PESHWAR MARCH 2-2017: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has said that the class based outdated system of education widened the gap between rich and poor adding that only a uniform system of education could narrow down the schism between the two and could ensure equal chances of moving forward. Therefore PTI had no other option but to introduce English medium system at primary level in public sector schools to abridge the gap between rich and poor. His government allocated Rs.150 billion for education sector out of total budget outlay of Rs.500 billion that stood 28% of the total budget. Chief Minister termed the existing system of education as the root cause of backwardness. “How a student of Urdu medium school can compete with the student of English medium school” he posed a question to the audience. He lamented the past rulers attitude for totally ignoring education that resulted into the all existing evils and particularly sense of deprivation among the poor in the society. These views were expressed by him while addressing the concluding session of a two days workshop on “Higher Education-Access and Quality” at a local hotel Peshawar here today. Advisor to CM on Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani, Secretary Higher Education Syed Zafar Ali Shah also addressed on the occasion. Chief Minister termed education as the panacea to all evils as nations achieve the heights of progress and prosperity only through education. Chief Minister said that education is at the top of the agenda of PTI government. PTI started home work two years prior to coming into power to make the institutions capable to deliver. His government was striving hard to ensure hundred percent implementation on its promises for change, made with the people. He said past governments neither paid any attention to education nor paid any heed to ensure teachers presence in schools, what to talk of quality education, he added. He lamented the past practices when appointments of Vice Chancellors and principals were made on political grounds. He questioned “how educational institutions can deliver and give better results if appointments are politically motivated ignoring merit, ability and suitability. PTI government from top to bottom ensured recruitment through NTS purely on merit, linking the promotion of teachers with the better results, he added. He reminded PTI government discouraged the culture of favoritism and evolved a system to make appointments purely on the basis of competency. Consistency of the existing practice would lead to desired results. He would not compromise on merit. Our focus is on the system and strengthening of institutions, he added. Referring to the health sector reforms, Chief Minister said that his government passed the law of medical teaching institutes whereby tertiary care Hospitals have been given full autonomy with one line budgeting. We have empowered local government system and devolved major chunk of budget to the grass root level. PTI government had already established autonomous boards and authorities in different public sectors. The set of legislations enacted by his government strengthened and revamped the system and the previous rulers made legislations to protect their interests that is the main difference between his government and the governments in the past, he added. Chief Minister said that his government ensured availability of hundred percent doctors and teachers. Now institutions were delivering due to our reforms agenda. Public trust in the institutions had been restored. Chief Minister assured the delegates that the recommendations arrived at in the workshop would be given proper shape in the policy formulation and implementation phases of his government.