LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo has criticised the federal government for cutting education sector allocations by almost 11 percent in the 2014-2015 budget.
“It speaks volumes of the level of commitment of the present government with education sector,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
He said that education played a pivotal role in overall social development of society and decrease in its budget clearly suggested erroneous priorities of the government.
Wattoo maintained that “bureaucratic budget” of the Punjab government would also reflect the same trend because they (government functionaries) were in favour of outsourcing this important sector to the private sector; thus providing the private sector an opportunity to swindle all and sundry. He added that the private sector had been squeezing the poor and middle class people dry, as they have to pay hefty tuition fees. They were being forced to send their children to private schools for the sake of quality education, which was not available in government schools, he observed.
Wattoo demanded the Punjab government to improve the quality of education at public schools. He maintained that nobody would like to send their children to such schools where even bare minimum facilities for students and teachers were not available.
He urged that the Punjab chief minister to concentrate on improvement of education quality and academic environment instead of spending hefty resources on showpiece projects like expressways, metro trains or metro busses.
“How demoralised teachers could play their role in imparting quality education when they were subjected to administration’s brutalities when they protested for the acceptance of their legitimate demands?” he asked.
He called upon the Punjab government to abandon the patronage of discriminatory education policy of building and projecting Daanish schools and instead focus on responding to the needs of major population of the province. Provision of education to all and sundry was of paramount importance for a responsible citizenry, he added.
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