LAHORE, Dec 2 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif
said in view of importance of education in progress and development, government had taken revolutionary measures for promotion of quality education and equipping the young generation with latest knowledge.
He said Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) had laid the foundation of a revolution in education sector and opened doors of quality education to resource-less but talented students.
The chief minister expressed these views while addressing a function in connection of PEEF at Islamia University Baghdad ul Jadeed Campus, Bahawalpur, on Friday.
He said had such an educational fund been set up 70 years ago, no child would have remained deprived of education and crores of youth would have been playing their due role in national development.
Shehbaz Sharif said elite of the country had created opportunities of higher education for their children whereas children of the poor were deprived of even basic education. He said by starting educational programmes like Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, provincial government had taken a step toward minimizing the gulf between the rich and the poor.
He said this fund of Rs 17 billion for 200,000 was a safe investment for
a bright future of the country, adding that he had this idea during his period of exile and PEEF scholarship programme started seven years ago with a sum of two billion rupees has now a volume of 17 billion rupees.
Shehbaz Sharif said he had the idea of PEEF during his period of exile in Jeddah when a Saudi driver told him that his children were studying with the financial assistance of Saudi government. He said three children of the Saudi driver Ahmed were studying at King Abdullah University with the financial help of Saudi government.
He said it was lamentable that the elite pushed the country into poverty and ignorance during last 70 years due to which majority of Pakistani population was facing deprivations, miseries and unemployment. Such a system was not acceptable to him, he added.
The chief minister said he was determined to ensure a bright and prosperous future for talented and hard working students of the country and Punjab Educational Endowment Fund was a proof of this fact through which thousands of students were getting modern education in engineering, computer science, medicines and other sectors.
He said elimination of economic and social disparity was essential for making Pakistan a great country. He said the dream of Quaid and Iqbal cannot be translated into reality unless the same educational, health and other facilities were available to the children of the poor as are being enjoyed by the children of the elite.
Shehbaz Sharif said though the elite changed their destiny but no attention was paid to the fate of the nation, adding the time would come when the volume of PEEF fund would increase beyond 1700 billion rupees.
He said there was a need to invest in education, research and technology sectors to change the course of history and destiny of the nation.
The Chief Minister said Punjab government had started solar projects in
the desert of Bahawalpur and 400 megawatt power was being added to national grid. He said these projects could have been started earlier but no one paid attention and criminal negligence was shown toward this sector.
He said darkness would be eliminated from the country by the end of 2017.
Earlier chairman PEEF Dr. Amjad Saqib expressed his views about the importance of PEEF scholarship programme started seven years ago and highlighted its role in educational development.
Minister for State on Education & Interior Affairs Baligh ur Rehman, Provincial Minister for Cooperatives Malik Muhammad Iqbal Channer, Provincial Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Senator Ch.
Saud Majeed, MNA Ali Hassan Gillani, MNA Begum Parveen Masood Bhatti, Secretary Information PML-N Punjab Sami Ullah Chaudhry, Vice Chairman PEEF Dr. Amjad Saqib, MPA Fauzia Ayub Qureshi, and others were present on the occasion.