Nearly 4.72 lakh students require laptops

As many as 4,71,596 students in 14,489 schools across the State require laptops for digital education this year.

As per the Vidyakiranam portal launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the Vidyakiranam scheme to bridge the digital divide and make available digital devices to students, the maximum requirement of laptops is in Palakkad district – 1,13,486 in 1,121 schools.

Malappuram follows with 91,887 laptops required in 1,625 institutions. Thrissur needs 65,255 laptops in 1,160 schools, and Kasaragod 44,517 laptops in 688 institutions.

The capital district needs 11,899 laptops in 1,109 institutions. The least requirement is in Wayanad district – 6,423 laptops in 408 schools. Pathanamthitta is looking for 6,561 laptops in 806 institutions.

Mr. Vijayan said parent-teacher associations in each school had determined the number of students who did not have digital devices such as laptops or tablets in their institution. They had also reached out to the people at the local level such as alumni or volunteers who were willing to help students.

The government had contacted industry organisations and non-resident Malayalis too to help bridge the digital divide.

The Chief Minister said the government would set up the Chief Minister’s Education Empowerment Fund on the lines of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to meet the educational requirements of students.

The Vidyakiranam scheme portal would enable individuals, groups, or organisations to understand the requirements and place orders for laptops to students or schools or contribute an amount in case the contributor did not want to specify the name of the beneficiary school or number of laptops.

Payment options were also available on the website as also the laptop models for which orders could be placed. Vidyakiranam would be implemented through the local bodies.

General Education Principal Secretary A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish told The Hindu though the government was expecting a requirement of 7 lakh to 8 lakh laptops, the final figure came to nearly 4.72 lakh. After the tallying was done, the government waited for 10 days to finalise the figures, he pointed out.

The reduction in the number of students in need of laptops was owing to public participation in the government’s endeavours. After the Chief Minister’s intervention, people voluntarily contributed through various sources in the months of June and July, leading to a drop in the requirement of laptops, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 1:20:37 AM |

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