Punjab to assemble Chromebooks in collaboration with Australian firm

Google for Education delegation calls on Punjab CM Maryam

LAHORE   -   Punjab will assemble Chromebooks in collaboration with an Australian firm under the digital education projects.  Decision to this effect was taken in a meeting with a delegation of Allied, Tech Valley, and Google for Education chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Sunday.

The meeting was told that Google ID will be provided free of cost to 50,000 students of government schools in Punjab.Madam chief minister said that 1000 teachers of government schools will be given free digital certification courses while free certification courses project for 15000 university students will also be launched. The CM was told that Google for Education will support for a fee of $10.5 million dollars. The meeting also decided to launch ‘Digital School on Wheels’project in Punjab. The delegation led by Regional Head Paul Hutchings agreed to participate in the project.

Also, possibilities of collaboration in digital education projects, smart classroom and digital education ecosystem were assessed in the meeting. Both sides agreed to seek technical support from Google for Education to compile authentic data of out-of-school children.

The CM was briefed by Provincial Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat that students of government schools in Punjab will be able to log in through Google ID. She was apprised that university students will be given certification in antivirus, artificial intelligence and other courses.

The education minister also stated that students will be able to easily get jobs around the world by obtaining Level One and Level Two certificates. He further stated that two pilot projects of Schools on Wheels will be launched in a few weeks, in which students will be able to study by logging in with their Google IDs. ”With Chromebooks, students will not have to download any application. The data of Chromebooks used by students can also be monitored.”, he said.

The CM said that the government was trying to improve the education system by identifying its flaws and weaknesses. She maintained that positive change was not possible without revamping the education system. She said she had been evaluating the situation during her repeated visits to government schools. “Our students can do wonders if given opportunities.”, she observed.  Delegation of Google for Education expressed interest in Punjab government’s first official autism school project. Most of the related issues including research, innovation in schools were also discussed in the meeting.

The chief minister also briefed the Google team about Punjab government’s IT initiatives. She said,”Through IT certificates, the youth will be enabled to get employment in the local and global market.” She added,”Punjab Government is committed to working with Google for Education for the improvement of the education system in the province.”

The CM said that expertise in IT and Artificial Intelligence will lead the youth on the path to economic independence.”We will give full support in assembling Chromebooks at the local level.”

Regional Head Google for Education Paul Hutchings said,”We are keen to work with the Punjab government to facilitate access to digital education. The chief minister and her team will feel happy working with them in Punjab.” He added,”The efforts of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and her team to lead the education system in Punjab on the path of innovation are commendable.”

The visiting delegation included Google for Education’s Chris Hart, Haris Sufian, Allied Corporation CEO Aaron Sether Jackson, Operations Lead Junaid Shahab, Tech Valley CEO Umar Farooq, Marketing and Communication Lead Nashwa Abrar, and Outreach and Coordination Manager Madiha Mongol.

Provincial Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat, Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman and other relevant officers were also present on the occasion.

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