Punjab Government’s new program, called “Zevar-e-Taleem”, wants to tackle the lack of girls in secondary schools. The total worth of scholarships to be distributed under this program is Rs. 6 billion. This was announced by Chief Minister Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal Lahore. He said: I advise the girl students who will get the scholarship to move forward with energy and vigor, and break the status quo to change the destiny of the country. End the culture of plunder and threat; and you all should work as a movement and redesign the country as per guidelines and aspiration of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. Program Details The Punjab government is going to provide a monthly stipend of Rs.1,000 to girls that maintain more than 80% attendance throughout their study year. The step has been taken to encourage girl students to come to school so that they don’t leave their studies midway. Formerly, the incentive amount for regular girl students was limited to just Rs.200. The stipulated amount can be extracted from any ATM or a registered franchise. It is thought that an estimated 460,000 girls are going to benefit from this program. The Chief Minister added that 10% of the population has all the resources with remaining 90% are bereft of them. He said: We have to establish a new city of happiness by ending this cruel economic system and all this is possible through education. Moreover, students studying in madrassas will also be included in the laptop scheme. Lack of Female Students in Schools Punjab Government is known for launching a number of education programs to increase the literacy rate. One of the biggest problems they have faced is the lack of girls in schools across the province. Unsurprising when you consider that Pakistan has the second-largest number of out-of-school girls in the world. Out of the 24 million Pakistani children out of school, around 13 million (or 53%) are girls. In rural areas, around 67% of women aged 15 and above have never seen the inside of a classroom.