Laptop scheme and politics
THE idea floated by the Punjab chief minister to award laptops to brilliant students in order to promote research-based education is laudable.
However, the way laptops are being distributed is questionable, though this scheme is at least better than the ‘sasti roti’ project, which ended in a fiasco.
The manner in which laptops were procured with taxpayers’ money and distributed by politicians to enhance their popularity is unacceptable. For instance, distribution of laptops by Hamza Sharif and Maryam Nawaz is mind-boggling. In what capacity did they attend an official function arranged by the provincial government is beyond comprehension.
Recently, Nawaz Sharif, while giving laptops to students narrated a story of his maid who informed him during breakfast that her daughter also received a laptop. On the basis of this, he declared that the entire project was based on transparency and merit.
On the contrary, a group of students belonging to KEMC reportedly raised slogans against the Punjab government for not being provided laptops despite being eligible.
If this is true, the tall claims of transparency and merit appear far from truth.
Moreover, students sitting in different enclosures of the hockey stadium seemed to have been lured by their cheerleaders to raise slogans in favour of PML-N and Nawaz Sharif.
They were asked to enter into a slogan chanting competition to win attention and favour of Nawaz Sharif. The function turned into a political gathering. Such tactics cast shadow of doubt on the credibility of Sharif brothers for portraying their family at the cost of taxpayers’ money.
Therefore, the chief minister needs to formulate a well-considered award-granting policy to deserving students through heads of educational institutions rather than politicise the issue by using government funds and machinery and taint his own image.