June 20 - 26, 20

There are many critics of the PML-N led Punjab government but the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif's project of 'Danish School System' needs to be appreciated and supported as it is beginning of a revolution in education sector. Undoubtedly, the education system in Pakistan is fast falling apart mainly because of the poor quality of education and inadequate availability of funds. In the backdrop of increasing poverty and social injustice, the Danish Schools Project is a good initiative of the Punjab government. Such projects also need to be replicated in other parts of the country.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif needs to be complimented for conceiving the plan of Danish School System that would ensure quality education to the students of backward areas whose parents cannot afford to send their children to educational institutions due to financial constraints.

As per the Punjab Danish Schools and Centers of Excellence Authority Act 2010, the schools would also reserve 10-percent seats for the students capable of paying their fee and their expenses. At present, Danish Schools are functional in the districts of Southern Punjab i.e. Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan.

The solution of backwardness and poverty in South Punjab lies in the promotion of quality education.

Under the Danish School System, the schools are opened in remote areas of Punjab; children of the people having monthly income less than 6000 per month are awarded admission with preference to orphans. Books, uniform and boarding is provided by government.

The schools are allotted as follows keeping in mind the present remote areas and economical condition of people lining there.

Bahawalpur Division = 16 Schools
D G Khan Division = 16 Schools
Rawalpindi Division = 15 Schools
Multan = 5 Schools
Khanewal = 4 Schools
Vehari = 4 Schools
Jhang = 6 Schools
Bhakkar and Mianwali = 2 Schools

In the Punjab budget 2011-12, the government earmarked a grant of Rs3 billion for Danish School Project.

"Now the time has come when the children who had a dream of going to school will make it true. No hurdle like money etc. can stop them. Getting quality education is right of every one," an educationist said.

According to him, the solution of backwardness and poverty in the less developed areas of the country lies in the promotion of quality education. This project would ensure provision of modern academic facilities to students of far-flung and backward areas.

He further said that academic excellence was a key to the survival and supremacy of any country and to attain academic excellence, promotion of education was a must. He stressed the need to do research and focus on things to get secrets of the universe.

Officials claimed that the Punjab government is attaching top priority to the uplift of the education sector and has taken revolutionary steps for the purpose.

Danish Schools System Project would ensure provision of modern academic facilities to students of far-flung and backward areas, they said, adding: "The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund had been set up for the first time in the history of the country for providing financial assistance to talented students facing economic problems to enable them to continue their studies."

According to Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, the government of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has potential for achieving 100 per cent literacy rate in the province by 2013.

He said that elimination of poverty was just possible through promotion of education particularly technical and expert. He said the Punjab government was considering setting up a university of technical education and this plan would be given final figure on availability of resources.

He said a solid strategy has been adopted to remove the sense of deprivation of the people of less-developed areas and to bring such areas at par with the developed ones.

According to him, the project of Danish schools aimed at provision of modern educational facilities to the children of poorest parents has also been started from the remote areas. He said that academic activities have started in six Danish schools set up in Rahim Yar Khan, Hasilpur and Chishtian for boy and girl students while the project of establishing eight more Danish schools in Mianwali, Attock, Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan is also implemented expeditiously.