ICT equipment worth crores of rupees distributed by IT@School at schools in the state continue to lie idle due to lack of arrangement to carry out maintenance work on time.
The equipment were provided by IT@School to the government and aided High Schools, Higher Secondary Schools and Vocational Higher Secondary Schools in the state as part of establishing a complete ICT-enabled educational system since 2008-09. The project was aimed to facilitate ICT equipment distribution such as desktop computers, laptops, projectors and printers to the students.
The IT@School was joined by Keltron and the equipment were distributed from their divisional offices. The project, expected to benefit as many as 50 lakh students and 2 lakh teachers covering 12,000 schools in the state each year, is now facing a problem with many pieces of equipment, especially laptops, turning dysfunctional.
The laptops distributed mostly belongs to the company ‘Chirag’. Experts say these computers are prone to problems and get damaged easily. The case was no different in the case of schools also. Laptops are expected to function well for the first two or three years with normal usage. But many of the systems at the schools got damaged within an year after it was distributed.
“Options are there to seek maintenance help from Keltron, which is the total solution provider for all ICT hardware procured for schools in the state. Service requests were placed when the systems started developing errors. But they are yet to take any concrete moves. Those systems are gathering dust in the schools now,” says a school IT coordinator, who preferred anonymity.
“It has been noticed that the maintenance work of some of the ICT equipment are not carried out in time. The agency responsible to take up the maintenance is Keltron. They were supposed to redirect the requests to the companies that manufactured the laptops. However, some of the original companies was blacklisted earlier and it is said that some companies does not even exist now,’’ said Babu Sebastian, executive director in-charge of IT@School.
“Anyway, Keltron has made a comprehensive list of the equipment that needs maintenance. Tenders will be invited and the service will be carried out in the near future,’’ he added.