Rs.345 Billion for Education Sector in Financial Year 2017-18: Shehbaz Sharif

Lahore, June 15, 2017 (PPI-OT):Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that durable promotion of education sector is the basis of sustainable development of the nation and different developed nations have earned a niche in the comity of nations due to their developed educational systems. Knowledge is an asset which is not limited to anyone but a collective fundamental right of everybody. That is the reason, Punjab government has made the promotion of education its priority agenda and most comprehensive and composite reforms have been introduced in the education sector so as to make it compatible with the international standards.

He further said that Punjab government is ever-ready for bringing improvements in the education sector because it is the education which helps in dealing with different issues including poverty, joblessness and ignorance. As like previous years, Punjab government has recommended different innovative steps for the promotion of education in the upcoming financial budget. It has, therefore, allocated huge funds for the education sector amounting to Rs.345 billions which is around Rs.33 billion more than current year’s funds. It is for the first time in the history of the province that such a colossal sum has been provided for the education sector.

He said that Rs.230 billion have been provided for District Education Authorities while girls’ stipends have been enhanced in 16 less-developed areas under Zawar-e-Taleem Programme. A total of 4 lakh and 62 thousand needy girls are fully benefiting from this programme. An amount of Rs.6.5 billion has been provided for this programme in the next financial year. It is heartening that this programme has been proved very useful for enhancing as well as maintaining the enrollment ratio in the schools. He said that thousands of additional classrooms are being constructed in public sector schools under Khadim-e-Punjab School Programme.

Rs.6.5 billion will be spent on this programme and a total of 36 thousand new classrooms will be constructed in primary schools situated in different districts of the province. He hoped that these beneficial steps will go a long way in enhancing the enrollment ratio in schools. On the other side, Rs.3.5 billion will be provided for the provision of free textbooks in the government schools, he added. The Chief Minister said that solar panels will be given in electricity-less schools under Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme adding that billions of rupees would be provided for it. He further said that this programme will be initiated from southern Punjab schools where thousands of educational institutions will be lighted through solar energy and lakhs of students will benefit from this wonderful programme.

He said that this programme is a unique pioneering project in the country which would help to improve the educational environment in different schools situated in remote hinterlands by provision of solar panels. The Chief Minister said that the budget of the programme aimed to provide free education in private schools at the expense of the government has been enhanced to Rs.16 billion and added that 2.5 millions deserving students have been enrolled in partner schools of Punjab Education Foundation. Three lakh needy students will also be given the opportunity of free education in PEF partner schools by 2018. This unique initiative has altogether changed the educational scenario in the province, he added.

The Chief Minister further said that a comprehensive policy has been adopted to mould the educational system according to needs and requirements of the modern-day challenges. Different proactive steps including merit-based appointment of teachers, Zawar-e-Taleem Programme, teachers trainings, reimbursement of fees, increase and up-gradation of schools and colleges, enhancement in science and computer labs, promotion of IT through TEVTA, distribution of laptops among brilliant students, study tours of students of different international educational institutions as well holding of literary contests and other useful initiatives are a clear proof of education-friendliness of the Punjab government, concluded the Chief Minister.

For more information, contact:
Directorate General Public Relations, Punjab (DGPR)
Government of the Punjab
21-Mahmood Gaznavi Road (Abbot Road), Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-99201390-1-2
Fax: +92-42-99201371-2

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