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April 8, 2015

Laptops under PM scheme distributed at AIOU

Islamabad

April 8, 2015

Islamabad
For the first time since the launch of Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme, 56 students of distance learning from Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) received laptops in a graceful ceremony organised at AIOU main campus on Tuesday.
State Minister for Education Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman distributed laptops among the talented students for showing outstanding academic performance in their respective disciplines.
The laptops were provided by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme. These were handed over to the students of Masters, M Phil and PhD programmes on their best academic ranking.
It was for the first that the students of AIOU were included in the PM’s scheme, recognising their worth and important role of distance learning system in educational pursuits.
Excitement was writ large on the faces of lucky students, of all age groups, who received their computers at the ceremony. “I and my husband are doing PhD and we were using the same laptop. I am happy that I have my own now. We are thankful to the government,” said Saima Afzal while talking to ‘The News’.
She also had a free advice for those who posses laptops. “Negative use of internet among youth is polluting and destroying minds. I think we need trainings on positive use of internet along with these laptops,” she said.
Gul Zaheed, a student of Arabic, termed it a responsibility of all those given the laptops under this scheme to use them for the benefit of the country. “The laptops distributed under this scheme were bought from the public money and it is our responsibility to use them in a way that it benefits the country,” he said.
Waqar Ali, an MBA executive student, never had a desktop or laptop before he was given one at the AIOU. “After fulfilling basic need of food, bills and fees, we are not left with any money to buy a computer. This one is going to be really helpful for all my family,” he said pointing

towards his box of computer.
Waqar also mentioned a very special reason for his excitement. “There are going to be long loadshedding hours in coming months. My studies will not get interrupted with this laptop,” he said. He also appreciated the free Evo stick and balance with the computers.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister appreciated the AIOU for making distance learning system successful, catering million of students every year. The university, he noted enhanced its educational rating over the years and now it has turned into ‘power-engine’ for upgrading the educational output through its strong infrastructure network throughout the country. He hoped that the University will even take lead in launching online courses on mass-scale.
Engineer Baligh-ur-Rahman also highlighted the achievements of the present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the educational sector, stating “A record budget of Rs 70 billion was allocated for HEC to promote higher education. If we succeeded to develop our youth through education and training, they could play their vital role in the socio-economic development of the country,” he said adding that many programs had been launched for the benefit of youth across the country including Youth Skills Training, Laptop Program and Youth Loans. “Despite of limited resources, the government has also injected Rs 100 billion for Youth programs,” he said.
HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said they were successfully executing the laptop scheme, while maintaining its transparency and ensuring assembling of laptops indigenously. “About one hundred thousand laptops will be distrusted among the talented students annually,” he said adding that the HEC was also meeting the educational expenditure of millions of students, under the directives of the prime minister.
AIOU Vice Chancellor Dr. Shahid Siddiqi spoke about achievements of AIOU in producing skilled manpower and professionals of high standard in various disciplines. He said that the university was paying greater attention to impart higher education with quality and conducting research. “The University is aggressively working to implement its mission ‘Education for all’ in letter and spirit.” He hoped that the laptops will help the youth to carry on their applied research work, meeting the socio-economic needs of the country.

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