AWALPINDI – Provincial Minister for Education, Excise and Taxation and Finance, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, has said that Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister has taken tremendous steps for the promotion of education in the province. He added that government was also encouraging schools in private sector as it considered that the education could not be imparted only by government on account of limited resources as well as volume of the population in the province. The minister expressed these views while addressing as chief guest on the occasion of Annual Parents and Prize Distribution day of Jinnah Preparatory School, A-Block, Satellite Town here on Saturday. EDO Education Qazi Zahoor ul Haq, Chief Executive of school Abdul Qadir Haye, Principal Ishrat Khatoon, educationists and large number of parents and students were present on this occasion.Minister for Education, Excise and Taxation and Finance Mujtaba Shuja said that the challenges of extremism, parochialism and sectarianism could only be confronted by promotion of education and eradication of ignorance. He said that CM soon after coming in to power established Punjab Education Foundation with a view to encourage and extend assistance to the private schools for imparting and promoting education. He said that the government also established Punjab Education Endowment Fund with a amount of Rs 2 billion and adding Rs 2 billion each year, now this revolving fund has obtained volume of Rs 10 billion through which 40,000 talented, deserving and poor students were being provided scholarships for education. Minister remarked that 80,000 graduate teachers were recruited purely on merit basis through a transparent procedure. Similarly, more than 5,000 IT labs were established in government high schools in public sector besides giving away 1,25,000 lap tops to talented students during last year as well as more than 100,000 laptops were being distributed among talented students during current fiscal year, he added. He further said that 14 Danish Schools have been established in remote and backward tehisls of the province where low income group, poor, orphans and children victim of child labour have been given admission to obtain high standard education by all means. Shujah said that Punjab government also took various steps for youth of the province and held declamations and sports festivals. Position holder students in board examination were awarded prizes in lakh of rupees and guard of honour was presented to such bright and talented students in recognition of their hard work and high achievements.Earlier, young students of the school presented tableaus, folk dances, songs and short plays. The Chief Executive of the school Abdul Qadir Haye presented welcome address and highlighted the curricular and co-curricular achievements of the school. The Minister awarded prizes, shields and certificates among students showing excellent performance in education and other activities.