CHENNAI: Less than 18 per cent of government schools in Tamil Nadu have internet facilities, according to data published in the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report 2019-2020 issued by the Union government.
Even as 79.12 per cent of government schools have functional computers, only 17.95 per cent have internet facilities, the data revealed. Access to the internet in private unaided schools, however, is four times higher, as over 75 per cent of schools have internet facilities; and almost 90 per cent of private schools have functional computers.
The data assumes importance in the wake of the lockdown, which made digital education the primary nodal point for interactive learning. In the beginning of the lockdown in 2020, the Tamil Nadu government’s plan to disseminate Class 12 video lessons through schools backfired as most schools were unable to download data on their computers.
The district Chief Education Officers of the School Education Department then transferred data to headmasters, who subsequently passed on the lessons to students by copying them on to the free laptops given by the government.
The situation in government-aided schools too is poor. Less than 30 per cent of aided schools have internet access. The percentage of aided schools that have a functional computer is lower than in both government and private schools. Less than 46 per cent of aided schools have working computers. Aided schools are often either small or rural schools which cater to families that can afford only a nominal fee.
Drastically different from pvt schools
While 79.12 per cent of govt schools have functional computers and 17.95 per cent have internet, almost 90 per cent of private schools have functional computers and over 75 per cent have internet facilities, says the UDISE+ report 2019-2020, which was released by the Union government
Just 1 in 5 govt schools can host online classes
While a large proportion of the population does not have access to good internet connectivity, teachers from only one in every five government schools can conduct online classes from the school even if they wanted to. Poor internet facilities have deprived students of education since the onset of the pandemic last year