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Friday May 24, 2024

Federal govt to establish Danish schools across country: Shehbaz

The school will provide free education and accommodation to the children from the capital city

By Muhammad Anis & News Desk
April 10, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing the nation. — Twitter/Abubakar Umer
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing the nation. — Twitter/Abubakar Umer

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced that the federal government would establish Danish Schools in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and remote areas of Balochistan and Sindh to fulfil the aspiration of Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan by delivering quality education to children coming from economically disadvantaged families.

Addressing a ceremony in the Kuri area of the federal capital, Shehbaz said: “This is not the fault of poor children if their parents cannot afford quality education despite working hard or those who are orphans. If the iron gates of Aitchison College or Grammar School are obstructing their way (to quality education), the door of Danish Schools are open for them.”

To be established over 30 acres of land, the school will provide free education and accommodation to the children from the capital city and its suburbs with a vision to provide equal opportunity for quality education.

Calling the alarming figure of 26 million out-of-school children a “criminal negligence”, the prime minister said Quaid-e-Azam’s dream about Pakistan would remain unfulfilled without making arrangements for their education.

“There can be no bigger national service or the fulfillment of responsibility than enrolling these out-of-school children,” he said and announced that the federal government would fully bear the expenses of constructing Danish Schools in AJK, GB, remote areas of Balochistan and Sindh.

Prime Minister Shehbaz also announced that the federal government would declare an education emergency in the country and would dole out all possible resources to educate, particularly the children from disadvantaged families.

He also recalled that under Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, the PML-N government gave away laptops to students which became an earning tool for them. Besides, the-then Punjab government also recruited around 200,000 teachers purely on merit. He said the groundbreaking of Islamabad’s Danish School would be performed soon and asked the education ministry to ensure its completion within 6-8 months. He also announced to personally inaugurate the Danish Schools to be established in AJK, GB and Balochistan.

In a related development, education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to increase expenditure on education up to 4pc of the national GDP. In her letter, Malala said Pakistan was spending less than 2pc of its GDP on education and she wanted it to reach and surpass 4pc of the GDP.

Acknowledging significant progress in the education of girls in the last decade, she said the Government of Pakistan should pay special attention to girls’ education. The Malala Foundation had given Pakistan $15 million for the promotion of education in the country, she said.

“Our work with the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has allowed us to reach more than 4,500 high schools, engaging directly with nearly 500,000 girls through our STEAM partnership. We also support civil society and education experts in their efforts to improve teaching practices, digital education, and girls’ leadership development,” she said. The new government should focus more on girls’ education in its first 100 days priorities, she added.

“As you develop your first 100-day plan, I look forward to working with your government to elevate girls’ education as a priority. I assure you that my team in Pakistan and our grantees are working diligently with your federal and provincial governments, as well as other development partners, to advance our shared goals as rapidly and effectively as possible,” she wrote.

Malala also congratulated Shehbaz on his appointment as the PM and wished him all the best.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif exchanged Eid greetings with the President of the Republic of Turkiye, Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Sultan of the Sultanate of Oman.

Shehbaz Sharif held a telephone call with the President of the Republic of Turkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both leaders exchanged Eid greetings and sincere wishes for peace, prosperity and unity for the people of Pakistan and Turkiye.

Underscoring the deeply rooted and historical relations between the two countries, the prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation across all sectors of mutual interest. The two leaders reaffirmed that they will continue to firmly and resolutely support each other on their core national interests. They also called for peace in Palestine. Shehbaz also reiterated his invitation to President Erdogan to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. The visit would provide the opportunity to convene the 7th session of High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council scheduled to be held in the near future.

The prime minister also held a telephonic conversation with the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and extended greetings on the occasion of Eidul Fitr.

During the exchange, Prime Minister Shehbaz reiterated the close fraternal ties between Pakistan and Qatar and reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to closely working with Qatar in all areas of common interest. He reiterated his government’s commitment to deepen economic and trade relations between the two countries. The Amir of Qatar warmly reciprocated Eid greetings and conveyed his best wishes to the people of Pakistan.

The prime minister reiterated his invitation to the Amir of Qatar to undertake an official visit to Pakistan who assured that he was keen to visit Pakistan at an early date. Both leaders renewed their commitment to work closely with each other and further broaden the cooperation in all mutually beneficial fields. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The prime minister also extended Eid greetings to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Sultan of the Sultanate of Oman, on the auspicious occasion of Eidul Fitr.

Shehbaz recalled the historically cordial ties between the two countries and highlighted the immense potential for cooperation in various sectors. The prime minister emphasized the need for enhancing institutional and economic linkages between the two maritime neighbours. He also prayed for unity among the ranks of the Ummah and for an end to the atrocities being committed by Israel against the innocent Palestinians.

His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq reciprocated the warm Eid greetings and conveyed his best wishes to the people of Pakistan. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work closely with each other and to further solidify bilateral ties into mutually rewarding economic cooperation. The prime minister extended a most cordial invitation to His Majesty the Sultan to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. His Majesty reciprocated by extending an invitation to the prime minister to visit Oman.