Lack of facilities makes digitisation difficult in schools in rural areas

Prajakta Joshi
Wednesday, 25 October 2017

While the government is showing the dream of a ‘Digital India’, the woes of infrastructure and trained manpower are making this transition to the online platform difficult for the stakeholders in the education sector. Sakal Times, in its two-part series, checks the ground reality...

Govt haphazardly implementing digitisation of Education Dept, say teachers

Pune: The State government is pushing hard for the transition to digitisation to improve work across sectors, including education. However, schools in the State’s rural areas are not able to cope with the changes due to lack of adequate resources, infrastructural facilities and trained manpower.

The State is trying to bring its Education Department online with almost all activities such as filling the SSC and HSC forms, filling forms for scholarship and competitive exams, etc., shifting to the virtual world. SARAL database, where schools are supposed to upload details about their students, are online.

“I would like to emphasise that we are not against technological advancement. However, the government fails to understand that these things cannot work in a State like Maharashtra, where the Internet connectivity is a huge issue. School teachers from remote areas, the tribal regions, lack so many basic amenities, forget about good Internet connectivity. 

Teachers, at times, have to leave their primary job of teaching to go outside the village in search of the Internet to complete formalities. This is unjust for the teachers,” said Raosaheb Avare, Founder President, Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary School Principals Joint Association.

The situation isn’t restricted to a couple of districts in the State that are known to be ‘backward’, but also to villages and talukas located around Pune, the city that is called the educational hub of Maharashtra.

Speaking about the issue, Yunus Patel, principal of a school in Aurangabad, said, “Before shifting to online, the Education Department was supposed to recruit manpower to carry out the new work. At least, they should have first trained the teachers and principals for the same, before imposing it on us. This is putting stress on teachers. They are not able to give their 100 per cent towards teaching.”

Shakuntala Kale, Chairperson, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, said, “As far as the transition to online is concerned, it is actually helping the teachers from many remote areas, as far as filling forms for examinations is concerned. It has significantly shortened the whole process. 

Also, the teachers now don’t have to travel a lot to submit forms or get admit cards for the students. However, if we receive any formal complaints regarding the same from teachers or principals, we will try to resolve the issues.”

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