LAHORE (HANDOUT) - Imparting quality education and modern knowledge to young generation is essential for achieving the goal of self-reliance and a dignified status in the comity of nations, CM Shehbaz Sharif said yesterday.
He was addressing a prize distribution ceremony for position-holder students in matric and intermediate examination at Aiwan-e-Iqbal. The chief minister gave away cash prizes and commendatory certificates to position-holder boy and girl students.
Shehbaz Sharif said the Punjab government has taken revolutionary measures for equipping the youth with education and spread knowledge to every nook and corner of the country. “Scholarships worth more than Rs11 billion have been given to students of resource less families from the educational fund while cash prizes of one billion 250 million rupees have also been awarded for encouragement of position-holder students,” he added.
“Punjab Educational Endowment Fund was set up by Pakistan Muslim League-N government with a sum of Rs2 billion and the volume of this fund has now increased to Rs 17.5 billion.
“It is not only the biggest educational fund of Pakistan but also of South Asia and more than 1.5 lakh talented boy and girl students of poor families are studying at prestigious educational institutions with the income of this fund,” Shehbaz said in his address.
He also informed the participants of the ceremony that number of these students will increase to two hundred thousand by the end of December this year.
“Had such an educational fund been established 70 years ago a number of children who have remained deprived of education would have become engineers, scientists, doctors, bankers and professors and been serving the country,” the CM remarked.
He said there was still time to set aside personal interests, mutual differences, sit-ins, lockdowns and efforts to divide the nation and adopt the principle of honesty, hard work and commitment and play due role for changing destiny of the nation.
The Chief Minister felicitated boy and girl students as well as their parents and teachers who had won prominent positions in examinations especially position-holders students and parents who despite financial problems provided funds for education and training of their children.
He quoted examples of Japanese and Germans who despite being defeated in World War-II achieved progress and prosperity through continuous hard work. “It is high time to work with passion to join the ranks of developed countries,” Shehbaz stressed.
He also underscored the need to work hard to transform Pakistan in accordance with the vision of founding fathers – Quaid-i-Azam and Allam Muhammad Iqbal.
Shehbaz Sharif termed youth as a guarantee to a bright and prosperous future of the country.
Provincial Minister Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, on the occasion, said education is the top priority of the Punjab government. “All our problems can be overcome by promoting education,” she added.
Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood said the merit policy will help bring a revolution in education sector.
He held that people of Punjab were lucky to have an education- friendly chief minister like Shehbaz Sharif.
The position-holders also addressed the ceremony and paid tributes to the chief minister for taking measures for promotion of education.
Public representatives, senior government officials, educationists, vice chancellors, professors, teachers, parents, intellectuals and a large number of students attended the function.