Eliminating child labour: Labour Dept gets 4,254 children enrolled in schools
LAHORE: As many as 4,524 children between five and 14 years of age have been enrolled in schools under a project to eliminate child labour at auto workshops, petrol pumps, service stations, hotels and restaurants across the province.
Provincial Minister for Labour and Human Resource Raja Ashfaq Sarwar told a meeting held on Tuesday to review progress in the project.
He said some of these children were enrolled in schools run by the Schools Education Department and others in those run by one of the Punjab Education Foundation partners or other non-government organisations.
He said 2,764 adolescents in 14-18 year age group had been enrolled in six-month-long literacy cum skills training programme of the Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC).
Sarwar said those enrolled were identified for the purpose in a survey conducted by the Bureau of Statistics (BoS) in Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalnagar, Hafizabad, Okara, Sheikhupura, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Multan districts.
Earlier, the meeting was informed that a proposal was under consideration to make a one-time payment of Rs2,000 to the children’s parents to encourage them to keep their children in schools. It was announced that each child would be paid a Rs2,000 per month stipend to attend school.
Project Director Saeed Ahmed Wattoo said that the adolescents enrolled at the PVTC centres would be allowed to attend classes in the evening shift so that they could continue their jobs in the morning hours. He said that on completion of their trainings the department would help graduates find suitable jobs.
Wattoo said 80 percent field work had been completed for surveys underway in 13 districts in the second phase. The surveys in the third and final phase would be completed by September 15, he said.
Sarwar directed the officers concerned to accelerate the pace of work on the project. He stressed the need for a social mobilisation drive to encourage parents and employers of children to send them to schools for completion of their education.
The meeting also discussed matters regarding a third party validation (TPV) of data of children employed at brick kilns across the province. Labour Secretary Sohail Shehzad, Labour Welfare DG Muhammad Saleem Hussain, Labour (HQ) Director Dawood Abdullah and Urban Unit Senior Manager Abdul Razzaq also attended the meeting.