Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Punjab government has utilized billions of rupees for the development of education sector and promotion of knowledge in the province which is unprecedented in the 65 years’ history of the country. He said that only a small amount of ten billion rupees was spent on education sector during the five years’ tenure of former chief minister Ch. Pervaiz Elahi while millions of rupees were wasted on projection of ‘Parha Likha Punjab’ programme. Contrary to this, he said, Punjab government of Pakistan Muslim League-N spent a massive sum of Rs.111 billion on the uplift of education sector during the last five years. He said that foundation of a revolution in education sector has been laid through distribution of laptops worth billions of rupees among merit scholars, solar lamps, educational scholarships and establishment of IT labs in more than four thousand schools of the province. He said that provision of resources for equipping the youth with modern education is not expenditure but a useful investment. He said that distribution of laptops and solar lamps among talented students is the result of their hard work. He said that Punjab government has brought brightness to the talented boy and girl students through distribution of solar lamps and it is now their responsibility to pay full attention to acquisition of knowledge.
He was addressing solar lamps distribution ceremony among boy and girl students of schools and colleges of Lahore at Engineering University, here today. As many as 25 thousand solar lamps will be distributed among the merit scholars of government schools and colleges of Lahore. Provincial Minister for Education Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Special Assistants Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Vice Chancellor Engineering University, Members National and Provincial Assemblies, teachers, parents and a large number of boy and girl students were present on the occasion. The talented students were also presented guard of honour. The Chief Minister, while addressing the function, congratulated the students who received solar lamps, and said that it is the result of their hard work and commitment to acquisition of knowledge for which their parents and teachers should also be felicitated. He said that two lakh ten thousand solar panels are being given to brilliant students of the province under Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme. He said that the students who have received solar panels should work harder and obtain more than sixty percent marks in F.Sc to become eligible for laptops. He said it is a matter of happiness that the girl students are taking a lead over the boy students in obtaining laptops and solar panels. He said that 155000 girl students while 9,500 boy students of government schools and colleges of Lahore have been declared eligible for solar lamps. He said that merit policy is being strictly implemented in Punjab and merit and transparency is being given top priority in all educational programmes and other projects of Punjab government. He said that merit is the key to progress of the country and in order to implement merit policy throughout the province, 18 crore people of the country will have to elect such a leadership with the power of their vote as is capable to rid the country of darkness and replace it with light. He said that Pakistan can be transformed in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal through supremacy of law, justice and merit while the darkness of poverty, unemployment and price-hike can also be removed.
The Chief Minister further said that the best metro bus system of the world has been introduced in Lahore which will change the transport culture. He said that Khadim-e-Punjab, provincial ministers, assembly members, professors, lawyers, government officers and ordinary workers are travelling in metro buses together. He said that metro bus is a modern transport system which will result in saving time and fuel worth billions of rupees. He said that those who remained silent over the use of helicopters, aeroplanes and bulletproof vehicles on government and non-government resources by the elite, presidents, prime ministers, chief ministers, governors, judges, capitalists and industrialists have no right to criticize metro bus project which is aimed at the benefit of the poor. He said it also proves that such elements are not interested in people’s welfare and betterment. He said those who are shamelessly leveling allegations of expenditure of Rs.90 billion on metro bus project, should know that this splendid project of public welfare has been completed with only a sum of Rs.30 billion. He said that metro bus project is not only of Lahore or Punjab but it is for the benefit of 18 crore people of Pakistan and such projects should be initiated in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and other big cities of the country as well. He said that metro bus system will bridge the gulf between the rich and the poor and it is a big step towards transforming Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid and Iqbal and making it an Islamic welfare state in the real sense. He said that the problems of the country can only be resolved through hard work, honesty and commitment.
Addressing the function, a girl student of Government Girls College Cooper Road paid rich tributes to Chief Minister Punjab for his efforts for the development of education sector. She said that she salutes the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for presenting guard of honour to talented students, distribution of laptops and solar lamps on merit, provision of modern educational facilities to the children of poor families by setting up Daanish Schools and providing shelter to the shelterless through Aashiyana Scheme. She said that the students will realize the dream of a developed and prosperous Pakistan. Later, the Chief Minister gave solar panels to the talented students.