BHUBANESWAR: Even as the School and Mass Education department has been claiming to be spending crores of rupees in improving the infrastructure of government schools, only two per cent of such schools across Odisha are reported to have internet facilities.
This was revealed in the Unified District Information System for Education report for the 2019-20 academic session, covering both government and private schools, that was released by the Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on July 1, 2021.
According to the report, there are 53,260 government schools in Odisha of which only 8,615 (16.18 per cent) schools have computers with 8,500 being functional. Only 1,450 (2.72 per cent) government schools have internet facilities while it is 35 per cent in the case of the 2,231 private schools. The data pointed out that the situation has worsened in comparison to the 2018-19 academic session when 9.7 per cent of these schools had functional desktops and 6.26 per cent had internet facilities.
When it comes to other infrastructure, 40,859 government schools (76.72 per cent) have electricity, 33,695 of them have functional electricity connections. The report adds that the State has opened libraries and reading rooms in 95 per cent of the government schools.
As far as student enrolment is considered, the report shows that the total enrolment of students in the State from pre-primary to higher secondary level in 2019-20 stands at 80,33,815, down by 68,516 students as compared to 81,02,331 in 2018-19 session. The enrolment of girls has remained similar to boys at all levels, highest being at primary level and higher secondary levels.
The report adds that the percentage of OBC enrolment saw a miniscule drop at 36.2 per cent whereas it was 36.8 per cent in the previous session but there was a marginal rise in Muslim enrolment at 2.02 per cent in comparison to 1.5 per cent in 2018-19.
There is, however, a drop in the number of teachers in government schools at 2,38,550 whereas there were 3,40,477 teachers in the previous session. Similarly, the pupil to teacher ratio (pupils per teacher) at higher secondary level has been 66:1 and 17:6 in secondary level.