CM Punjab distributes laptops

'Alien students' being included

LAHORE: Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, addressing the laptops distribution ceremony, said that brilliant students of other provinces will also be given laptops.

He said that just as scholarships are being given to the boy and girl students of other provinces from the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, similarly talented students of other provinces also being included in the programme of laptop distribution.

CM Punjab to distribute 600 laptops among students
DG KHAN: CM Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif will distribute laptops among intelligent students of the district on February 11. District coordination officer Iftikhar Ali Sahu said this while holding a meeting attended by EDO Finance, Director College, District Collector, Secretary RTA and other officers.

The DCO informed that 600 intelligent students who secured good marks in their respective education field would be offered the laptops under first phase of the programme. Professional graduates, Post Graduates and other professional who got 60 to 70 per cent marks would also be eligible. Meanwhile, it is reported that ehe ‘Laptop Scholarship’ announced by the Punjab Chief Minister has made the bright students of public sector institutions enthusiastic, most of them checking the Chief Minister’s Youth Initiative website on a daily basis, hoping to find their names published there.

Till Sunday, some 110,351 brilliant students studying in BS (Honours), masters, M.Phil and PhD classes in public sector colleges and universities, besides high-achievers of the boards in matriculation examinations across Punjab, have been registered for the scholarship. Though the registration date for the regular morning classes’ students expired on January 15, the evening students of Replica Programme can get themselves registered till January 25.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had initially announced the grant of 100,000 laptops for the public sector students scoring above 70 per cent. However, the number of laptops was later enhanced to 125,000 in view of students’ enthusiasm and protests staged by those studying in evening classes, who were initially excluded.

“The motivation and enthusiasm behind this scheme is to help students rise above problems and hurdles they face in their path to gain knowledge and excel professionally,” says CM Shahbaz Sharif.

Those in government service and seeking higher education also want to be considered for the scholarship. Though this segment cannot agitate like evening classes students, they are trying to make their voices heard, arguing they too can’t afford to purchase laptops on their own given their meager salaries. Among them, those serving public institutions in up to BPS-16 are more vocal. Though the scheme may prove beneficial for the shining students, it is taking a heavy toll on the backend officials of various educational institutions who are engaged for the massive data collection, update and sifting without getting an extra buck.

“This initiative has boggled us, as we are being asked to continuously update the lists – most of the time within one-day deadline, with a warning that in case of loss of any student’s data the department concerned will be held responsible,” an ‘affected’ official said. “With one-day deadline, we are verifying each student’s data from about 1,250-page file,” they said last week. The loadshedding had made this exercise tougher and replacement of desktop computers with laptops could help expedite the work, they suggested.

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