PM Shehbaz Sharif terms relaunch of laptop scheme as a game changer

PM laptop scheme: A landmark initiative for youth empowerment

The relaunching of Prime Minister’s National Laptop Scheme (PMNLS) has sparked widespread jubilation among young graduates of Pakistan, including Khyber Pakthunkhwa as it will greatly help in completion of their education and acquiring professional knowledge in selected fields.

“PMNLS Phase-III is a blessing for the young graduates of Pakistan, including the KP and merged tribal districts to get themselves equipped with essential education tools for advanced learning and relevant education experiences to achieve better jobs at home and abroad,” Professor Dr Muhammad Naeem of Economics Department of the Swabi University said while talking to APP on Monday.

He said the students from Chitral to Waziristan and Kohistan to Khyber districts would be facilitated, adding graduates of all 38 districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa including seven merged districts would get laptops on merit.

Dr Muhammad Naeem said the previous two laptop schemes of the Prime Minister had played a very positive role in provision of online education to hundreds of thousands of students of Pakistan including KP during COVID-19 era and connected them with their teachers and researchers.

He said majority of students are rejected in the competitive examinations and interviews due to lack of professional experience, adding this landmark scheme has opened a great window of opportunities to apply online inside and outside of the country for jobs and higher studies.

He said  poor students could not afford laptops to purchase and the PM program was a ray of hope for them.

He highly praised the federal government’s decision to restore Prime Minister Laptop Scheme and other various schemes for economic empowerment of youth under Prime Minister’s Youth Program (PMYP).

“I am thankful to Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif whose laptop scheme has helped me in completion of my M.Phil studies,” said lecturer Sundas Amin of the Bacha Khan Degree College, Peshawar while talking to APP.

“When educational institutions were closed for learning during COVID-19 peroid, the laptops provided under the Prime Minister’s scheme has connected students and teachers online that helped them in completion of their studies without wasting of a calander year,” she said.

Terming it a landmark scheme of the present government, he advised students of Khyber Pakthunkhwa including merged areas to take full advantage of it by applying in large numbers.

She welcomed a significant allocation of Rs5 billion for the mega scheme that would encourage the younger generation in all fields including agricultural, science, IT, art, medical, engineering and other sectors.

Shahab Khan, senior planning officer, KP Education Department told APP that about 100,000 laptops amongst deserving students would be distributed this year under the Prime Minister Laptop Scheme program.

He said 50 percent share were allocated for women while quota of Balochistan has been made doubled.

Under the PM laptop scheme II, he said around 500,000 laptops have been successfully distributed through transparent online system across public sector universities and technical colleges including Federal and ex FATA colleges.

He said the Prime Minister Youth Laptop Scheme (PMYLS Phase-III) has been approved by ECNEC. In the past, he said two such schemes have been successfully executed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

He said all students studying in public sector universities and degree awarding institutes and sub-campuses duly recognized by HEC were eligible for the program except distance learning.

Shahab said students enrolled in PhD, MS, MPhil or equivalent 18-year program or in a 4-year or 5-year bachelor’s degree programs were declared eligible for the scheme.

However, students who have already received a laptop under any Federal or Provincial Government scheme, foreign nationals, except students from AJK, were not eligible for this scheme.

He said quota of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of Balochistan has been fixed as 14% (14,000 Laptops) and the remaining 86,000 were allocated for public sector HEIs in accordance with their enrollment preferences.

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