PESHAWAR, June 21: The provincial Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Department has failed to execute a plan for establishing computer laboratories in government schools and appointment of computer teachers.

The previous government had allocated Rs500 million in the provincial budget 2012-13 to imparting computer education to students of government schools. It had planned to establish computer laboratories in 170 government high schools in different parts of the province and appoint 340 computer teachers within a year, sources told Dawn.

However, they said, the computer labs couldn’t be established due to disinterest of education department officials, depriving thousands of students of becoming computer literate.

Computer is an optional subject at the secondary level in government schools and its introduction is equally important like other subjects, said one of the district education officers.

He said that there were certain problems in introducing the computer subject. He said that the subject couldn’t be introduced in all schools in the absence of computer labs and teachers. He said that there were computer labs in some schools but no teachers, and vice versa in case of other schools.

The sources said that the project was delayed in the interest of the department because some ministers in the previous cabinet wanted computer labs to be established in schools located in their constituencies. They said that the functionaries of the previous government wanted to establish the computer labs at their will instead of following the education department’s plan.

The sources claimed that the education department had now accelerated work on the appointment of computer teachers and establishment of computer labs since the new cabinet took oath.

“The computer labs will be established on need basis rather than political grounds,” said an official in the education department. The 340 teachers being appointed for computer subject would be in grade-16 and grade-18, he said.

He said that schools for establishing computer labs had been identified and the applicants already short-listed for the posts of teachers. He hoped that the project would be executed in the current financial year. The official said that specification of the computers to be installed in the laboratories had also been decided and the final approval in this regard would be made in a few days.

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