A training programme about to be started for school teachers in the province will be the biggest of its kind in the country’s history, Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed said on Tuesday.
He was speaking at a seminar on Punjab Youth Strategy at a local hotel. It was arranged by the Youth Affairs Department and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Mashhood said the programme would be arranged in cooperation with the British government. He said it would feature courses on English language. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) had already been signed for the purpose with the British Council and the University of London.
Mashhood said work was underway on the establishment of a youth commission in accordance with a first-ever youth policy drafted for the province. He said once the commission was operational work would be started on the establishment of a youth directorate.
The minister said the government’s efforts had led to a significant increase in the number of children enrolled in public schools across the province. He said school enrolment had increased from eight million to 12.5 million in a few years. He said the Education Department had made arrangements for provision of free textbooks to these children.
Mashhood said that no country in the world could claim to have a uniform education system. Private sector is assisting the government in delivering education everywhere, he said. “Efforts should be made to raise the standards at public schools to those at the private schools,” he said.
Mashhood said the provincial government had made arrangements for school enrolment of more than 40,000 children employed at brick kilns. “The government will provide uniform, textbooks and a monthly stipend to these children,” he said. A drive was also underway against kilns employing child labour, he said.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Saifullah Chaudhry briefed the gathering on measures planned under the youth strategy 2013-17.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2016.
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