The government of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) has become another region to take steps to launch the free meal and health improvement programme for primary school students.
On Saturday,the G-B Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid inaugurated the scheme during a ceremony along with Chief G-B Secretary Mohyuddin Wani. “Happy to announce the start of a revolution in primary school education in Pakistan today,” CM Khurshid said while addressing the ceremony.
He said that the free meal programme will improve child health and well-being and will eventually encourage the enrolment of students in schools. “Our goal is to make public schools more attractive than private schools for parents,” he added.
The chief minister further shared details and said that the programme will also check the eyesight and hearing abilities of the students on a regular basis. “It will calculate BMI (body mass index) to check stunting. Additional nutrition will be provided to the homes with affected children if needed.”
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The chief minister while talking about other establishments, said that computer labs and libraries are also being established in schools to teach children programming, IT and general knowledge. He said that the programme will be spread out to every corner of the region within a year.
Moreover, in February, the federal government launched a similar free meal programme in the federal capital with the aim of feeding at least 25,000 students in 100 schools daily. Then federal minister for education Shafqat Mahmood said the free meals for students would be provided by the Allahwala Trust and expressed his gratitude to the organisation.
He said that “Such institutions are a beacon for us,” He further stated that he had met with the director of the United Nationals International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and wanted to launch the model across the country but faced budget restraints.