Shahbaz Sharif is energetic, reformist: The Economist
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has been hailed as an energetic politician and a reformist leader who is far ahead of his peers in landmark initiatives in the education sector and spreading education amongst the poor segments of society across Punjab.
In the current edition of the Economist, Shahbaz Sharif stands apart amongst the leaders from Africa and India who has achieved market-based education reforms with the participation of private sector in the education sector. The journal has admired the decision by the Shahbaz Sharif's initiatives to spread literacy, admiring Punjab government's policy not to build any new schools to achieve 100 percent enrolment target for school-age children by the year 2018 but taking the private sector on board for the task.
According to the statistics quoted, the inclusion of the private sector in the education reforms has cut down the cost to almost half what is being spent on the public sector schools besides more effective monitoring and teacher training.
Punjab Chief Minister's initiative of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has been lauded for yielding results in the spread of education among the poor strata with the initiatives like setting up schools in the rural areas and introducing voucher scheme to parents living in slums and who do not send their children to schools. The decision to turn the private education sector in order to achieve capacity building of teachers and provide cheap education to the less-privileged in the province of the Punjab has also been welcomed as the private sector is believed to be flexible about hiring and can set up schools far too quickly in the rented buildings.
The Shahbaz Sharif's government has also been admired for paying parents to send their children to schools and this initiative has enroled some 2 million children to PEF schools while 1 million more are expected to study at PEF schools by the end of 2018. `The Economist' report is a testament of the futuristic and visionary leadership of the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and an apt tribute to the education-friendly policies of the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.