Kerala

Child panel orders digitalization of school

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has ordered that the digitalization project of Government Moyan Model Girls Higher Secondary School here should be completed in 100 days. The digitalization project, started more than six years ago at an estimated cost of ₹8 crore, has been lying unfinished for various technical reasons.

The Commission has ordered that the empowered committee be convened within two weeks, and plans be chalked out for the completion of the project in 100 days.

The Commission has also ordered that the Deputy Director of Education (DDE) inquire into the complaint about the theft of electronic equipment from the school and initiate action against the guilty.

A division bench of the Commission comprising chairman K.V. Manoj Kumar and member C. Vijayakumar further ordered modification of the furniture set up by the project implementing agency Habitat Technologies Group in such a manner as to help the students sit without strain for long periods.

A section of parents from the school had approached the Commission seeking its intervention for the project’s completion. The multi-crore digitalization project introduced by Shafi Parambil, MLA, in 2014 stopped midway as it faced many hurdles. With 4,800 girls in its rolls, Moyan school is one of the largest girls schools in the State. Parents were complaining that their children were being denied the fruits of digitization as most other schools had already embraced digitalization as part of the government plan.

The Commission observed that the empowered committed with the additional chief secretary of general education as its chairman had failed to make constructive interventions for the project’s completion.

Shafi Parambil, MLA, Additional Chief Secretary of Finance, Director of General Education, Higher Secondary Education Director, and Palakkad District Collector are members of the empowered committee. Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) director is the project director.

A section of parents had complained against non-inclusion of the school head or the PTA members in the empowered committee. The issue had turned into a dispute with the entire project being perceived from a political perspective.

Parents opposing Mr. Shafi Parambil claimed that the project should have been made part of the KITE’s digitalization programme. They also complained that because of the project, the school lost much of its existing furniture and electronic equipment.

“We already had 40 classrooms with projectors and laptops, and they were removed as part of implementing this digitalization project. And all of them are missing now,” said school management committee chairperson Nazeema Jafar.

The PTA had opposed setting up of fixed benches and desks by replacing the old furniture. They claimed that the new furniture would be dangerous for the health of the children.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 9:29:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/child-panel-orders-digitalization-of-school/article33644526.ece

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