John Casson meets Shehbaz

LAHORE, June 16 (APP): British Ambassador John Casson
on Thursday met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif here.

Matters of mutual interest and cooperation regarding
promotion of education were discussed during the meeting. British Ambassador John Casson was serving as British Ambassador to Egypt.
British Ambassador lauded comprehensive reforms and
implementation of effective programme for the promotion of education in Punjab.

He said that Punjab has displayed outstanding performance
in education sector under the leadership of Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab government has achieved impressive targets for the promotion of education.

Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif said that Britain
and Pakistan are strong partners in the journey to progress and prosperity, adding that cooperation of DFID in education, health and skill development sectors was appreciable.

He said that Punjab government has achieved various milestones
in education, health and skill development sectors. He said that solid programme has been evolved for empowering the youth through education.

Shehbaz said that record funds have been allocated in the
budget of new fiscal year for improving education, health, skill development and other social sectors, adding that a system has been evolved with the help of information technology for check and balance in reforms programme, he added.

The chief minister said that special resources have been
provided for the construction of 36,000 new classrooms in schools. He said that more than 19,000 additional classrooms in schools and missing facilities would be made available in all schools at a cost of Rs 28 billion during next financial year.

He said that 11,000 out of 36000 new classrooms would be
constructed with the cooperation of British Department for International Development (DFID) in next two years which will cost Rs 17.60 billion.

Referring to steps taken for the promotion of education in
South Punjab, the chief minister said that an amount of monthly stipend for female students from class six to ten has been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 1000 in 11 districts of South Punjab and about 400,000 female students of these backward districts would benefit from this programme.

He said that more than 50,000 children working at brick
kilns throughout the province have been enrolled and now the scope of this campaign would be expanded to workshops, petrol pumps and small hotels.

He said that Punjab government has recruitted teachers
through on pure merit, adding that educational expenditures of 2,000,000 girls and boys were being borne under voucher scheme of Punjab Education Foundation. The volume of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund has reached to Rs 16 billion while Rs four billion more were being given during next financial year which will increase the volume of this fund to Rs 20 billion, he maintained.

The chief minister said that four more Daanish schools
would be established in different districts of South Punjab during next financial year. The students are educated through smart boardsin Daanish schools and the children studying in these schools are becoming custodian to peace, he added.

Provincial Minister for School Education Rana Mashhood
Ahmed Khan, Chairman Punjab Education Foundation MPA Engineer
Qamar ul Islam Raja, Special Secretary Schools Education and other officials were also present on the occasion.