Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Monday said the Punjab School Reforms Programme had had a “very positive impact” on the education sector and attendance of teachers in schools had improved.
He said the enrolment campaign was underway across the province.
He said the government hoped to enrol all children of school-going age by 2016.
He was presiding over a meeting to review the progress of the Punjab Education School Reforms Roadmap.
Special representative on education of the British Department for International Development (DFID) Sir Michael Barber gave a briefing to the meeting on the programme.
DFID Head Richard Montgomery, Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, the chief secretary and the Planning and Development chairman were also present.
The chief minister said providing modern education to children was the only way to a prosperous future.
He said dedicating resources for education was not an expense but an investment.
He said the government had developed a policy for the uplift of the education sector.
He said funds would be utilised on provision of missing facilities in schools by the end of this year. He said over Rs7 billion rupees has been provided for provision of missing facilities in schools across the province while Rs5 billion had been utilised.
Sharif said 140,000 teachers had been recruited over the last five years. He said the government would continue recruiting teachers this year.
The chief minister further said the number of teachers in schools was being rationalised with the ratio of students.
He said administrative control of schools at Cholistan had been handed over to the Schools Department.
He said the Punjab Education Foundation was playing a vital role in promotion of education and 125 new schools in south Punjab had been included in the programme. He said the number of schools under the foundation had reached 3,600.
The chief minister said digital monitoring system should be set up to check attendance of teachers in schools.
British educationist Sir Michael Barber said attendance of teachers in schools had considerably improved due to implementation of the reforms programme.
He said the Punjab Education Foundation had achieved its targets of promotion of education.
DFID head Richard Montgomery said textbooks had been provided in schools for the first time before the start of new academic session which was a “splendid achievement.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2014.