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‘Campaign to enrol out-of-school children to be launched on 1st’

* Shahbaz says revolutionary measures will be taken for restoring confidence in public sector educational institutions
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LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high-level meeting that took a number of important decisions for the promotion of education and capacity building of teachers, and announced launching of an enrolment campaign across Punjab from April 1.
It was also decided to computerise the entire examination system, while approval was given for upgrading primary and elementary schools under a phased programme. 
Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that the process of introducing revolutionary reforms in education sector would be completed speedily as education is the key to development and prosperity. He said that an institutional mechanism would be developed for the promotion of education sector, while in addition to monitoring the measures and programmes for the promotion of education, third-party audit would also be conducted. 
He said that revolutionary measures would be adopted for restoring confidence of people in public sector educational institutions. He said that besides restoring dignity and respect of teachers, special attention would be paid to their training for better education of students. He said that revolutionary reforms would be introduced in teachers’ training programme. He said that for the purpose of automation, the entire system from paper setting to checking and marking would be made foolproof with the help of information technology. 
The chief minister directed that process of computerization of examination system be completed by the end of current year and the new system be introduced from the next academic year. He said that besides high schools, computer labs would also be set up in elementary schools. 
Shahbaz Sharif directed that planning should be made for operating computer labs set up in schools with solar energy so that students could continue their academic activities without interruption. He directed that repair and construction work of the buildings of schools be completed within a year.
He directed that proposals be formulated for setting up of new schools and their operation under public- private partnership. He said that digital monitoring system be evolved as early as possible for checking attendance in schools. He said that besides textbooks, practical notebooks are also being provided in schools free of cost. 
The chief minister directed that for the purpose of promoting book reading culture, digital libraries be set up in parks and other important places where besides facility of online study, books would also be placed. He said that mobile libraries would also be set up in Punjab. 
Giving approval to the launching of enrolment campaign in schools from April 01, the chief minister directed that enrolment of maximum number of students in schools through this campaign will be achieved and the drive will be pursued with a national spirit. He said that process of provision of missing facilities in public schools would be completed by the end of current fiscal year. He said that special incentives would be given to the schools showing outstanding performance. He said that all out resources would be provided for the development of education sector. 
The chief minister said that he will personally review implementation of decisions taken for the promotion of education sector after every two months and no negligence or dereliction will be tolerated in the lasting and durable progress of education sector. 
The education secretary (schools) gave a detailed briefing to the meeting. Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Parliamentary Secretary on Schools Education Joyce Ruffin Julius, Member of Provincial Assembly Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, the additional chief secretary, planning and development chairman, secretaries of departments concerned and senior officials were present. 

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