LAHORE: The Punjab government has launched ‘Insaf Afternoon Schools’ programme to provide education to the out-of-school children, while reviving Urdu as medium of instructions, with English as subject, up to primary level education in the province.
“The national language could be effective means of communication and, therefore, primary level education will be imparted in Urdu while English will be taught as a subject under The New Deal,” Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said while unveiling the new education policy of the Schools Education Department entitled “The New Deal 2018-23” at a ceremony held at 90-Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam here on Thursday. Modern trends like science & technology, engineering, arts and math will be introduced at the middle level.
The CM announced bringing necessary amendments to Special Act for Free and Compulsory Education and credited the PTI government with the step of incorporating Iqbal Studies in syllabus. “The new education policy will help eliminate segregated system of education and there would be no segregation between the students of elite private schools, small and medium-scale private institutions and the government schools,” he said. Children will be educated within the realm of national ideology and culture so that they could learn about their socio-cultural responsibilities to emerge as the useful citizens of the society,” the CM said. He said classroom having equal facilities and committed qualified teachers will be provided to every child without any discrimination.
Programmes are also being introduced to improve the capacity of the teachers so that they could better educate the students. We need good teachers to develop the best nation, he maintained.
He said sports, physical training and clean drinking water will be compulsory in schools. “These steps will bear fruitful results and attention will also be paid to remove the weaknesses of educational system,” he said. The CM also announced integrated management information system within the Schools Education Department. After the launch of the new policy, every child will feel pride over being a Pakistani and students will be able to act as a useful citizen of the society, the CM said and added: “We are going to implement new educational policy through different practical measures. Every student will be able to study by rising above the biases of caste, colour and creed. There will be no room for gender-biases in the new educational policy. The students studying in the far-flung areas of the province like Rojhan and Taunsa Sharif will be provided the same facilities which are available in the best government schools of Lahore.”
The CM said: “Education sector was ignored during the last seven decades but the PTI government gives top priority to it because we can give a bright future to our new generation by investing in their education. Now practical steps will have to be taken in this regard because the future of 28 million students is directly linked with the governmental strategy and policies. “As many as 12 million children are enrolled in 52,000 schools of Schools Education Department, and we want to secure the future of these children through a composite strategy”.
The CM said ‘the new deal 2018-23’ will revolutionize the education sector in the Punjab. The credit goes to Punjab for introducing a new education policy. A committee will also be set up to complete the steps taken for achieving the desired objectives and I will monitor the progress made thereof, he added.
Minister for Schools Education Murad Raas said that several practical educational reforms are being introduced with the new approach as against flawed educational priorities mixed with slogans in the past. “The new programme will help make educational system result-oriented in the real sense,” he added.
He said the Punjab government intends to hold parents responsible for not sending their children to schools and such parents may not be allowed to avail facilities of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) or Sehat Insaf Card.
He said the Punjab government would also regularise the private schools with a view to bring uniformity in education system in the province. “We have set our direction and jointly work for giving a bright future to our children,” he said and thanked the CM for giving complete freedom to work. Punjab ministers, assembly members, administrative secretaries, educationists, teachers and students attended the ceremony.
SADIA SALAHUDDIN ADDS: A number of little boys and girls were there. A team sang the national anthem, another Iqbal’s lab pe aati hai dua and they stood on the stage from end to end. There were those who performed solo - the ones who recited from the Quran followed by Naat and then sang Allama Iqbal’s poem. Then, there were school girls wearing green saches who would accompany guests to the seat.
All the little performers had arrived there before the other guests. At the end of the programme, they all lined up on both sides of the staircase. The invitees were having snacks while the children were watching adults having food. Wish they too were served with snacks and sweets at the same time with everyone.