The Government of Punjab launched its Annual School Enrolment Campaign for 2018 at a ceremony held at Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development (QAED) on Monday.

School Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad officially launched the drive by registering two children in two public sector schools to initiate the enrolment campaign.

Several senior officials, including School Education Department Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, and members of the teaching community were present at the ceremony. Calling on media organisations, stakeholders and the general public to step forward to make the campaign a success, Rana Mashood said various measures taken by the government had helped improve the quality of public sector schools in the province.

The minister said the government was planning a historic allocation for education in the upcoming budget, adding that improving access to and quality of education was the government’s top priority.

Mashhood urged parents present at the ceremony to make education of children a top priority. Offering details of some of the education reforms, the minister said close to 500,000 in 16 southern districts of the province had been enrolled in schools through the Khadim-e-Punjab Cards. He added that the girls were being given stipend to attend school. Mashhood said the success of the enrolment campaign had been such that other provinces were following in Punjab’s footsteps and replicating the services in their jurisdictions.

He said criticism against the government was unfounded as students of Punjab’s public schools had gone on to attend some of the best universities in the world. The minister said the government was also planning to send teachers to the best teacher training institutes in the world to improve their skills and offer them exposure of teaching standards and practices prevalent across the globe.

School Education Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik said the department, along with teachers religious leaders and civil society members, was striving hard to ensure that each child between the age of five and nine years across the province got into school.

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