Significant changes in curriculum are underway and the government is committed to taking all measures to facilitate children by improving the conditions of the public sector schools in the province, Punjab School Education Minister Murad Raas said on Thursday.

The minister was speaking at the launch ceremony of “Digitized Textbooks for Primary Grades 4 and 5” developed by Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

The digitized books include 670 animated videos, 3,288 audio minutes, 580 audio voice over minutes, 130 simulations and 260 MCQs. Raas said the programme was a landmark project that needed to be made more simplified and accessible to all students, adding that awareness in this regard needed to be made.

The minister said it had been observed in the last three months that School Education Department had never been under the radar of government reforms, despite PITB’s important technological reforms.

He added that the PITB’s initiative of digitizing textbooks was a revolutionary step that could help students manifold and eliminate the tuition culture. The minister added that textbooks for grade 6 to 10 had been digitalized two years ago, but the people lacked awareness about it and marketing on a massive scale was needed to promote the project.

Raas disclosed that a centralized database was being established to gather all information regarding teachers and students’ attendance, curriculum activity, respective monitoring and indicating missing facilities at a single place and will be developed within the next three months. “PITB’s mapping of schools in Punjab through ICT interventions identified location, NSB Fund, students’ enrolment and number of teachers to assess the requirements of the particular schools and to help in rationalizing the need and demand of employees at schools and to regulate their needs,” he said.

PITB Chairman Habibur Rehman Gilani said Human Resource System of all schools, including salary details etc was being computerized, while software developed by PITB for education and other sectors were providing data to all policy makers with a one click.

The e.Learn’s digitized textbooks were also helpful for those who couldn’t attend schools, but creating awareness was a challenge and offering training to use online resources was being made mandatory, he said.

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