LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that terrorism, extremism and sectarianism can be eliminated through education.

The chief minister said this while presiding over a meeting on Punjab School Reforms Roadmap, on Thursday.

Special representative of British Department for International Development (DFID) Sir Michael Barber, DFID head in Pakistan Richard Montgomery and the entire team present on the occasion, strongly condemned Peshawar tragedy and expressed deep sympathies with the families of the children and teachers who were martyred in Army Public School Peshawar.

“Success in the war against poverty, unemployment and terrorism also depends upon promotion of education and keeping in view this fact maximum funds are being provided for this purpose,” the CM held.

He said: “Punjab School Reforms Roadmap is yielding positive results for the uplift of education sector and in the new phase of this programme, target has been set to enroll every child of the province till 2018. A spirit of hard work and commitment is required for achieving the new targets.” The chief minister said that the Punjab government was attaching top priority to the uplift of education sector and has taken revolutionary steps for this purpose. He said that new targets had been set under the Punjab School Reforms Roadmap and the 18-point new roadmap was being implemented for achieving all these targets by 2018.

Shahbaz Sharif directed that efforts should be made under the strategy evolved for achieving the targets of enrollment. He said that maintaining continuity of enrollment was a challenge and effective measures should be adopted in the right direction for this purpose.

The chief minister directed that due attention should be paid to quality education in schools and teachers training centers be activated. He said that a comprehensive programme be evolved for the training of teachers on modern lines and immediate implementation of this programme should be ensured.

Giving approval to the recruitment of assistant education officers for improving leadership in schools, Shahbaz Sharif directed that recruitment process should be completed speedily and in a transparent manner. He directed that full benefit should be taken from digital and authentic data in evolving future policies.

Sir Michael Barber said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken effective measures for the promotion of education in the province.

Meanwhile, a delegation of British Council led by its Chief Executive Ciaran Devane met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday and agreed to promote ongoing cooperation with Punjab in education sector.

Talking to the delegation, the chief minister said that Punjab government had taken revolutionary steps for the promotion of education during the last six years. He said that quality education was the right of every child which was being ensured by the government.

He said: “Provincial Higher Education Commission has been set up for the promotion of higher education. The Punjab School Reforms Roadmap Programme is being successfully implemented in the province with the cooperation of British Department for International Development (DFID) and is yielding positive results.”

Shahbaz Sharif said that Skill Development Programme is also being implemented successfully in Punjab with the cooperation of DFID and thousands of youth have been imparted various skills. He said that under Skill Development Programme investment is being made in the youth and they are being provided respectable job opportunities.

The members of the British Council delegation on the occasion said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is taking commendable steps for the uplift of education, health and other social sectors and they are pleased to see the pace of development in Punjab.

They further said that cooperation with Punjab government in education sector would be further promoted.

The delegation included Regional Director for South Asia Stephen Roman, Director Pakistan Peter Upton, Director Punjab Kevin Mcqueen and Project Manager Muhammad Ali.

Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Secretary Higher Education, Chairman Provincial Higher Education Commission and concerned authorities were present on the occasion.

Outgoing gov meets CM

Outgoing Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar met Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, on Thursday. Matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting.

Ch Sarwar thanked Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for expressing confidence in him by giving him the office of Governor. Former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was also present on the occasion.