Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, has announced to relaunch the Prime Minister (PM) Laptop Scheme under the Youth Development Initiative in the next few days.
Talking to media, he added that HEC will also initiate a programme for online courses for students in Pakistan’s universities with support from Microsoft and different global organizations.
The announcement comes after the Federal Government led by Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) announced to restore the landmark Prime Minister (PM) Laptop Scheme.
According to the details, the students of BS, Masters, M Phil, PhD, and Undergraduate will be provided laptops under the scheme, which has been allocated a budget of Rs. 10 billion.
The Government has established a committee under the supervision of the Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, who will finalize all the matters, including the eligibility criteria for laptops to be provided to students.
The 14-member committee includes Executive Director of HEC, Additional Finance Secretary (Budget) Government of Pakistan, a Member Planning and Development Division, Science and Technology, Secretary Higher Education Department Punjab, Secretary Higher Education Department Sindh, Secretary Higher Education Department Balochistan, Secretary Higher Education Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a representative from National Information Technology Board (NITB), Secretary Higher Education Department Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Representative of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and others.
In addition, the degree verification and equivalence certificate system is also being moved completely online.
He added that HEC was was going through financial issues caused by an increasing number of educational institutions and public universities will now receive funds based on their performance. “We would request the federal and provincial governments to not establish more public universities until the country’s financial issues are resolved,” he said.
He revealed that universities have established over 5,000 affiliated colleges in several cities and the commission has received several complaints regarding their quality. Therefore, the HEC has asked such universities to either improve their quality of education or shut down these colleges.
Talking about the fee payment issues of students from flood-hit areas, the HEC chairman said the commission will provide a two-months deadline for them.