PEF plans new education policy to enrol dropouts

* PEF MD says specially designed syllabus of 40-month duration will be adopted to educate out-of-school children
PEF plans new education policy  to enrol dropouts

LAHORE: The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has envisaged adopting a new education policy for admitting dropouts and out of school children in various PEF partner schools in the province. 
These children will be admitted under the public-private partnership model, which is designed to give free education to all such children. 
Punjab Education Foundation Managing Director Dr Aneela Salman stated this while presiding over a meeting with international education adviser Dr Paul Clarke at the PEF head office on Saturday. 
Besides the PEF DMDs and programme heads, DFID Pakistan’s Sana and McKenzie Roadmap Team’s Faisal Tajdaar were also present on the occasion. 
Paul Clarke, who is also the co-founder of Pop-Up-Foundation as well as a consultant of Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), spoke in detail about the international experience in promoting education in different marginalised societies in Africa on a sustainable basis and highlighted how this rich exposure could help Pakistani students who mostly belong to impecunious strata. 
He also talked about sustainable solutions and how to decouple human progress from resource use and environmental decline. 
The PEF MD disclosed that a specially designed syllabus of 40-month duration would be adopted to educate out-of-school students so that they could complete their primary-level education in 40 months and then take admission in high schools for further studies. 
She maintained that the foundation had arranged best learning environment for its students, adding that that PEF model had helped lessen child labour at the grassroots. “The PEF has also strengthened low-cost private schools through its useful interventions which are positive, cost-effective and result-oriented,” she added.
The meeting was also given a briefing on different educational programmes by their respective heads.
Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for Excise and Taxation Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said that the Department for International Development DFID had specially lauded the chief minister’s roadmap for development of education sector in the province. 
He said that under the Chief Minister’s Reforms Roadmap, 92 percent attendance of teachers and students and 96 percent availability of facilities and inspection of schools had been ensured. Earlier, this ratio was 60 percent and 62 percent, respectively. 
Briefing various delegations of party workers at his residence, Shujaur Rehman said that the present government took solid measures due to which enrolment of students exceeded 11 million and the results of metric, middle and fifth classes were also very encouraging. 
He said that due to the practical measures of CM Shahbaz Sharif, the enrolment of students in government schools had been raised to 11.273 million. He said that funds worth Rs 7.5 billion had been provided to the Punjab Education Foundation for the help of private schools. He said that enrolment of 1.5 million children under the voucher scheme would be ensured until April. He said that under the vision of the CM, 100 percent enrolment of children in schools would be achieved in a couple of years.
He also said that IT labs had been set up in more than 5,000 high schools and 515 middle schools during the last five years. He said that scholarships of Rs 12 billion were being provided to more than 50,000 students within the country and abroad from the endowment fund. He said that more than 75,000 teachers had been recruited on merit in a transparent manner for removing shortage of schoolteachers throughout the province, and 80,000 more teachers would be recruited to overcome the shortage of teachers. He said that modern science lab had been established in 1,000 high schools of the province at a cost of Rs 1 billion. He said that the government was implementing a comprehensive strategy for imparting modern education to the students and Rs 244 billion would be spent on the education sector during the current fiscal year, which was 26 percent of the total budget of the province.

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