Shahbaz Sharif’s declaration of Education Emergency too little too late: Mian Manzoor Wattoo

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Punjab government of Shahbaz Sharif has now imposed Education Emergency in the province of Punjab only after ascending fourth time chief ministership of the PML(N) in the province, said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, in a statement issued from here today.
He reminded that he passed the Compulsory Education Act in 1994 during his tenure of chief ministership and the implementation was at full gear then. Shahbaz Sharif should have implemented the Act faithfully much earlier instead of resorting to declaration of Education Emergency only last month. He is not fair enough to share credit, he maintained.
While commenting on the observations of the Chief Minister on the occasion of the launching of the campaign last month, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo expressed his utter surprise and shock over the Shanbaz Sharif’s assertion that the education suffered in the past due to the corruption, mismanagement, lack of funds and education mafia. Why he failed to bridle these evils as he was the Chief Minister most of the times, he questioned.
He expressed his doubts that the Punjab Government would succeed in 100% enrolment of the school going children by May 2016 when judged from the track record of this government in the education sector in particular.
He said that declaration of Education Emergency was too little too late and could not be justified even under the narrative of better late than never because inordinate delay was unforgiving that had kept millions of school going children out of the schools already.
He said that the massive diversion of the education funds to Danish School system at the expense of the thousands government schools was the manifestation of the flawed education policy that favoured the discriminatory education system in the province.
He observed that the Punjab government lost the sight of the forest (government education schools) and focused on the tree (Danish Schools) instead.
He recalled that during his chief ministership he passed the compulsory education act 1994 that made it compulsory on parents to send their school going age children to schools and non-compliance of the act was made cognizable offence.
He further said that the Education Committees were set up at the local level with Headmasters their head which were vested with administrative and financial powers to improve the infrastructure of the schools. Principal and the headmaster were officially declared as the most respected personalities of the relevant areas.
He referred to eliminating the discriminatory education system when the Act made English as compulsory subject from the class one adding that 50, 000 English teachers were recruited to meet the English teaching needs in government schools.
He further added that another redeeming feature of the Act was the elimination of child labour as a consequence of the implementation of the Compulsory Education Act.
He also referred to the appointment of AC (Literacy) at the district level who was exclusively assigned the responsibilities to supervise the implementation of the Compulsory Education Act and results were very encouraging. Only those officers were appointed as AC (Literacy) who had impeccable record as civil servant.
AC(Literacy) was the most important officer after the Deputy Commissioner and office was located adjacent to the office of the deputy Commissioner to facilitate the implementation of education reforms, he added.
15-5-2014

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