Effort On For Equal Education Opportunities To All: Augustine
LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Nov, 2020 ) :Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Ijaz Alam Augustine Saturday said that the provincial government was taking all possible measures to upgrade education sector and provide equal opportunities of access to education to all students.
To a question, the minister said that national language could be an effective means of communication and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had included Iqbal Studies in the educational syllabus. He said that parliamentarians, civil society organisations, consultants, law experts, teachers and students were being mobilised for their active and effective role in promotion of quality education.
The HR&MA department is also holding various sessions and panel discussions in which various suggestions were put forward by the participants such as laws of the Federal government and provinces must be revised and enacted in compliance with the international standards. There must be a strict check on any violence at workplaces specially violence against women and child abuse. He stressed the need for creating a work-friendly environment for them to work after attaining the minimum age, children should not be allowed to work in homes, streets, factories, or brick-kilns.
To another question, he said that since PTI is committed to ensuring rights to all citizens regardless of religion, caste or creed, the Punjab government had enacted various laws for protection of child rights in the province.
In Punjab, he maintained, 5.2 per cent of women and girls aged 15-49 years had first been married before the age of 15, according to Punjab Statistics Bureau in 2014. Therefore, the Punjab Assembly promulgated the Punjab Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act 2015, which gives harsher punishments for child marriages and holds the Nikkah Khawan as well as the child's guardian accountable.
Ijaz Alam Augustine said that Pakistan is among the countries which signed and ratified the Child Rights Commission (CRC) for implementing it in accordance with Pakistan's law and Islamic ideology. He added that CRC provides a universal standard on the rights of children the world over.
The minister said that Pakistan, being a signatory, is under obligation to develop a child protection system to ensure optimum child development and protection.
Responding to a query regarding educational scholarships, the minister said that Human Rights and Minority Affairs Department is giving Rs 15,000 per annum to matriculation students and Rs 50,000 per annum to professional level students to protect the rights and encourage the brilliant deserving students of minorities.
The minister said that during the PTI government, various historical steps had been taken for religious minorities, such as allocation of special quota for religious minorities in the higher education sector. The HR&MA Department is also striving to increase scholarship grants from Rs 50 million to Rs 100 million, he added.