LAHORE: United Kingdom Ambassador to Egypt John Casson on Thursday visited the head office of the Punjab Educational Foundation (PEF).
Casson visited the PEF office to peruse the foundation’s various programmes. PEF Chairman Qamarul Islam Raja and Managing Director Tariq Mahmood briefed the envoy on the pivotal role being essayed by the foundation in the education sector.
Raja said over two million deserving boys and girls were being provided quality education through a province-wide network of over 6,000 partner schools. This, he said, had opened new avenues of progress by ensuring that children from disadvantaged backgrounds had access to quality education.
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The British envoy was informed that the PEF paid a monthly fee of between Rs550 and Rs1,100 per each student to partner schools. The ambassador was told that this was in addition to ensuring the provision of free textbooks to every beneficiary. The envoy was told that girls constituted 45 per cent of the foundation’s beneficiaries. Casson was told that those hailing from the minorities had also been deriving great benefit from the foundation’s various programmes.
The envoy was informed that an inclusive education project had also been initiated across the Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Vehari districts with the assistance of PEF partner schools. Casson was told that the initiative had been taken to transform the differently-abled into productive members of society by ensuring they had access to quality education. The envoy was told that other developing countries could replicate the foundation’s initiatives for the benefit of their citizens.
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The ambassador was also briefed on various IT interventions and teacher training programmes. The envoy was informed that the steps had been taken to facilitate better performance standards among those teaching across the foundation’s partner schools. Casson was told that a district-level mechanism had been formulated to streamline partner school operations and ensure effective monitoring.
Directors of various PEF programmes also briefed those present on the initiatives taken by them to promote education at the grassroots.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2016.