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SAHIWAL: Students of Government MC Middle School (GMCMS), Block No 11, Chichawatni, have not been allowed to enter into a computer lab for the last one year because of unavailability of a computer teacher.

Intriguingly, the school timetable shows a 40-minute period of computer lab for each class and both teachers and students consider it a ‘free period’.

In the 80s the school had twice received presidential award for performance (Husn-i-Karkardagi).

Located in the center of Chichawatni city, the school was established as a primary school which was upgraded to middle level in 1985.

Students not allowed to enter the lab

Assistant Education Officer Nasir Ahmed Alvi said the Punjab government had established computer labs in four middle schools of Chichawatni tehsil two years back.

“This school was equipped with 16 Pentium-4 computers along with full furniture, an air-conditioner, a printer and a computer teacher”, he said.

It is learnt although the contractor had provided substandard furniture, the school administration intervened and a quality furniture was provided for the computer lab.

The school got a grade 14 computer teacher for students of classes 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th, but he got himself transferred in May 2014 and from that day the post has been lying vacant, headmaster Muhammad Ashraf told Dawn.

Many students of classes 7 and 8 said they only studied theory of the computer and that too from teachers of other subjects.

It is interesting to note that the Punjab Examination Commission has not taken computer paper of class 8th students for the last three years.

“The school management is asked to take the computer paper internally,” the headmaster said. To fulfill a formality, the school management has documented the computer period in the timetable without being taught by any competent teacher.

A senior clerk, requesting anonymity, said since the computer books were in English and teachers were not well-versed with the language they avoided teaching the technical subject to students.

The headmaster hoped that among the quota of newly-appointed educators the school would get a computer teacher after this year’s summer vocation.

Sources said currently the class IV school employees and some teachers watched Indian movies in the computer lab. However, the headmaster denied the claim.

Teacher Zafar Iqbal said the computer book was taught to some students but they could not fully benefit from it without getting practical training on computers.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2015

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