Poor internet access for students echoes in K-P assembly

Poor internet access for students echoes in K-P assembly


PESHAWAR:
 

On Friday, lawmakers addressed the problem of poor internet connectivity for students in remote areas of the province, noting that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic means online classes are the only way to current students.

This was discussed when the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Council resumed on Friday to debate the provincial budget for the 2020-21 financial year.

AMPs asked about online courses in the province. They called on the provincial government to ensure that students have access to 3G and 4G networks, especially in the merged districts, so that they can access classes.

Furthermore, they lament that a girls’ college built in the tribal district of Mohmand has not yet commenced operation even though its structure was completed many years ago.

While discussing the supplementary budget for the financial year 2019-20 worth Rs 55.42 billion, the issue of laptop program came up.

Opposition lawmakers include Nighat Orakzai of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Maulana Lutfur Rehman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Inyatullah Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) , Mir Kalam Wazir, Shafiq Afridi, Baseerat Bibi, Khushdil Khan, Shagufta Malik and others say that a good amount has been allocated to the IT sector in the additional budget to provide laptops for teachers.

They noted how if teachers could get laptops, how would students, and called for more transparency in the curriculum.

Opposition benches also raise concerns about the plight of inmates in provincial prisons during the pandemic. They criticized the government for losing control of the bureaucracy.

Police Reform

Following Vice President Mahmood Khan’s directive requesting a senior police officer to take part in council proceedings, an SP level officer arrived at the conference on Friday.

However, the Vice President did not allow him to participate in the session because he expressed anger at the absence of senior officers.

He then asked a DIG officer to attend the session.

Then Peshawar CCPO Ali Gandapur visited the hall and marked his attendance
Opposition lawmakers have pointed to the need for police reform. They also asked the CCPO to explain reports of extrajudicial killings and harassment of citizens at checkpoints set up across the province.

Members of the opposition expressed their reservations about the inactivity of the public safety committee. With no checks and balances on the set, they claim the police are doing whatever they want.

The Secretary of the Interior Department was also charged with deliberately delaying the commission activation process. Opposition MPs also highlighted the incident in the Zangi area, where a motorcyclist was killed when he failed to stop at a checkpoint.

Discrimination allowance

Shafiq Afridi of the Khyber tribal district has accused the government of dividing development funds according to the personal likes and dislikes of ministers and finance ministers. Furthermore, he said legislators from the merged counties were completely ignored.

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