State finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa on Saturday said the SAD-BJP government, as it had promised in its election manifesto, would provide students of government schools with computer tablets at the earliest.
He, however, did not give a timeframe and said the time that would be taken to provide the tablets depended on the education department.
Dhindsa said state education department officials had been told to the start purchase of the required number of tablets. Asked if how long it would take tyo begin with the purchases, he said: "It is now upto the education department to see how fast it would handover the computer tablets to the students. We have sought the estimated costs and instructed department officials to begin the purchases."
In the run up to the assembly elections in January this year, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance had promised computer tablets to Class 11 and 12 students.
After coming to power, however, the SAD-BJP government has faced flak from its detractors for "failing to meet its promise to students due to lack of funds".
Dhindsa, who was attending the annual prize function of a government school here, also said the state government planned to improve the standard of education provided in government schools. "The state government is planning seek the help of the British Council to impart training to English teachers," he said.
He added that the state government was making constant efforts to improve its fiscal condition. "We have somehow managed to put finances of the state on track," Dhindsa said.
Dhindsa went on to criticise the Centre for what he described as "step-motherly treatment" being meted out to the state. "Congress leaders keep on talking about our poor fiscal condition. But we are far better off than the Centre, which is reeling under a debt that is 200 times more than that of Punjab," he said.