2,512 schools in Punjab to be upgraded at Rs50bn cost


LAHORE:Under a phase-wise programme, 27512 Primary and Elementary schools in Punjab will be upgraded at a sum of Rs 50 billion. The first phase will be started from 1st of August and 4 million students will be benefited from this programme.

This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar while addressing a press conference here Saturday. He said that the promotion of education is the top priority of the incumbent government for which no stone will be left unturned.

The government will continue to take all out efforts for the promotion of education. In the first phase from the 1st of August, 21 thousand Primary school will be upgraded to Elementary level at a cost of Rs 17 billion. In the second phase of this programme, 6653 elementary schools will be upgraded to high school level. According to the procedure and keeping in view the number of students Elementary classes will be held in existing Primary schools and there will be secondary classes in the second shift of Elementary schools.

He said that only teachers and staff will be paid honorarium instead of changing the civil structure. 6653 computers and science labs will be set up for the students of 9th and 10th class in Elementary schools. Usman Buzdar further maintained that Rs 295 billion would have required if the government adopt a traditional way of upgrading schools. This project will save Rs. 245 billion, he added. The 27517 schools in the first and second phase of this project include 11501 schools from Central Punjab, 5402 from Northern Punjab and 10614 primary and elementary schools from Southern Punjab. Usman Buzdar further stated that the ratio of Southern Punjab’s schools to be upgraded under this programme is 38%. The Chief Minister assured that there is no need for political recommendation or affiliation for the upgradation of schools.

He said that upgradation of the schools will be made purely on merit and as per the procedure. Usman Buzdar stated that he would have announced the High to Higher Secondary School Upgradation Project today, if the government is not giving the subsidy of Rs. 30 billion to Orange Line Metro Train. Giving the details of other important steps for the promotion of education, the Chief Minister said that one million children have been enrolled in a year, including 40 per cent boy and 60 percent girl students.

The responsibility of enrolling children has been withdrawn from the teachers, now the Education Officer and the School Council will do this work. The Chief Minister while disclosing third important feature said that a record of B-Form has already been obtained to devise the accurate data of 1 crore 6 lakh students. He further stated that lunch is being provided in 100 government schools with the help of philanthropists while the government is reviewing to launch this programme in other five districts as well. The Chief Minister said that the Education Department deserves congratulations on these three important initiatives.

Responding to the questions, Usman Buzdar said that distance is the main obstacle to send the girls to school in villages. Teachers do not need to go anywhere for transfer as e-Transfer has been introduced. He further stated that the government was more focused on the health sector due to Corona pandemic. The project of constructing classrooms will also be completed. The Chief Minister said that the revenue system would not only be computerized but also digitized. He further stated that 127 vaccination centres are being operated in Punjab.

The Punjab government will evolve a policy for private vaccination with the federal government. The decision of administrating the vaccine to the children will be taken with the consultation of experts. Report of vaccinating the influential will soon be surfaced. More steps will be taken as per the decisions of NCOC. The government do not want to do anything which will cause inconvenience for the common man. All that government wants to ensure is the complete implementation of Corona SOPs.

The government is focusing on its performance, merit and initiatives rather than other things. While replying to the question about those who are criticizing, The Chief Minister said those should settle their affairs first. “Every daughter loves her father but decisions are taken according to the law,” said Usman Buzdar.

Provincial Education Minister Dr. Murad Ras informed that after the e-Transfer of teachers, online retirement, Leave and promotion system will also be implemented by December 2021. Special Assistant Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Secretary Education, Secretary Information and other officials were also present on the occasion.