Computer education at the secondary and senior secondary levels has got a quantum boost with the government Saturday approving its introduction in 108,000 government and government-aided schools, up from the existing 53,000, in a bid to bridge the digital divide.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a revised scheme of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in government and government-aided schools during the XIth plan period (2007-12) to cover a total of 1.08 lakh such schools,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said.
Briefing reporters after a CCEA meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said some 1.5 crore students would benefit from the scheme, which would also help train 10 lakh teachers in computer literacy.
“Of the total expenditure of Rs.6,926.13 crore on the revised scheme, Rs.6,000 crore will be borne by the centre and the balance by the states in the 75:25 ratio. In the case of the northeastern states, the ratio will be 90:10,” he added.
The revised scheme, Sibal said, would help in imparting of computer literacy and ICT enabled learning, for which the schools would be provided the required computer hardware, software and e-content.
“Dependable power supply and internet connectivity, preferably broadband to the extent possible, would be provided to the schools,” the minister added.
This apart, the scheme would help in the development and dissemination of appropriate e-content in the regional languages to enhance the comprehension levels of children in various subjects.
“A scheme of rewards for teachers and schools for encouraging use of ICT in the teaching learning process will also be instituted,” Sibal said.
According to Sibal, the implementation of the scheme “would help to bridge the digital divide”.
“Priority would be given to educationally backward blocks and areas with special attention on scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities and weaker sections and the disabled.
“Use of ICT in schools is expected to improve quality of teaching learning, school administration and information management system,” Sibal added.
The existing scheme was introduced in 2005-06.