Islamabad - State Minister for Education, Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman Tuesday distributed laptops among 56 talented students of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) for showing outstanding academic performance in their respective disciplines.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme provided the laptops. These were handed over to the students of Masters, M.Phil and PhD programs on their best academic ranking at a ceremony held at the university’s main campus. It was for the first time that the students of AIOU were included in the PM’s scheme, recognising their worth and important role of distance learning system in educational pursuits.

The fee re-reimbursement of laptops would help the youth belonging to all parts of the country particularly the less developed areas to equip themselves with latest technology.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister appreciated AIOU for making distance-learning system successful, catering million of students every year.  The university, he noted enhanced its educational rating over the years and now it has turned into ‘power-engine’ for upgrading the educational output through its strong infrastructure network throughout the country. He hoped that the university would even take lead in launching online courses on mass-scale.  

He said that the prime minister’s fee re-reimbursement scheme was launched to educate and train youths, especially from less-developed areas including rural Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata areas.

Many programs had been launched for the benefit of youth across the country including youth skills training, laptop program and youth loans in this regard. Despite of limited resources, the government has also injected Rs 100 billion for youth programs, he said. The Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and the Vice Chancellor Dr Shahid Siddiqui also addressed the ceremony. Dr Mukhtar said that they were successfully executing the laptop scheme, while maintaining its transparency and ensuring assembling of laptops indigenously. About one hundred thousands laptops will be distrusted among the talented students annually. The HEC, he said was also meeting the educational expenditure of millions of students, under the directives of the prime minister.

Dr Siddiqui said that the university was paying greater attention to impart higher education with quality and conducting research. The university, he added was aggressively working to implement its mission ‘education for all’ in letter and spirit. He hoped that the laptops would help the youth to carry on their applied research work, meeting the socio-economic needs of the country.