WORLD BANK LAUDS PUNJAB EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

KANWAL SALEEM 
Apr 27 - May 10, 2009

The World Bank has expressed commendation on the Punjab Education Development Programme introduced by the Punjab Government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif and has agreed to release fund of US$350 million during next three years.

The agreement to this effect was reached in a high level meeting between the representatives of the World Bank and delegation of Punjab government comprising Secretary School Education Department Nadeem Ashraf and Special Secretary Finance and Member (SS) P&D Department.

During the meeting the result oriented initiatives taken by the Punjab government for the uplift of education sector were highlighted. It was stated that in addition to the measures for the promotion of education, the Punjab Government has also introduced a number of initiatives on the directions of the Chief Minister to ensure universality as well as quality of education. These initiatives include provision of missing facilities, establishment of I.T and computer labs in higher secondary schools in the province, recruitment of 34,000 teachers on merit, grant of performance based allowance to teachers, comprehensive training programme for education managers, empowerment of school councils and school heads and capacity building of GCETs as well as massive Universal Primary Enrollment Campaign.

The Bank expressed satisfaction over the high priority being attached to the education sector by the Punjab Government and agreed to lend its support. The financial assistance will be utilized for the implementation of second generation reforms in the education sector. It is pertinent to mention that the proposed project is based on improved quality of education, improved access and equity, improved governance, management & monitoring and enhanced education sector expenditures as well as improved fiduciary environment. In addition to World's Bank US$350 million during the next three years, DFID is also expected to provide an additional support of US$120 million. Final Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to be signed in this regard on June 5, 2009.