LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the target of 100 per cent enrolment of children in schools will be achieved in next five years while the emergency enrolment campaign has been launched. 

He expressed these views while addressing a prize distribution ceremony held in the honour of position holders in the Matric examinations of different educational boards at Chief Minister’s Office

The CM said that active nations have earned their place internationally through skill, education, science and technology, research, honesty adding that Pakistan would lead Muslim countries in future. He said that the youth were an asset of the nation and the Punjab government is doing its best to refine them.

Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Provincial Ministers Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Ch Sher Ali, Dr Farrukh Javed, Ch Muhammad Shafiq, Ata Manika, Special Assistants, Advisors, Members Assembly, Vice Chancellors, intellectuals, columnists, anchors, teachers, parents of position holders and a large number students attended the ceremony. The CM distributed cash prizes of Rs 42.2 million among 127 position holders of nine boards of Punjab, 12 students of Sindh, Khyber PK, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Federal Board Islamabad while 2 students of Daanish School besides Rs 16.8million among teachers.

Shahbaz Sharif said that the Punjab government was distributing prizes for the encouragement of position holders since the last six years which will continue. He said that foreign study tours of the position holders on government expenditure is not only adding to their confidence but also encouraging them to move ahead with hard work and dedication. He said that the majority of the students which is being encouraged here belonged to poor families. He said that Punjab government has set up Daanish Schools for the poor children as they have same right over education as the rich. The CM said children of the poor are acquiring better education in Daanish Schools than that of Acheson College.

The CM said that Punjab government had established Punjab Educational Endowment Fund six years ago and its volume has increased upto Rs.12 billion and more than 50,000 students are continuing their education through educational scholarships. He said that Punjab government wants to further expand the scope of this fund so that such girls and boys could also be included in this programme as cannot continue their education in their early age due to non-availability of resources. He directed Vice Chairman of Fund to evolve a system in this regard.

He said that the country is facing a lot of challenges and difficulties, gas and electricity of billions of rupees is being stolen, national exchequer has been looted mercilessly and Pakistan despite being a nuclear power has been made a beggar country.

The CM said that exports of Bangladesh are more than Pakistan.

The volume of mutual trade between India and China has become $75 billion while that of Pak-China it is only six billion dollars, he added. He said that Pakistan can achieve a respectable status in the world by eliminating poverty and ignorance and by giving top priority to education.