Children of Pakistan particularly those affected by recent devastating floods deserve a better deal in education as the schools starting from scrap should be equipped with latest technology to bring them at par with global educational standards.
Punjab government through prudent use of funds last year demonstrated that how the entire secondary schools of the largest province of the country could have computer labs at affordable price.
Educational experts are of the opinion that at a time when the funds for education are scarce the reach or footprint of USAID in education sector could be enhanced enormously through use of proper technology. The efforts of the planners should be to optimize the usage of funds made available for education sector particularly in the under developed areas of Punjab province.
The USAID grant of 148 million dollars to Punjab government have been decided to spend on the promotion of education in DG Khan, Rajanpur, Multan, Khanewal and Bahawalpur and other districts having lowest literacy rate. Experts say it would be wastage of funds if the amount is utilized in replacing the destructed schools with similar standard institutes.
They point out that in high tech global world the concept of literacy is incomplete without computer training, which is adopted for primary and higher level studies in large and small cities of Pakistan as basic training.
In this regard they pointed out the successful establishment of over 4280 computer labs in Punjab schools in which the cost of equipment in the 15 desk lab was saved by connecting one CPU with five virtual desktops provided by NComputing. The virtual desktops also saved thousands of units of electricity as the device converts low power consuming monitors having mouse and key pads into a virtual desktop computer. It was because of this school computerization plan that Punjab is connected through internet to the world at district and tehsil level.
The USAID-funded education projects should be utilized optimally in Punjab through installation of similar cutting edge computer and its related technologies to save expenses of the government and consumes less electricity.
The computer labs will increase the cost of school setting up manifold as higher number of computer systems is required for scores of students. But it is no more impediments towards building up schools and training institute thanks to cutting edge technologies, which made it easier for the people to save their expense, space, energy with the deployment of virtualization of desktop.
The 50,000 computers being purchased for Punjab schools could be converted into 150,000 to 1.5 million computer access points. The use of new technology in computer labs will curtail the overhead expenses of the government significantly. Also, it will also save the electricity expenses of the schools and training institutes ten times low compared with ordinary setups of computer labs.
The electricity consumption of “NComputing” access devices is only 1 watt as compared to 110 watts or more for a typical PC. This massive reduction in energy consumption is especially critical in places where electricity is limited and expensive. USAID-funded projects will exceeds to 7,818 schools in the five districts so as the number of the students will increase from 1,448,000 students to be benefited.
Ncomputing technology also addresses the worsening electricity crisis of the country and makes the computers of domestic and commercial users an efficient and economical.