Goa students selling Cyberage scheme laptops online, says CM Manohar Parrikar

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Instances of some student recipients of laptops under the Goa governments Cyberage scheme selling them online have come to light, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar disclosed in the Legislative Assembly today. The government is now mulling over to amend the ambitious scheme. The state government is now contemplating to upgrade computer labs in schools instead of handing over laptops directly to the students of class XI, the intended beneficiaries of the scheme, he said. We are still thinking about amending the scheme. I can see the media sitting here and listening to me. Tomorrow they should not publish that the government will stop distributing laptops to the students. We are still thinking and we have not yet decided what to do, said Parrikar who also holds Education portfolio. The Cyber Age scheme was launched by Parrikar during his first tenure as the chief minister in 2001, when the government used to distribute desktop computers to students of schools. The government later replaced computers with laptops. The Cyberage scheme is applicable to class XI students of all streams. It also covers the students of recognised unaided higher secondary schools (not funded by the state government). The students have to pay a non-refundable registration fee of Rs 2,000 to the Directorate of Education to become eligible for the scheme. The government had commenced the distribution of laptops on November 14 last year. In some instances, it has come to light that the (higher secondary) students who have received laptops are putting them up for sell on online websites (apparently for a higher price), the chief minister said. We have now decided to amend the Cyberage scheme. We will not allow the students to own laptops and instead we will upgrade the computer labs (in schools), he said. Parrikar said the scheme was likely to change, but nothing is finalised as of now. We are discussing the issue of logistics and statistics, and act accordingly, he said, adding that the government had spent Rs 65 crore on the scheme in the last financial year, and Rs 32 crore so far this fiscal. Meanwhile, the chief minister appealed to teachers against pressurising the state government for a permanent job by holding agitations or by seeking favour from MLAs. Teachers are approaching MLAs for permanent employment. They resort to agitations and dictate terms to the chief minister. I dont go around with permanent job orders in my pocket. I am blunt about it. Any teacher who is pressing for permanent job, I will hold back his file, he said.