What if you could get a tablet or a notebook for Rs 25? Well, that might seem like a joke, but It is reality for students in Goa. This development is a result of an initiative by the Goa Education Department to bring computers closer to the lives of students. The department believes that they can help the students prepare for life ahead and get them “..curious about the e-systems.”
Reports quoted Additional Director – Education, Anil Powar, as saying, “General category students will have to pay only Rs 25 while SC and ST students will have to pay Rs 10 to register for the scheme.”
The Goa government plans to buy almost 50,000 notebooks and tablets for distribution. Powar added that the computers will come with special e-learning packages. He went on to state that Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parikkar, had even set aside Rs 95 crores towards this purchase in the budget last year.
Preparing students for the life ahead (Image credit: Getty Images)
Reportedly, the systems will have an in-built security system to make sure that the computers are not used to watch pornography or use any controversial web apps. In addition, the department will take an undertaking from the students' parents before handing out the computers. Powar added, “It is a No Objection Certificate saying they are OK with us giving them the computers. The parents should also be in a position to both goad the students to logging on to the right websites.”
The decision is clearly an interesting one, and one that will earn the state government a lot of brownie points. Making technology affordable for students and the have-nots is turning into a fairly popular trend in the country now.
Last year in October, an attempt by the Tamil Nadu government to give away low-cost laptops to students in state-aided colleges and high schools found its lowest bidder in Lenovo. Lenovo and HCL were among several other companies that bid to manufacture the low-cost laptops. However, Lenovo, which quoted Rs 13,939 as the manufacturing cost of each unit, won the tender. Chief Minister, J. Jayalalitha had pledged to give out as many as 906,000 units of these affordable laptops to students, all within the fiscal year.
The price quoted by Lenovo for manufacturing these low-cost laptops, according to reports, is almost Rs 10,000 less than the retail version of these laptops currently available in the market. HCL Infosystems turned out to be the second-lowest bidder in the race, with a price tag of Rs 14,452 for each unit.
The Tamil Nadu government plans to dole out as many as 6.8 million such laptops to students in the state. If the plan materialises, both accessibility and education will see a huge jump.