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Punjab computer laboratories Project

Connecting rural schooling to global networking
Lahore, Dec 06: The unique Punjab IT Lab Project, which has been completed in a record period of 110 days with an estimated cost of Rs 5 billion, has become talk of the town as the school children and their parents are acknowledging this extraordinary initiative, terming it as a milestone for the promotion of quality education in the far-flung areas of the province.

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif is rightly taking pride for initiating this project, as the IT project said to be his brainchild would help improve the school children's skill and impart quality education through IT Labs.

During the last 10 days, the Chief Minister has made a hat-trick in the education sector uplift - by launching Punjab IT project, recruitment of no less than 40,000 Educators purely on merit and converting 1700 Urdu medium schools into the English medium.

To me personally, the CM should be careful as often the players play roughly after making a hat-trick, considering that they had done their job. It is said, "Don't think what you have achieved. Always keep in mind what you still have to do."

It was really a good news for me when my nephew called me from Hujra Shah Muqeem a remote area in Okara district, the other day and said, " Now I have a computer at my school."

It was enough for me to understand that when a sincere leader take initiatives for the betterment of the society, it always benefits the real and deserving community not a specific class as was witnessed in the case of notorious National Reconciliation Ordinance.

I was one of those who used to criticise the CM for launching Sasti Roti project for the poor and giving huge subsidy on this project.

In order to justify our point, we used to say that the CM should spend these resources on development and result-oriented projects rather than wasting the amount to feed the needy for the time being.

But many like me have been left with no other option but to appreciate the CM of the people of the Punjab, after he launched the IT project within a record time across the province.

Interestingly, the local media has also termed it as good news for the young generation of the province, urging the governments of other provinces to replicate this model all over the country.

Under the Punjab IT Lab Project, every school has been equipped with 3 desktop PCs and 12 virtual desktops with licensed software from Microsoft, high speed internet connection and hardware solutions from national and international companies like Inbox, Siemens, PEL, N-Computing, and others IT companies. This project has been completed and over 4,286 schools have been covered in this project. According to the official estimates, it will help educate IT skill to more than 3.4 million students in Punjab every year.

Now the Punjab government has formally launched the mega project of IT labs in high schools. A total of 4,286 labs have been set up in public sector high schools with an amount of Rs5 billion. In the next phase, the project would be extended to middle level schools. The government is going to introduce the computer education as an elective subject from next calendar year for the students of class 6 to 8.

For this purpose, state of the art computer labs have been established in the schools in collaboration with the private sector. Every lab is equipped with a Server, AC, 15 terminals and a printer. PTCL has provided necessary interlinking facility to arrange for Internet facilities for these laboratories. The education department has hired a total of 2436 I.T experts to run the labs and this staff has been given one week specialized training to enable them to affably educate the students with dissimilar intellectual horizons.

Without compromising on merit and standard of teaching, the newly recruited IT Teachers and IT Assistants are having MSc and BSc Computer Science degrees to their credit and it is good that the government also plans to continue refresher courses for these teachers to make this scheme a viable achievement.

The most important aspect of the project is that this step is an important achievement to provide easy and free access to the IT for the students with poor and economically diffident milieus.

As we are a nation with strong socio-moral values, therefore the teachers are directed to sensitize the students about the usage and abusage of I.T to the nascent youth so that they could not succumb to any sort of pornography.

Experts say that these laboratories are not limited to teaching only but they would also be helpful to develop school database. School websites will also be developed which will be beneficial for the parents for deciding the issue of admissions.

Their websites facility will be equally useful for assessing comparative grading of different schools.

Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels primary, middle, high, intermediate, and university programmes leading to graduate and advanced degrees.

All academic education institutions are the responsibility of the provincial governments and the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research.

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif should further accelerate his efforts to improve the education system of public sector in all levels.

An issue of National Geographic conveys the adversity poor families must face. Some schools are run so badly that few kids attend. It's not unusual in Pakistan to hear of public schools that receive no books, no supplies, and no subsidies from the government. Thousands more are 'ghost schools' that exist only on paper, to line the pockets of phantom teachers and administrators."

The federal government should also focus on such issues and award exemplary punishment to those behind ghost schools and destroying the future of the young generation.

We expect that this unusual initiative taken the Chief Minister Punjab would help bring revolution in the education sector of the province besides overcoming rural poverty through skill development.

IT education project
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the setting up of over 4000 information technology (IT) labs in the schools of the province will uplift IT activities in the education sector. He said an information technology park will also be constructed for this purpose and full facilities will be extended to the private sector.

He expressed these views during a briefing by senior representatives of Microsoft on Friday. He also said that the private sector would be offered all facilities for IT activities.

He said information technology was essential for speedy development, therefore, the government would complete the IT labs project in 4286 schools of the province in record time. He said more than 3.4 million students would benefit from this project annually, and that IT would also be used for improving the efficiency of government, which would result in capacity building of government departments.

He said his government wanted the early completion of the land record computerisation project which had been pending for a long time. He said the government was also attaching priority to the uplift of education, health, agriculture and law and order, and Microsoft should develop models for the improvement of these sectors.

Mian Shehbaz certainly has the right ideas, even if they are a little late. The reason Pakistan cannot take advantage of the IT boom is that the boom is now a bust. However, IT has become part of life, and it is essential that people get exposure to modern technology in schools. That in itself justifies the project. However, Mian Shahbaz should not assume that IT will create any jobs, and the e-government he contemplates only applies to populations with a high degree of computer literacy.

However, while measures to improve the IT situation in government schools is welcome, Mian Shehbaz should pay more attention to those far-flung areas which do not have any education at all, let alone IT education, and in this regard he must remember that there can be no IT lab if there is no school. The nation

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AIMC extended B.Sc nursing course admission date
Lahore: The last date for submission of applications for admission to the four-year duration B.Sc nursing course at the College of Nursing, Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, has been extended to December 12 2009 while interviews will be held on the December 17 2009.

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Students protest against BISE employees strike
Lahore: A number of students intending to appear in the upcoming matriculation examination 2010 blocked the road outside the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore, and protested against the board's employees for holing pen-down strike.

The protesters said they were facing extreme problems in connection with submission of forms for upcoming exams owing to the BISE employees' ongoing strike. The board employees are observing pen-down strike over non-issuance of grants to the boards by the government. It is learnt officials from the BISE Lahore administrative and management sections are performing duties of forms collection causing inconvenience for both students and the officials.

The board employees are on strike for indefinite period on the call of the Employees Federation of Educational Boards Punjab (EFEBP) over non issuance of grants to the boards following the chief minister's decision to abolish examination and registration fees of public sector educational institutions' students.

The protesting students said the last date for submission of forms was approaching fast, adding 'insensitive' attitude on part of the BISE employees was quite unfortunate. A traffic mess was witnessed on the Lawrence Road and other adjacent roads for quite sometime owing to the students' protest demonstration.

An official of the Punjab Higher Education Department said the government had assured the boards on many occasions that it would provide grants. Such issues usually take some time as different departments are involved, he said, adding it was unfortunate that the boards' employees were exploiting the situation.

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Speech contests at GC Pindigheb
Pindigheb: Co-curricular activities like speech contests, debates and essay writing etc. play a vital role in bringing out the latent qualities of young students and we are fully aware of our responsibilities in this regard.

This college offers all facilities and proper guidance to its students to prepare themselves for the challenges of the future. This was said by Malik Gulab Khan Principal Govt Degree College Pindi Gheb in his address to the students at the closing ceremony of the speech contests held as per dynamic policy of the Punjab government.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Prof Mahboob Hussain Vice Principal of the college and Prof Imam Shah Head of Urdu Department. Prof Bashir Ahmed and Prof Abdul Ghaffar performed the duties as judges during the contests. Noor Elahi a student of of 2nd year and Fahim Sajjad also of 2nd year were declared best speakers in English and Urdu respectively. The news

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