LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that promotion of education is essential for changing the destiny of the nation and elimination of extremism and violence.

The chief minister said this while addressing the prize distribution ceremony for position holders students in matric and intermediate examination of 2014 at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Wednesday.

As many as 418 position holders of Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and federal boards were given Rs18 crore while 370 teachers showing excellent performance were given cash prizes of Rs5.5 crore as well as commendatory certificates.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan, members assembly, vice chancellors, parents, teachers, intellectuals, educationists, columnists and a large number of students attended the function.

“Terrorism is the biggest hurdle in progress and prosperity of the country. Bullets are effective against the menace of terrorism but tables of education, justice, health and employment opportunities are also of vital importance for resolving this issue. Education can help eradicate extremism, terrorism and militancy and transforming Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid and Iqbal,” the CM held.

The chief minister said that energy problem was a big challenge which would be overcome during next three years through hard work and commitment. He said that promotion of education was also necessary for development of agriculture, industry, trade and other social sectors.

“Pakistani youth are very talented and imparting of modern education to them can help in making Pakistan a modern Islamic welfare state. Reforms in education system are necessary for achieving the desire results from the steps taken by the government for promotion of education,” he further added.

He appealed to vice chancellors of universities, teachers, parents and all stakeholders to come forward and evolve such a system which could ensure a bright future to the country and a prominent status in the comity of nations.

The chief minister also announced that from next year, besides visit to universities of Europe, position holder students would also be sent for Umrah.

The chief minister appreciated the proposal of sending position holders to Umrah. He said that if position holders want, they will be sent to Umrah before their return to the country next year. He said that this is also the teaching of Holy Quran.

Shahbaz Sharif expressed his pleasure to be present in the function held in the honour of position holder students. Congratulating position holders, he said that they had won laurels for parents, teachers and the entire nation through their hard work. He said that the students had got position in such a system where it was impossible to use unfair means.

Shahbaz Sharif said that the Punjab government, people of the province and the entire nation saluted the students on their excellent performance in examinations in such a system. He said that visits to prestigious educational institutions of Europe are arranged for position holder students which create confidence in them.

Referring to terrorism and extremism, Shahbaz Sharif Pak Army is fighting terrorists bravely. He said that children, elderly persons, women, Pak Army and officers and officials of security agencies are rendering sacrifices in the war against terrorism and more than 50 thousand Pakistanis have sacrificed their lives.

He said that educational system cannot be set right without consultation of teachers, parents and stakeholders. He said that concerned institutions have to play their role for harmonizing educational policy with the demands of present era.

Provincial Minister for Education, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan while addressing the function said that people of Punjab are fortunate that they have a knowledge friendly and visionary leader like Shahbaz Sharif.