ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif today unveiled a comprehensive overhaul of the capital’s government schools and colleges and pledged major investment in teacher training and building improvements.

More than 440 schools and colleges will benefit from new science and IT laboratories, libraries and a fleet of 200 extra buses. New toilets and clean drinking water will also be provided.

The initiative addresses widespread concern about dilapidated buildings and low teaching standards in government schools and colleges, particularly those in the capital’s suburbs.

The prime minister launched his programme this morning on the outskirts of the capital where he announced the upgrade of Government Model School Punjgran to a college.

The multi-million programme has been developed by Ms Maryam Nawaz Sharif , the Prime Minister’s daughter said, who accompanied him at the launch following a recent inspection tour of school facilities in and around Islamabad.

On Thursday she published a series of photographs showcasing improvements made at 21 schools where refurbishment is already underway and due for completion  on January 15th. They highlighted run-down buildings before the work began and smart new classrooms and manicured grounds after. “[The] future of our generations [is] to become bright as Prime Minister brings Educational reform for Roshan Pakistan,” Ms Maryam Nawaz declared a day before the launch.

State Minister for CADD Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Health Minister Ms Saira Afzal Tarar joined the prime minister and his daughter for the launch.

Mr Sharif later told teachers and students at Government Model School Punjgran that his government was committed to provide quality education for which they would be providing maximum funds.

 “I want to see all these schools and colleges equipped with state of the art facilities... I want to see each and every kid in the capital territory enrolled in school,” he said.

Schools and colleges in Federal Capital should be a model for the rest of the country and asked the provincial governments to mirror its investment.  

Under his education reforms programme all the 442 schools and colleges of in the Federal Capital territory will be renovated over the next six months, said Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.

Besides refurbishing the infrastructure the programme also includes refresher courses for teachers.  Foreign scholarships will be offered to the most promising young teachers, he added.