By K A Mian
LAHORE: As many as 1227 elementary schools have been upgraded to a high level in all 36 districts of Punjab by the School Education Department (SED) in the larger public interest here on Monday.
This decision was made in a meeting about reforms in the school education sector chaired by the Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar held at his office here on Monday. The Minister School Education, Murad Raas, Secretary School Education Sara Aslam and others attended the meeting.
In this regard, a notification of up-gradation of all these schools has also been issued by the School Education Department. According to the notification a copy of which is available with The Business, the services of existing teachers of upgraded schools would be utilized to start 9th and 10th classes in these schools.
The sanctioned numbers of employees (SNE) as per prescribed norm would be provided to these schools by the School Education Department till two next academic sessions w.e.f. the date of issuance of the notification. It further stated that the senior-most teachers including male and female of the upgraded schools would perform as officiating the Headmaster and Headmistresses and DDOs of the upgraded schools.
The meeting was told that a total of 1,227 elementary schools have been upgraded by the incumbent Punjab government without spending any penny. The CM told the participants that 606 girls schools and 621 boys schools would be upgraded in the province and some 3,315 surplus teachers of elementary schools would continue to serve in the upgraded schools. The 3,933 additional classrooms in elementary schools would be utilized for secondary classes. He assured that additional teaching staff would not be transferred anywhere and they would continue to serve in the same schools.
Thus, the government has saved Rs16 billion by utilizing available resources. The CM announced that more than one lakh students would get benefit from up-gradation of elementary schools to secondary level. The elementary schools, consisting of nine-classrooms and six-teachers, would be upgraded. The secondary schools would also be upgraded to higher secondary level in the second phase, he added.
Murad Raas told that SOPs for schools are being devised and the students would be given masks. He said that handwashing arrangements and availability of sanitizers would also be ensured in schools.
He maintained that the PEF partner schools’ 50 per cent dues, up to the month of May, had already been paid. He said that 1,000 classrooms had also been constructed in different schools in various districts. Under this project, a total of 2,000 classrooms would be built. The minister school Education announced that a Danish school to be soon inaugurated in Vehari district.