9 lakh students may not have access to digital devices in Kerala

The government estimates that nearly nine lakh students may not have access to digital equipment, General Education Principal Secretary A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish has said.

Mr. Hanish told The Hindu that this was not a conclusive figure. As per the Samagra Shiksha, Kerala, 6.27 lakh students did not have access to devices such as smartphone, laptop, or tablet. This excluded Class 11 students and instances where only one device was available when the requirement was for more. The government was now trying to get an accurate figure on the number of students without digital devices by cross-checking it with local bodies and school management committees. The final number would be available soon, he said. Besides unavailability of devices, lack of Net connectivity was another hurdle that needed to be addressed, Mr. Hanish said.

VHSE students first

Online classes will begin next month with vocational higher secondary education students. “As days go by, device availability will be scaled up with the support of local bodies, people’s representatives, socio-cultural organisations, while continuing the Vidyasree student laptop scheme,” Mr. Hanish said.

Meanwhile, Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty has appealed to the public to help students in need of digital equipment for online classes. In a message, the Minister urged socio-politico-cultural activists, teachers, government employees, and the youth to ensure that no child was left out of these classes owing to lack of equipment.

Count under way

A count of students without such facilities was under way through local bodies and other departments under the umbrella of the General Education Department. The attempt was to address this at the school-level itself. Directions had been given to set up school-level support committees for this. Society too should rise to this challenge, he said

For information and providing support, Deputy Directors of Education could be contacted at the district level, and Director of General Education at the State level, the Minister said in a statement on Friday.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 8:02:06 AM |

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