*ISLAMABAD:* Pakistan still has 22.6 million out of school children by the end of 2017, Federal Minsiter has revealed.
An increase in annual education budget from Rs 550 billion to Rs 850 billion was one of many other positive initiatives taken by the ruling party, said Federal Education Minister Balighur Rehman on Wednesday.
He said that the number of out of school children has decreased significantly from 26 million to 22.6 million during 2013-17. Besides, the minister said the government is on the path to progress and expects to increase the economic growth rate to 6 percent and add around 10,000MW to the national grid by the end of this year.
The minister was addressing audience at the ground breaking ceremony of a new campus of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE) at sector B-17. He said that Pakistan has been gifted with a young population which would prove to be a valuable asset for the country.
“The establishment of such institutes would be a big opportunity for youngsters to get enrolled themselves with this institute and enhance their capabilities at maximum level,” he added.
While recalling some odds faced by CASE due to non-fulfillment of criteria set by Higher Education Commission, Balighur Rehman said that these obstacles ultimately proved positive for CASE as it got huge piece of land to build a vast campus on, which he said, would be converted into a university hopefully.
He suggested the CASE administration that although they had a good team, however the quality of education should not be compromised at any cost.
The minister further said that a large number of students were beneficiaries from public-private partnership programmes being run in the country successfully.