FREE Laptops for students – Nobel Cause, Scam or just petty Politics
Punjab government has spent exuberant Rs. 12 billion of tax payer money on distributing fee laptops to students of public institutions. It is sound like a very noble and gracious move or very inappropriate use of public funds for a mere political millage. Punjab chief minister Shabaz Sharif and Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief Nawaz Sharif has distributed 100,000 laptops to talented and deserving students belonging to public institutions. PMLN’s central leader and daughter of Mian Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif can be seen distributing free laptops to deserving youth along with in Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif. The country that spends measly 2% of its GDP on education, such initiatives are certainly commendable. But underlying corruption attached to schemes like these always adversely affects the whole process. Free laptops are distributed on the basis of marks secured in board examinations. This scheme is limited to college and university going students. But the critics feared that merit criteria will not prevails and some of the deserving students will be ignored.
The idea of student employing laptops seems very good idea but spending Rs. 12 billion of tax payer money on quick fixes does not make sense. Amount this big should have been invested wisely so that it can produce benefits in long term. Government schools across country are very dreadful condition those employ ghost teachers. These schools are mostly under the influence of the powerful local landlord who use it for keeping his cattle or godown etc.
The Punjab government’s previous project of Danish schools has also witness, huge pile of taxpayer money going to drains. PMLN government had spent Rs. 12 million on inauguration ceremony of two schools located in Rahim Yar Khan and Hasilpur. These expenditures do not also include VVIP traveling and accommodation expenses. Around 30 people were flown by air from Lahore to attend this inauguration ceremony. If you spent development money so lavishly on parties, already weary donor agencies will further drift away from Pakistan. Ironically, this idea was originally conceived by PTI. The PMLN who is feeling threaten by the rise of PTI since there Lahore jalsa of October 30, 2011 is tirelessly working to salvage their presence in Punjab. With PML-N former bigwig Makhdoom Javed Hashmi joining Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Sharif brothers are getting worried.
A well thought strategy is needed to be formulated at national and provisional level to elevate education sector of Pakistan. Spending billions of tax payer’s money on Free laptops on petty politics is not going to get anywhere in future.