LAHORE:13 May: The Punjab government has initiated a monitoring drive for Early Childhood Education (ECE) classrooms established at 5,000 schools across the province. An order has also been issued to complete the drive before the start of summer vacations – May 17. A letter was released to all district education authorities (DEAs) chief executive officers (CEOs) by the programme monitoring and implementation unit (PMIU) of the Punjab Education Sector Reform Programme (PMIU-PESRP). It instructed that all ECE classrooms would be checked by the assistant education officers (AEOs) by May 16. ‘Summer vacations to commence from May 17’ The monitoring aims to collect data and ensure standards set by the provincial government in its Punjab ECE Policy 2017. “2017-18 targets of ECE in the third Punjab Education Sector Project (PESP-III) require monitoring and data collection with respect to classrooms to ensure that they meet the quality standards prescribed in the Punjab ECE Policy 2017”. ‘Over 11 million children out of schools in Punjab’ Data collection has been delayed, according to the letter, and it instructs that the exercise be carried out before. It said, “In order to assess progress against the afore-mentioned quality standards in the 5,000 ECE classrooms established so far, separate apps have been developed by PITB for MEAs and assistant education officers (AEOs). Data through the MEA app is already being collected by the PMIU, while data collection through AEOs was delayed due to the finalisation of the AEO app”. State of education: Report takes stock of Punjab’s 5-year education performance “It is further stated that the AEO app has now been developed and pilot-tested to ensure that it is ready for use by all concerned AEOs. However, we are not left with many days to conduct the required observation activity.Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2018.