The Chairman of the Planning and Development Board, Mr. Abdullah Khan Sumbal, met with a delegation from the World Bank that consisted of five members, including Country Director Mr. Najy Benhassine, Mr. Ehtesham-ul Haq, Mr. Koen Martijn Geven, Ms. Ayesha Tahir, and Ms. Izza Farrakh. The meeting took place at the P&D Complex in Lahore.
During the course of the meeting, the Chair conducted a comprehensive examination of the World Bank initiative known as “GRADES” (Getting Results: Access and Delivery of Quality Education Services) that was being carried out in Punjab. It is a project that is being supported by the World Bank, and the loan amount is USD 150 Million. He went on to highlight the significance of the initiative as well as its primary emphasis areas, which included student retention and access, high-quality education, governance, and school leadership.
During the course of the meeting, the Secretary of the P&D Board, Mr. Sohail Anwar, provided the Chair with an update on the construction of 4500 additional classrooms, the establishment of 2500 new schools in accordance with the PEF model, and the enrollment of 500,000 additional students in accordance with the PEF over the course of 5 years. It will be supported by smartphone and tablet apps based on programmes and infrastructure that already exist, and it will be linked to the Single National Curriculum. Remedial learning is the primary focus of the initiative.
Mr. Najy Benhassine, Country Director for the World Bank, said that “The project would be a critical step towards generating favourable outcomes in the future in terms of improved education.” He expressed his gratitude for the efforts made by the Government of the Punjab and emphasised the significance of constructing schools and classrooms in order to make education more accessible across the province of Punjab. In addition to top authorities, the Secretary of the P&D Board and a member of the P&D Board for Education were present at the meeting.