Kerala

Survey of school students who lacked digital devices nearing completion: Minister

File photo of Saji Cherian  

The head count of school students who lacked digital devices to access online classes in the State is nearing completion, Minister for Fisheries, Culture and Youth Affairs Saji Cherian said on July 23.

Replying to a calling attention motion by Sajeev Joseph, MLA, in the Assembly, Mr. Cherian, who filled in for the indisposed Minister for General Education and Labour V. Sivankutty, said the steps to provide such students with educational tools were being constantly reviewed both at the State and local levels.

Soon as a comprehensive list is finalised, equipment including laptop and tablets will be distributed at the earliest. The expense for the requirement will be met through the Chief Minister’s Educational Empowerment Fund and with support from various organisations, he said.

While as many as 43,952 Scheduled Tribes (ST) students did not possess devices, the distribution of such tools will be undertaken in four phases.

Mr. Cherian said the government spared no efforts to ensure each student benefited through the digital classes that were being telecast on Victers channel and other platforms. Special focus has been given for specially abled children to ensure they do not fall outside the ambit of online classes. In addition to the existing programmes meant to reach out to special children, State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) will launch a dedicated YouTube channel in August for visually-challenged students. Tutorials on various subjects including brain orientation and mobility will be featured.

Raising the issue, Mr. Joseph who represents Irikkur constituency in Kannur blamed the government of failing to adopt proactive steps to ensure inclusivity in digital education. Attempts to transfer the burden of distributing educational tools on parents-teachers associations were unbecoming of a welfare state, he said.

While replying to a submission made by Devikulam MLA A. Raja, the Fisheries Minister said the government has entered into agreements with regional cable operators to ensure Tamil and Kannada medium students in the State were able to access the Victers channel on their televisions. In addition, separate YouTube channels have been made for the benefit of these children.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 2:44:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/survey-of-school-students-who-lacked-digital-devices-nearing-completion-minister/article35487219.ece

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