Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) is the largest public private partnership based program of free quality education in the Punjab. The fact that this foundation is providing gratis educational facilities to 1.9 million most-deserving students proves its success and efficacy. The good thing is that 45% of the beneficiaries are girls. In fact, PEF has emerged as a big boon for the impecunious strata.
It is quite satisfying that this foundation has introduced a number of far-reaching reforms in the education sector to ensure that the deserving children could easily study and emerge as useful citizens of the society. We believe that education is the best ladder to develop our nation; as it strengthens the students to act as future-leaders. That's why, we have ensured that our students enjoy conducive atmosphere in the schools. This child-friendly schooling is very helpful in overall personality-development.
In fact, Punjab Education Foundation has benefited the overall school education sector in a number of ways. It has strengthened the low-cost private schools with its support and technical assistance. After their partnership with the foundation, the schools not only get financial support on per student basis and free textbooks, but their teachers and head-teachers are also trained about latest educational concepts so that the students could get quality education. We also have encouraged co-curricular and sports activities. PEF has also started inclusive education project for differently abled students in its partner schools.
I'd specially point out that PEF is greatly helping in education-promotion in backward and far-flung areas where Government and private schools are not available or the indigent communities cannot access them for want of resources. We have; therefore, helped individual entrepreneurs as well as community based organizations to come forward and help promote education in partnership with the foundation.
I am pleased that Punjab Education Foundation is also utilizing state of the art Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) to keep its system up to the mark. Different ICT based initiatives have helped to maintain consummate transparency and efficiency. Similarly, different types of audits are held regularly to maintain financial transparency. On the other side, we also hold Quality Assurance Test, every year, to maintain required academic standards of our partner schools.
It is heartening that the continued patronage and support of the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has helped the foundation to achieve its expansion targets according to their schedule.
Keeping in view, the performance of Punjab Education Foundation, the Punjab Government has credited it to enroll a total of 2.8 million children of disfranchised communities in its partner schools by 2018. I'm quite sanguine that proactive role of the foundation will help to achieve the goals of ‘Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab.’
In the end, I reaffirm our strong commitment to help the deserving children to access to their basic right of education. In this endeavor, the support of the Punjab Government is highly commendable.