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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Chromebooks will be assembled in Punjab: CM

Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz met delegation of Allied, Tech Valley and Google for Education on Sunday

By Our Correspondent
June 24, 2024
Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz signs book in the Punjab Assembly on February 23, 2024. — Facebook/Maryam Nawaz Sharif
Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz signs book in the Punjab Assembly on February 23, 2024. — Facebook/Maryam Nawaz Sharif

LAHORE: To promote online education for economic empowerment of youth in the province, Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz met the delegation of Allied, Tech Valley and Google for Education here on Sunday.

“Chromebooks will be assembled in Punjab in collaboration with Australian firm Allied,” Maryam Nawaz announced after meeting with the delegation of Allied, Tech Valley, and Google for Education. The delegation led by Regional Head Paul Hutchings agreed to participate in the project.

The chief minister added, “Google ID will be provided free of cost to 50,000 students of government schools in Punjab. Some 1,000 teachers of government schools will be given free digital certification courses.”

She added, “Free certification courses project for 15,000 university students will also be launched and Google for Education will support for a fee of $10.5 million.” The decision in principle has been taken to launch the Digital School on Wheels project in Punjab.

Possibilities of collaboration in digital education projects, smart classroom and digital education ecosystem were assessed in the meeting. Both sides agreed to seek technical support from Google for Education to compile authentic data of out-of-school children.

The chief minister was briefed by provincial Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat that students of government schools in Punjab will be able to log in through Google ID. She was apprised that university students will be given certification in antivirus, artificial intelligence and other courses.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif was told that by obtaining Level One and Level Two certificates, students will be able to easily get jobs around the world. Two pilot projects of Schools on Wheels will be launched in a few weeks, in which students will be able to study by logging in with their Google IDs. With Chromebooks, students will not have to download any application. The data of Chromebooks used by students can also be monitored.

The delegation of Google for Education expressed interest in Punjab government’s first official autism school project. Most of the related issues including research and innovation in schools were also discussed in the meeting. Regional Head Google for Education Paul Hutchings said, “We are keen to work with the Punjab government to facilitate access to digital education.”

The visiting delegation included Google for Education’s Chris Hart, Haris Sufian, Allied Corporation CEO Aaron Sether Jackson, Operations Lead Junaid Shahab, Tech Valley CEO Umar Farooq, Marketing and Communication Lead Nashwa Abrar, and Outreach and Coordination Manager Madiha Mongol.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif in her message on United Nations (UN) Public Service Day said: “I salute government employees who work with dedication and honesty to serve people. People who dedicate their lives to service with integrity and dedication are admirable.”

The chief minister said, “Without hard work and dedication, the dream of development of Punjab cannot be realized. The Punjab government is well aware of its primary responsibility to serve people and make their lives easier. Punjab government is discharging its responsibilities with a spirit of public service. Punjab government reiterates its commitment to transparency, accountability and excellence in public service. Restructuring of departments is being reviewed for better service delivery and good governance.”

On the International Widows Day, she said it is a day to understand difficulties of women who are raising their children alone after the death of their husbands. The chief minister said: “Government and civil society have to work together to empower widows. The discriminatory social attitude towards widows is unfortunate.”

Also, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, taking notice of collapse of a swing in Khushab, Joharabad, in which 24 people including children were injured, ordered a thorough inquiry to fix responsibility and strict action against the negligent.

While expressing grief over the sad demise of guardian and key-bearer of holy Kaaba Dr. Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Saleh Zainul Abidin Al Shaibi, she offered sincere condolences to the bereaved family.