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The report highlighted 10.6% of the schools did not have electricity. (HT Photo)

Indian Schools still suffering a Digital Gap: reports UDISE

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According to a Unified District Information System for Education plus (UDISE+) report for 2021–22, 66% of Indian schools do not have internet connectivity, with st✓ates like Bihar and Mizoram having 92% and 90% of schools in this category, respectively.

Eighty to eighty-five percent of schools in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Odisha, Telangana, and Tripura do not have internet connectivity, according to the report by the Education Ministry that gathered data on school education.

97.4% of schools in Lakshadweep and 100% in Delhi have access to the internet, and 100% of Delhi’s schools have functioning computer labs. Additionally, all of Delhi’s schools have internet access, making it the only UT in the country to have this many. In this category, other UTs do well as well, including Chandigarh (98.7%) and Puducherry (98.4%).

Kerala and Gujarat are the top-performing states in this regard, with respective rates of 94.6% and 92.0%. Gujarat is the only state in the union where there are more public schools with internet connectivity than private ones. (94.2% and 89.6%, respectively).

The disparity between public and private schools still exists, though. Only 24.2% of government schools have internet connection, compared to 59.6% of private and unaided schools and 53.1% of government-aided schools. The research also notes that just 20% of the schools assessed had mobile phones that could be used for instruction and that fewer than 50% of the schools had working PCs.

Additionally, it is difficult to find smart classrooms. Only 2,22,155 of the nation’s 1.4 million schools have smart classrooms that are operational and have digital or smart boards used for instruction. There are just 25 schools having smart classrooms in Mizoram’s 3911 schools. In this category, Tamil Nadu has no schools. West Bengal has 99.99 percent of its schools equipped with smart classrooms, which demonstrates the wide disparity across the various regions of the nation. Additionally, more than 90% of the schools  in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Kerala facilitate smart classrooms.

In contrast to prior years, the report reveals an overall improvement. In spite of the fact that there are fewer schools overall in India than there were four years ago—from 15,51,000 in 2018–19 to 1,48,9,115 in 2021–22—the number of schools with internet access has increased—from 2,90,447 (18.3%) in 2018–19 to 5,04,989 (33.9%) in 2021–22.

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