IT labs in 3,000 middle schools next fiscal

After setting up computer labs in almost all high schools of the province, the Punjab government is set to establish similar computer labs in 3,000 of its 8,000 middle schools in the first phase in next fiscal year.The News has learnt that the provincial government is going to earmark Rs3 billion in the upcoming budget to set up computer labs on the pattern of high schools. The remaining 5,000 schools would then be provided the computer labs in next two years, enabling the Punjab government comply with the Federal governmentís directive to ensure computer education in all schools, from middle level upwards.“We have added 3.4 million new internet users in one go by establishing computer labs in high schools,” said Punjab Information Technology Board CEO Judat Ayaz, who oversaw the high school computer lab project. He said if funds were made available next year, there would be no problem in equipping middle schools with similar labs. The provision of computer labs to 3,000 middle schools would bring the province another 2.4 million young internet users, he added.He said branded global manufacturers had provided software and hardware with three-year guarantee of performance, repair and maintenance. The PTCL had provided broad band high speed internet connections in most of the labs, guaranteeing uninterrupted services for next three years. Even the enterprise supplying 4,285 air conditioners had guaranteed repair and maintenance for three years, he added. He said the government had made the availability of computer labs of global quality on very cheap rates. Originally, he said, the high school computer labs project was estimated to cost Rs6 billion as they were going for 15 branded desktop computers. However, afterwards, it was found that only three desktop computers would be needed if the latest N-Computing device was used. The decision saved the government Rs1.5 billion from the original estimates, he added. This turned out to be a green projects as monitors used as virtual desktops consume only 10 watt of electricity against CBU of desktop computer that used 100 watt. He said the step would help save a lot of energy every year.Judat said the labs of 500 high schools would be upgraded in accordance with the new project. ‘At least 400 high schools could not get computer labs because they did not have access to electricity. This year, they too would get labs as arrangements had been made to electrify the schools through solar panels,’ he added.

via IT labs in 3,000 middle schools next fiscal.

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