Punjab to give away laptops worth Rs2b to bright students
ISLAMABAD The Punjab government is finalising criterion to select talented students and high achievers to provide 100,000 free of cost laptops, costing Rs2 billion, for advancement of information technology among these learners.
A reasonable laptop will be given to every selected student to prepare him or her to cope with the challenges of the digitisation brought about by the spread of information and communication technology, an official told The News.
He said these students would be selected on the basis of transparent criteria based on a specified merit and academic achievement.
Students of all public sector medical and dental colleges, government engineering universities, public sector universities, government law colleges, students of BS Honours in public sector institutions and students of government postgraduate colleges would be considered for the gift of laptop under this scheme, the official said.
He said that students who have obtained 60% or more marks in annual examination and 70% or more marks in the semester system would be eligible to get free laptop. Moreover, 100 top achievers in secondary school certificate examinations from each education board would also be rewarded with a laptop under this scheme.
In addition, the Punjab domiciled students currently studying in Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and International Islamic University Islamabad, who qualify the approved criterion, would also be given these laptops, the official said.
He said that acquisition of information and communication technology was the need of the hour. The government of the Punjab has already established state-of-the-art IT labs in 4286 schools, he added. The provincial government also intends to take the spread of IT education further through establishment of 515 more IT labs in high and higher secondary level and through establishment of 1030 IT labs in elementary schools. Digitisation is also expected in 26 colleges of the Punjab which are offering BS Honours programmes in different disciplines.
The official said that the rationale behind provision of 100,000 was to help students overcome the obstacles in the way of learning and professional growth in the modern times. This investment in college students, through aid in shape of free laptop, is a public investment in human capital and a means for ensuring better and competitive educational opportunity. No discrimination on the basis of economic status would be made as it is an initiative to encourage and reward merit based achievers toward a larger goal of national economic development, he said.
Under this scheme, the official said, the Punjab government is encouraging establishment of Hot Spots in academic institutions. The step would facilitate the students accessing internet through Wi-Fi for their academic pursuits 24/7 on campuses.
The facility will promote IT culture amongst student and provide them access to treasures of knowledge available on World Wide Web. The initiative would be a giant step towards preparation of e-youth and promotion of e-culture in our academic institutions, he said.
The official said that merit recognition through provision of free laptop computers to talented students would be helpful in achievement of the objectives to create IT enablement in one hundred thousand meritorious students; to reward merit and talent; to boost students’ morale in terms of government patronage; to complement government policy of digitization; and to bring about improvement in social and economic indicators through availability of hi-tech devices in the student community of the Punjab. (thenews)