Punjab Minister for School Education Murad Raas on Thursday led the launch of a new education policy for the province, aimed at transforming educational outcomes for the pupils of the most populous province in the country. The launch ceremony of the new policy, named Punjab New Deal 2018-23, was presided over by Punjab Chief Minister, while noted officials, intellectuals, scholars and educationists were in attendance.
Addressing the ceremony, the CM came down hard on the previous governments for ignoring the education sector. Buzdar said the education sector had been much ignored in the last seven decades, but the PTI government had given it top priority. “Practical steps are needed to as the future of 28 million students is directly linked with the government’s strategy and policies”.
In his address, Provincial Minister Murad Raas said the government wanted to introduce the school education system in accordance with the needs of the country and Punjab could emerge as the leading center of education in the entire world. He said that new education policy would help expose the youth to the philosophy of Poet of the East Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
Presenting the details of the policy, Raas said that PTI attached great importance to education which was why the department was introducing a new educational system that would provide better services to the people. He called on teachers to play an active role to achieve the desired results.
The minister said the current syllabus would be improved March 2020 and the standard of government schools improved to restore their former glory. He added that examination of five and eighth class under Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) were being scrapped to save the children from unnecessary burden. The minister said top performing principals and head teachers would be posted in schools to gain best results.
Explaining the policy further, Raas said short-, medium- and long-term plans were being introduced for government schools and use of information technology was being encouraged so that students could remain aware of latest changes in their syllabus. “The School Education Department is also devising a data bank by using information technology to place departmental information at one place and the required information will be available at one click,” he said.
The minister said digital textbooks for fourth and fifth grades had been launched and an android application had also been introduced, terming it an important step toward digital revolution in education. Raas also informed attendants that afternoon schools were being started in selected primary schools in 20 districts to educate out-of-school children closer to their homes. “The government is also committed to promoting sports activities in schools,” Raas said, adding sports, physical education and clean drinking water would be mandatory in all schools.
The minister added that basic education would be imparted in Urdu, while English would be made a specialised subject. He said necessary amendments will be made in special act of free and compulsory education.
On the other hand, Punjab Headmasters’ Association has rejected the government’s decision of licensing teachers under the education new policy. However, they appreciated other decisions of policies including rationalization of teachers, ending of English medium education system, Punjab Examination Commission and online transfer policy.