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January 11, 2019

Minister’s remarks invite Opp’s wrath


January 11, 2019

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Schools Education Dr Murad Raas was severely criticised by Opposition member over his attitude during the question hour session in Punjab Assembly on Thursday.

During the question hour session in PA that was related to Schools Education and Higher Education, Ministers concerned Dr Murad Raas and Raja Yasir Humayun responded to the queries of legislators. Dr Murad Raas had to face criticism from the PML-N MPAs who were infuriated when Murad Raas cited a ‘dream’ of former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and accused him of initiating English medium school projects in a haste without proper working. These remarks were uttered by Murad Raas while responding to a question put by a PML-N MPA regarding the English medium schools run by the government. He also stated that till Class 5, in the state-run schools, it would be ensured that English was taught as a language so that a student couldn’t face any difficulty in higher classes.

He said that religious education would also be made part of the curriculum. He claimed that there would be a real change in education sector by March 2020 besides reiterating his commitment to introduce a ‘uniform curriculum’ in Punjab. Dr Murad Raas while responding to the question from another PML-N MPA Abdul Rauf Mughal stated thatthere was no need for extra rooms in the school mentioned by the legislator but despite that, the current government hadn’t shelved the project and it would release fund for it.

Samiullah Khan, the Opposition member, who hails from Lahore, was the first PML-N MPA who came hard on the PTI government during the question hour session, particularly after the ‘dream’ remarks of Dr Murad Raas.

Responding to the minister, Samiullah Khan stated that the ‘Under-19’ team of Imran Khan was showing a 2020 dream to the nation but it was aware of the fact what this government had done in Khyber Pakhtunkha in last five years. Slamming the government, he said that in Punjab, it was claiming of coming up with a uniform curriculum whereas in KP, four different curricula were taught to the students. However, the act of education minister which invited severe criticism on him was his address to the chair while sitting on his seat.

“The parliamentary norms demand that every member who wants to address the chair first has to stand on his seat but the minister is talking to you while sitting, just check the recording of the proceedings’ said Samiullah Khan while grilling the schools education minister.

Samiullah Khan stated that it was binding on every member to show respect to the chair but the minister wasn’t showing any parliamentary ethics and drawing the attention of Deputy Speaker, Sami sated that ‘he is still addressing you while sitting on his seat.’

Meanwhile, Malik Nadim Kamran, senior member of Opposition, stood up and criticised the education minister over his attitude. ‘Why are you talking to me, just address the chair’ said Malik Nadim Karman when he was being interrupted by Dr Murad Raas.

Deputy Speaker Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari intervened to diffuse the tension and urged the MPAs to remain relevant to the question hour. Besides, a suggestion by a Treasury MPA offended education minister during the question hour session when a ruling party MPA urged the government to upgrade the public sector schools to end the monopoly of private school owners.

Responding to her, the minister stated that the ‘member should know that she is in government now.’ Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun while responding to a question put up by PPP MPA Makhdoom Syed Usman stated that the government intended to establish a university meeting global standards in Southern Punjab. He stated that the work on the university would start once the feasibility report was complete on the project.

Makhdoom Usman, while expressing dissatisfaction to the answer stated that instead of showing the intent of setting up a varsity in Southern Punjab, the government should honour its commitment and create the province comprising the southern part of the province.

Responding to another question, Raja Yasir stated that the government wanted to end the sub-campuses of the universities while keeping in view the significance of students’ future. However, he stated it couldn’t be done overnight and all required steps would be taken to ensure working of universities in accordance with rules.

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