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LAHORE: Punjab Minister for School Education Dr Murad Raas says the government will soon announce a five-year education plan, “The New Deal for Punjab,” after consultation with all the stakeholders.

He was addressing a press conference at the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board office on Tuesday.

“We have drafted three bills, including the Punjab Education Standard, Compulsory Education and Private Sector Reforms Bill, which will soon be presented in the provincial assembly,” he said and added that government was going to start issuing licences for the teachers like doctors under the reforms.

“We will set a standard for opening a new school with the minimum requirement and the previous practice of allowing a new school just anywhere will be strictly restricted.”

Says teachers to be issued licences; evening shifts to start in schools, parents to be penalised for out-of-school children

Mr Raas declared that the government was also going to start and penalise the parents instead of teachers under the compulsory education law.

“The previous government was assigning additional duties to schoolteachers to increase the number of students and was also taking action against them over low literacy. We will take action against the parents for not sending their children to school by cancelling government subsidies for them,” he said and added the health cards and other subsidies being provided to such parents would be cancelled.

He said the government was revising the transfer policy and provide relief to all the staff with zero political intervention.

Mr Raas also announced that the government was going to start evening classes in all schools and would also pay to the teachers for overtime.

He said the government was going to review the subsidy being provided to the girls in two districts of the province by giving them Rs1,000 per girl under Zewar-i-Taleem programme.

“We will extend the programme to 20 districts of the province and will also revamp it to give subsidy to those girls who belong to only the low-income families,” he said.

Mr Raas added that the government had already started the Wash Programme with the help of Unicef in 92 schools and would extend it to the schools across the province.

Talking about the medium of instruction, the minister said the primary education would be in Urdu, instead of English and English language would be taught at the primary level as a subject.

While answering a query about education in mother tongue, he said that the government was focusing national language, ie Urdu, as a medium for basic education and it would be easy for children to understand the national language.

School Education Department (SED) secretary Ghulam Fareed and Additional Secretary Budget and Planning Qaiser Rasheed were present in the conference.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2018