LAHORE: Quality education is essential for realising the dream of progress and prosperity, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday.
He was addressing a function arranged to honour students Mahzeb Nasim and Naurin Kausar, who obtained record marks in 9th class exams. The chief minister congratulated both students, their parents and teachers.
He also gave a cash prize of Rs100,000 and a laptop for each student. He said Rs0.5 million each were being placed in accounts of both students. He also gave cash prizes (Rs50,000) each to their teachers. Shahbaz Sharif announced that the government will bear the educational expenses of both the students throughout their academic careers.
“The government has started revolutionary programmes for the promotion of quality education and imparting education to talented children of poor families. The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) has also been established,” he said.
Shahbaz Sharif said that with income from the Rs20 billion fund, more than 100,000 talented students were getting education. “These students will become doctors, engineers, bankers and professors with the help of this revolutionary fund,” he said.
The CM said that similar funds should be set up in Balochistan, the KPK, Sindh and Azad Kashmir. “Education is the only way to change the destiny of the nation. Sit-ins should be staged only for such objectives. It is time to denote all our energies for providing education to the youth who are future of the nation,” he said.
The chief minister said that protest sit-ins would be disastrous for the country. “The examination system has also been made transparent,” he said.
Talking to reporters after the event, the chief minister said that what happened in Karachi on Monday was a sad chapter in the country’s history.
“The leader of a political party, who has been living abroad for decades, made deplorable remarks about Pakistan. The whole nation is in a state of shock,” he said. Shahbaz Sharif said the law would have to take its course so that no one could make such comments in future. “As Pakistanis, we owe everything to the country. The objectionable remarks against Pakistan have hurt the nation’s sentiments,” he said.
Gujranwala Federal Science School Principal Mehmood Ahmed, Khalid bin Waleed High School, Kabirwala Principal Qaiser Nadeem, teachers and parents of the students were also present.
The government has decided to form separate Saaf Pani companies for south and north Punjab.
The decision was taken in a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday. The CM said that provision of clean drinking water was vital for health. “Billions of rupees will be spent on the project to provide clean drinking water to the citizens,” he said.
The chief minister presided over a meeting of the steering committee on missing children. He expressed satisfaction over the efforts for the recovery of missing children. “Measures taken for the recovery or return of missing children to their homes are commendable,” he said.
The CM directed the Prosecution Department to actively perform its duties for early disposal of kidnapping cases. “Legislation should be done to declare crime against children a non-bailable offence,” he said.
The meeting was informed that 18 children had been returned to their homes or been recovered during the past six days. Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah, CM’s Special Assistant Rana Maqbool Ahmed, MPA Jahangir Khanzada and several police officials were present.
The chief minister congratulated the Pakistani cricket team on achieving the first position in the ICC test ranking.
In a felicitation message, the chief minister said that it was a great honour for the national team.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2016.