LAHORE:03 April: In a bid to impart quality education and to promote learning, the Punjab government launched the School Enrollment Campaign 2018 on Monday. Provincial Minister for Schools Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad formally launched the campaign at a ceremony held at Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development (QAED), a press release issued. Addressing the participants, Rana Mashhood said that the media and other stakeholders should come forward to make this campaign a success. He lauded the performance of the provincial government in the education sector and said that government reforms have helped a great deal in improving the quality of public sector schools. He maintained that a historic education budget will be presented by the Punjab government this year as well. He urged parents to make education a top priority for their children. He added that around 0.5 million girls were enrolled in schools in 16 southern districts through Khadim-e-Punjab Cards. “These girls are being paid stipends as well,” the minister added. “Other provinces are also following Punjab’s model and showed appreciation for our digital monitoring system.” “In fact, Punjab is the only province which has been sending the best students from across the country to study at top universities around the world.” Earlier, Schools Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik presented the welcome address and highlighted different features of performance of schools education department. The ceremony was largely attended by Schools Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, Special Secretary Rana Hassan Akhtar, chief executive officers of District Education Authorities as well as teacher and academicians. The Punjab government had badly failed to achieve public schools’ enrolment target of 600,000 students in 2017. It could hardly complete 23% enrolment during the said period. According to the Punjab government’s official statistics, parents of over 25,000 students had to transfer their children from public to private schools because the government’s education system was fast deteriorating in Punjab.Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2018.