“The government should also provide laptops to teachers and scholars of Madaris (Islamic seminaries) to promote harmony between formal and non-formal systems of education.” This was observed in a report prepared by Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation (DGM&E) of Planning and Development Department of Punjab. In an analytic report based on Project Evaluation and Rating Index (PERI), a senior official of DGM&E released the news to APP (Associated Press of Pakistan) on Sunday, June 15, 2014.
“By catering the need of the hour to modify madaris education system and to educate their students by using modern technology would also be very helpful in eradicating poverty, extremism and ignorance.”
The report also pointed out that the project of laptops had emerged successful in enhancing information technology skills and knowledge in students and researchers of public sector universities and colleges through distribution of more than 200,000 laptops with a total financial outlay of more than Rs 8,000 million.
Most of participants in the survey have acknowledged the chief minister’s initiative as a successful effort to encourage youth to strive for excellence in the field of information technology without any digital divide. Note that more than 85% of students provided with laptops were in a range of 18 to 25 years.
An improvement of grade and knowledge were seen in 86% of students who participated in survey which was further backed by Pre-Post impact analysis (before and after receiving laptop under this scheme) showing that grades in the education of beneficiaries have been improved. 83% students belonging to lower class and lower middle class families have benefited from the scheme, including more than 35% of students with house hold income less than Rs 10,000 per month.
However, it was observed that careful monitoring of quality and quantity of laptops and selection criteria of students short-listed by universities and colleges should be assured to increase project efficacy.
The report also suggested that special quota should be reserved for disabled and special students of special education centers.