On empowerment: Our youth have brought us great honour, says Shahbaz

‘Soon hundreds of thousands of deserving students will be getting scholarships’ says Shahbaz Sharif.


Our Correspondent February 17, 2014
‘Soon hundreds of thousands of deserving students will be getting scholarships’ says Shahbaz Sharif.

LAHORE:


“We are proud of our youth, who despite heavy rain on Saturday set the world record for the biggest human flag...their discipline, hard work and patriotism is admirable and I am confident they can achieve anything they set their minds to,” Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday.


He was addressing a meeting also attended by Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, National Assembly Member Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, the information secretary and Sports Board Director General Usman Anwer.

Sharif said, “We are a fortunate in that 60 per cent of Pakistan’s population comprises people between 15 and 30 years of age.”

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The youth are a precious asset for the country and their empowerment could lead to national development and prosperity, he said. “Our future depends on them,” he said. The government has initiated several revolutionary programmes to empower this segment of population and has allocated billions of rupees for this purpose, said Sharif.

“More than 50,000 talented students have availed scholarships to study at local and foreign educational institutes through the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund,” said the chief minister. More than 200,000 laptops worth more than Rs80 billion had been distributed among brilliant students last year, “we will launch a similar programme this year,” he said.

The government has also taken the initiative to launch the first Information Technology University of the country, an e-learning programme and IT labs in several educational institutes to help polish talents of the young generation. Sharif said the Punjab Youth Festival had become a movement. “Our youth have brought us great honours through their efforts in breaking the world record.”

Sharif also appreciated the dedicated efforts of Rana Mashhood Khan and Usman Anwer for making the festival a great success.

The chief minister said the government was spending a lot of resources to empower the youth and to provide them modern education and skills. He said providing the youth sufficient resources would guarantee a bright future for the country.

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Sharif said the government had taken revolutionary measures to empower the youth over the last five years and massive funds had been spent on their welfare. He said the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund was an exemplary programme that had helped a large number of students facing economic problems pursue their studies. He said Rs2 billion had been added to the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund each year. The volume of the fund had exceeded Rs10 billion and will reach Rs20 billion during the next five years. “Soon hundreds of thousands of students from poor families will be able to benefit from the programme,” he said. The chief minister said Rs12,000 monthly stipends were being offered under the government’s internship programme. The programme also offered students hands-on experience in various sectors.

He said the youth festival had provided young people a platform to display their talents...similar programmes will be launched in the near future. “I am confident we will see many more world records being set during the Punjab Youth Festival 2014.”

The chief minister also said that the government’s strategy to empower the youth to make them self reliant individuals would yield positive results and change the destiny of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2014.

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