Student who received laptops from the Punjab government on Friday, contemplated if it was an act of facilitating them or a plan to reel in votes for the ruling party. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif, in a ceremony at the Convention Centre, distributed over 1,500 laptops among students from all over the country.
The initiative is the first in many to come, said Sharif during his address. He shared that in total they are distributing 125,000 computers and plan to distribute 300,000 laptops next year.
He also spoke of his academic career and while some students could relate to his speech, Umar Saleem while talking to The Express Tribune, said “His comments on how his party has accomplished a lot in a short span of time were self-promotional.”
Hira Arshad, another student, said that the majority of students are supporters of PTI and this scheme was a technique of gathering the youth’s support. However, she said it was a great initiative to facilitate hard working and needy students.
Arshad added that she could afford to buy a laptop herself and has three computers now. “I’ll give this one to my younger sister,” she said.
Higher Education Secretary Kashif Faraz said the initiative aims to inculcate technology in the hands of bright youngsters. Responding to the students’ complaints of having to wait long hours to receive the laptops, he said transporting such a large quantity of laptops and registering students and verifying their IDs took a lot of time.
The budget for the initiative is Rs4 billion and due to bulk buying each laptop cost Rs37,750 instead of the regular Rs47,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.