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27,512 schools to be upgraded: CM

LAHORE: Under a phase-wise programme, 27,512 primary and elementary schools in Punjab will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 50 billion. The first phase will be started from August 1, and 4 million students will be benefited from this programme, this was stated by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar while addressing a press conference here on Saturday.

He said that the promotion of education was the top priority of the incumbent government for which no stone will be left unturned.

The government will continue to take all out efforts for the promotion of education. In the first phase, 21,000 primary schools will be upgraded to elementary level at a cost of Rs 17 billion. In the second phase of this programme, 6653 elementary schools will be upgraded to high school level, he added.

According to the procedure and keeping in view the number of students, elementary classes will be held in existing primary schools and there will be secondary classes in the second shift of elementary schools. He said that only teachers and staff will be paid honorarium whereas 6,653 computers and science labs will be set up for the students of 9th and 10th class in elementary schools. Usman Buzdar maintained that Rs 295 billion would have required if the government adopted a traditional way of upgrading schools.

This project will save Rs245 billion, he mentioned. The 27,517 schools in the first and second phase of this project include 11,501 schools from Central Punjab, 5402 from Northern Punjab and 10614 primary and elementary schools from Southern Punjab, the said. Usman Buzdar stated that the ratio of Southern Punjab’s schools to be upgraded under this programme was 38 per cent.

The CM assured that there was no need for political recommendation or affiliation for the up-gradation of schools. He said that up-gradation of the schools will be made purely on merit and as per the procedure.

Giving the details of other important steps for the promotion of education, the chief minister said that one million children had been enrolled in a year, including 40 per cent boys and 60 percent girl students. The responsibility of enrolling children had been withdrawn from the teachers, now the Education Officer and the School Council will do this work.

The CM while disclosing third important feature said that a record of B-Form had already been obtained to devise the accurate data of 1.6 million students. He stated that lunch was being provided in 100 government schools with the help of philanthropists while the government was also reviewing to launch this programme in other five districts as well.

The CM said that the Education Department deserve congratulations on these three important initiatives.

Responding to the questions, Usman Buzdar said that teachers do not need to go anywhere for transfer as e-Transfer had been introduced. He said that the government was more focused on the health sector due to coronavirus pandemic.

The project of constructing classrooms will also be completed. The CM said that the revenue system would not only be computerized but also digitised.

He stated that 127 vaccination centres were being operated in Punjab and the provincial government will evolve a policy for private vaccination with the federal government. The decision of administrating the vaccine to the children will be taken with the consultation of experts. Report of vaccinating the influential will soon be surfaced. More steps will be taken as per the decisions of NCOC. All that the government wanted to ensure was the complete implementation of coronavirus SOPs. The government was focusing on its performance, merit and initiatives, the CM said. Special Assistant Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Secretary Education, Secretary Information and other officials were also present on the occasion. Education Minister Dr Murad Raas said after the e-Transfer of teachers, online retirement, leave and promotion system will also be implemented by December 2021.

The CM said the Southern Punjab Secretariat was being further strengthened and empowered as an additional chief secretary will be posted there on a permanent basis. He said this during a meeting with Chief Whip National Assembly Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar who met him at 90-SQA. MNA Karamat Khokhar was also present. Matters regarding mutual interest, development projects and affairs of the Southern Punjab Secretariat came under discussion during the meeting. The chief minister said that setting up Southern Punjab Secretariat was on the credit of the PTI government and asserted that people of backward areas will be benefited from the development. The incumbent government had a vigilant eye on the problems of every city and completion of the District Development Package will resolve the problems of the people. A special development package had been devised for the development of Multan which will help to redress the long-standing issues of the Multanites. Usman Buzdar further stated that he will visit every city and every area of Punjab. Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar lauded the efforts of the Chief Minister for further improving the Southern Punjab Secretariat related affairs and said that Usman Buzdar won the hearts of the people of Southern Punjab by taking an immediate action. “Your timely action has ended the propaganda of the opponents,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has taken notice of the alleged wrong surgeries in a private hospital of Multan as a result of which some patients lost their eyesight.

The chief minister has sought a report from the health secretary and Multan division commissioner. He directed an impartial inquiry into the matter and sought the report.

He also directed the officers concerned to take action against the responsible. He said the victims should be compensated. Special attention should be paid to the treatment of the affectees, he concluded.

The CM has also taken notice of the death of a motorcyclist when a kite string slit his throat near Shahabpura in Sialkot. The chief minister sought a report from Regional Police Officer (RPO) Gujranwala and ordered to take stern action against the negligent police officers. The chief minister warned that kite-flying incidents were intolerable. He directed the police to strictly enforce the ban on kite-flying besides taking indiscriminate action against the culprits. The CM expressed heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of the deceased.

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