LAHORE  - Quoting a UNICEF report, Governor Punjab Ch. Muhammad Sarwar on Monday said that over 1.4 million Pakistani children with disabilities were currently out of school despite the fact that it was constitutional right of all children to have quality education and safe and healthy environment.

“This problem is even more prevalent for our girls”, he said while addressing to the participants at British Council’s Policy dialogue on “How to foster a more inclusive education system in Pakistan” at Governor House, Lahore, here.  Governor Punjab said that country had some excellent special education institutions but there were too few to meet the growing demand. He said the situation in the Punjab was slightly better compared top other provinces with special education schools in every sub-district.

The panel was chaired by Country Director, British Council Pakistan, Mr. Peter Upton, and featured CEO, British Council, Sir Martin Davidson, Secretary Higher Education, Mr. Abdullah Khan Sumbal, Secretary Special Education, Dr. Ambreen Raza, and Senior Education Advisor Department for International Development (DFID), Ms. Barbara Payne.   The Panelists emphasized the need to cater to the educational needs of special persons and creation of job opportunities for them.  Sarwar said that it was responsibility of the government to ensure implementation on one per cent admission quota for disabled in the universities. He urged both the British Council and the Department for International Development for investing their time and resources in raising the profile of persons with disabilities in Pakistan.