CM vows to enrol 4 million children in schools

* Pakistan’s high commissioner-designate to Britain calls on Shahbaz * CM expresses sorrow over killing of mediamen in Balochistan

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday said that implementation of Punjab School Reforms Roadmap has substantially improved education sector in the province. 
He said that the target of enrolment of 4 million children in schools would be achieved by October. He said that in order to promote quality education, 140,000 teachers were recruited on merit in Punjab last year.  
He was presiding over a meeting to review Punjab School Reforms Roadmap. International educationist Sir Michael Barber gave a detailed briefing regarding the roadmap. Addressing the meeting, the CM said the Punjab government was spending billions of rupees for the promotion of quality education in the province. 
He said that funds have already been provided for improving educational facilities in public sector schools while this process would continue in future as well. He said that data collection process was being digitalised for making school reforms programme more effective. Shahbaz directed that work on the project of digital monitoring for data collection be further accelerated. He said that billions of rupees were being provided to ensure missing facilities in schools while the ratio of teachers in schools is being rationalized with the number of students. 
The CM issued instructions to form a committee for formulating recommendations for the purpose of improving grades of students and recruitment of quality teachers and directed the committee to submit its recommendation within seven days. Shahbaz directed that Punjab School Reforms Roadmap should be furthered in an effective manner. 
He also directed that immediate measures be taken for installation of solar panels for the supply of electricity to the schools of far-flung areas of Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur. He expressed his indignation over the delay in some matters pertaining to Punjab School Reforms Roadmap and warned that laxity in the implementation of Punjab School Reforms Roadmap will not be tolerated. 
Barber and British Department for International Development (DFID) Country Head Richard Montgomery paid tributes to the vision and determination of the CM for the promotion of quality education in the province. He said that even in present situation he was moving ahead in the field of education and the people know that education, health and infrastructure sectors in Punjab have substantially improved under the his leadership. 
Separately, Pakistan’s High Commissioner-designate to Britain Syed Ibne Abbas called on Shahbaz. Matters of mutual interest and relations between Pakistan and Britain were discussed in the meeting. The CM said that Pakistan and Britain have excellent relations and trade ties. He hoped that the new high commissioner would play an effective role for further improving bilateral relations as well as trade cooperation between the two countries. 
Meanwhile, Shahbaz condemned firing on the office of Online news agency on Jinnah Road in Quetta and expressed sorrow and grief over the death of its bureau chief Irshad Ahmad Mastoi and two other people.

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