Srinagar: Centre has decided to equip poor students with tabs for attending online classes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Ministry of Education has decided to create digital libraries in 377 schools of Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to help underprivileged students to attend online classes.
As per an official document, the government will give tablets to schools for distribution among underprivileged students. Ministry of Education has earmarked Rs 30.16 lakh to procure tablets for 377 schools.
The official document said an amount of Rs. 2469.68 Lakh is also recommended for 9192 schools of Sikkim, Ladakh, J&K, MP, and Arunachal Pradesh based on the proposal received under Innovation, for providing Tablet in schools as Digital Library.
It said that the ICT and Digital Initiatives component of Samagra Shiksha covering Government and Government Aided Schools having classes VI to XII provides financial assistance for establishing ICT Lab and Smart Classrooms in schools.
An official of the education department said digital libraries will help underprivileged students in a long way to attend their regular classes.
“The schools, which will be provided tablets, will be used by the students who lack such facilities at home. So far many students have suffered because of the lack of smartphones and in such places community classes were held,” he said.
Pertinently a national level survey conducted to explore the access of children to smartphones has depicted a digital divide among the students across J&K UT and Ladakh.
“Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-Rural 2021” revealed that around 15.6 percent of students in J&K do not have any access to smartphones at home for their studies.
It also said that around 72 percent of students in J&K have a smartphone at home but only 40 percent of students have access to it for their studies.
With winter vacation all set to end, the government has yet to decide about the opening of schools.
On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said the government will deliberate on reopening schools and colleges if the COVID-19 situation improves in the coming 10 to 15 days in J&K.