Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal indicated that the first two years of the new SAD-BJP government would be directed towards taking Punjab to the top in education.
This would be achieved by improving the infrastructure of government institutes, filling vacant posts in schools and colleges and also encouraging private investments in the sector, he added.
Stressing on the importance of education during the 106th annual convocation of the historic Khalsa College here on Sunday, Badal said, "From the 14th spot at the start of our previous term, we are now at the third spot in education due to the efforts put in during the past five years for the uplift of schools and higher education. Our endeavour now is to see that the state reaches the top."
In his convocation address, the chief minister said he had sent out clear instructions that the officials concerned should put forward a list of the infrastructure and the staff needed in the next month or so. The government was ready to spend liberally to improve the infrastructure and recruit staff, wherever necessary, he added.
He pointed out that at one point there were only four universities in Punjab. But over the years, this number has gone up as during his previous terms he gave approval to opening of six universities, he added.
Pointing out that education was vital for the progress and development of any country, he said that stress, both by the government and the private sectors, should be laid on quality education. Without quality education, the students would not be able to compete globally, he added. "It must be quality as well as education with a purpose," he added.
In his address, the chief minister also laid stress on educating girls and pointed out that his native village Badal was providing top-quality education to girls. On the occasion, the CM congratulated the students who received their degrees. He gave away degrees to 458 students; besides, 61 students were awarded medals for their meritorious performances in exams.