressed satisfaction over concluding his five-year term on a good note for the provision of basic facilities like health and education.

Provincial Ministers Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique, Syed Raza Ali Gillani, Special Assistant Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, PEEF Vice Chairman Dr Amjad Saqib, Adviser Dr Umer Saif, Punjab Education Foundation Chairman Qamarul Islam, Punjab chief secretary, the secretaries of departments concerned, prominent educationists, journalists and senior officials were among the participants.


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