LAHORE: A delegation of toppers from all over Pakistan left for a study tour of Europe, under the flagship programme of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on Saturday.

Comprising 34 position holders from Punjab and six from Sindh, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, the delegation would visit 22 universities of the UK, Sweden and Germany during its four-week tour.

A police contingent presented a guard of honour to the students and Punjab Minister for Education Rana Mashhood saw the delegation off at the Lahore Airport.

Addressing the students and their relatives, the minister termed the toppers real ambassadors and future of Pakistan. The students would have to work hard to improve positive image of the homeland, he said while adding that talented students would also be given opportunity to get education from renowned universities of the world at government expense.

The country, he said, had been facing multiple challenges like inflation, unemployment, loadshedding and terrorism and education was the best remedy for all these problems.

He said allocation of 27 per cent amount of budget for education sector was manifestation of the fact that provision of quality education had been top priority of the Punjab government. New schools, colleges and universities would be set up during the next financial year while missing facilities would be provided in already existing educational institutions.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2015

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