Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Saturday said under a phase-wise programme, 27,512 primary and elementary schools in Punjab will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 50 billion. The first phase will be started from August 1, and 4 million students will be benefited from this programme. Addressing a press conference on 90 SQA, CM said the promotion of education was the top priority of the incumbent government for which no stone will be left unturned. The government will continue to take all out efforts for the promotion of education. In the first phase, 21,000 primary schools will be upgraded to elementary level at a cost of Rs 17 billion, while in the second phase, 6,653 elementary schools will be upgraded to high school level, he added. According to the procedure and keeping in view the number of students, elementary classes will be held in existing primary schools and there will be secondary classes in the second shift of elementary schools. The CM said that only teachers and staff will be paid honorarium whereas 6653 computers and science labs will be set up for the students of 9th and 10th class in elementary schools. He maintained that Rs 295 billion would have required if the government adopted a traditional way of upgrading schools. This project will save Rs. 245 billion, he mentioned. The 27517 schools in the first and second phase of this project include 11501 schools from Central Punjab, 5,402 from Northern Punjab and 10,614 primary and elementary schools from Southern Punjab. CM Buzdar added that the ratio of Southern Punjab’s schools to be upgraded under this programme was 38 percent, and assured that there was no need for political recommendation or affiliation for the up-gradation of schools. Giving the details of other important steps for the promotion of education, the Chief Minister said that one million children had been enrolled in a year, including 40 per cent boys and 60 percent girls students. The responsibility of enrolling children had been withdrawn from the teachers, now the Education Officer and the School Council will do this work. The Chief Minister while disclosing a third important feature said that a record of B-Form had already been obtained to devise the accurate data of 1.6 million students. He further stated that lunch was being provided in 100 government schools with the help of philanthropists while the government was also reviewing to launch this programme in other five districts as well. Separately, he said that the government was more focused on the health sector due to coronavirus pandemic. The project of constructing classrooms will also be completed. The Chief Minister said that the revenue system would not only be computerized but also digitized. He further stated that 127 vaccination centres were being operated in Punjab and the provincial government will evolve a policy for private vaccination with the federal government. The decision of administrating the vaccine to the children will be taken with the consultation of experts. Report of vaccinating the influential will soon be surfaced. More steps will be taken as per the decisions of NCOC. The government was focusing on its performance, merit and initiatives. Provincial Education Minister Dr Murad Ras informed that after the e-Transfer of teachers, online retirement, leave and promotion system will also be implemented by December 2021. Meanwhile, the CM said the Southern Punjab Secretariat was being further strengthened and empowered as an additional chief secretary will be posted there on a permanent basis.Matters regarding mutual interest, development projects and affairs of the Southern Punjab Secretariat came under discussion during the meeting, he added. The Chief Minister said that setting up the Southern Punjab Secretariat was on the credit of the PTI government and asserted that people of backward areas will be benefited from the development. The incumbent government had a vigilant eye on the problems of every city and completion of the District Development Package will resolve the problems of the people, he added. A special development package had been devised for the development of Multan which will help to redress the long-standing issues of the Multanites. Buzdar further stated that he will visit every city and every area of Punjab.