It has been close to a year since Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Centre’s programme to achieve universalisation of elementary education, has had an EDUSAT programme, according to SSA officials. The reason, officials say, is a shortage of manpower.

EDUSAT is a satellite-based education initiative that uses multimedia in teaching to create interactive classrooms. Efforts to renew the programmes, the official said, adding that they had not been able to conduct programmes in the 2012-13 academic year. According to an SSA official, there were two co-ordinators who were anchoring the management of the programme in Chennai. However, after one of them got a transfer over a year ago, and another quit last year, they have not been able to find suitable replacements with technical knowledge.

Another official said that maintenance of the equipment too, was a concern, as the annual maintenance contract had not been renewed due to some difficulties. According to them, until last year, it was used almost on a fortnightly basis to train teachers, teacher educators as well as students in the various SSA blocks.

“We used it to conduct, subject-based classes, special training as well as reviews of SSA projects as two-way interaction was possible. And, it had a very good reach. But it has not been functioning for a while,” the official said. According to an official, the telecast from the studio in the directorate of public instruction campus here, would reach out to 412 blocks in the State that had EDUSAT terminals. “Slowly, some of the receivers in some blocks too, started facing technical glitches. So, we could not reach out to all of them,” the official said.