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Punjab primary schools may start evening classes

Punjab primary schools may start evening classes

RAWALPINDI: To accommodate students at overcrowded government primary schools, the Punjab government is considering starting a second shift of classes at schools.

The provincial government asked seven districts in the province, including Rawalpindi and Attock to seek opinion of the civil society, local leaders of the ruling party and representatives of parents on second shift.

The Education Department then invited members of the civil society and representatives of parents to a consultation and to approve the recommendation.

Interestingly, members of the provincial assembly from Rawalpindi were ignored because most of them belong to the PTI and only PML-N MNA Malik Abrar and his brother-in-law, Malik Munir who is a member of the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board, were invited.

More than 40 of the 1,846 government run schools in Rawalpindi are overcrowded and a second shift may soon be started in these schools.

“We will start a double shift in over 40 schools as soon as we get a green signal from the Punjab government, which has directed us to consult with public representatives in this regard. After the consultations, the second shift will start this year,” Executive District Officer (EDO) Education Qazi Zahoorul Haq told Dawn.

He said starting a second shift will also help bring more children to schools.

“The education department set a target of getting 132,000 children in the district into schools because the provincial government wants to educate more and more people. Every district was given a target which it has to achieve by October 31,” the EDO said.

A committee comprising school principals and teachers has been formed in each school which will try to convince locals to send their children to schools, where they will be given books and bags for free, he said.

The education department has been asked to seek help from locals in convincing parents from lower income families to send their children to schools, he added.

Meanwhile, the education department’s purchase committee on Thursday received technical details from firms which are interested in the project for installing computers in 56 middle and high schools in the district.

“The department received Rs40 million from the provincial government for the establishment of computer laboratories in 56 schools,” EDO Qazi Zahoorul Haq told Dawn.

He said 11 firms had shown interest in the project and that five had submitted technical details to the department.

“We will check the details and then select firms so that they can give a bid for the scheme. The process will take a month,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2016

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