Universal Service Fund (USF) has approved of several projects worth billions of rupees that are geared towards enhancing computer literacy in Pakistan.
The USF’s 41st Board of Directors Meeting was convened in the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, Islamabad. The meeting was attended by Minister of State for IT & Telecom Ms. Anusha Rahman and Chairman PTA Dr. Syed Ismail Shah. Also in attendance were other Board members including the Secretary IT; Chairman PTA, Mr. Mudassar Hussain; CEO & President PTCL, Dr. Syed Ismail Shah.
Chaired by Ms. Anusha Rehman, the meeting included an overview of the efforts and developments in the telecommunication sector and the services in the unserved and under-served areas throughout Pakistan.
On the recommendation of USF, the Board of Directors approved the award of Rural Telephony and e-Services Project for Sibi, Loralai, Killa Saifullah & Barkhan districts. This Project has a subsidy value of Rs. 3,195 million, benefiting an unserved population of around 500,000. The meeting also saw the approval of the award of a special project for the establishment of computer labs in 12 Bait-ul-mal Sweet Homes orphanages for facilitating underprivileged children.
A special project focused towards the use of ICT to empower young girls was approved. This project will focus on imparting computer literacy, computer programming and ICT skills to young girls in unserved and under-served areas. This also includes the establishment of Computer Labs in the Women Empowerment Centers run by the Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal. Their training content will be prepared in collaboration with the Virtual University.
What remains to be seen is if the government can pull off these projects successfully. In the past, grants for major projects are often wasted or suspiciously lost. We can only hope and wait to see if these projects are for the sake of the growth of Pakistan’s under-developed regions.
News Source: The News