West Bengal Education Department Asks Schools To Provide Number Of Students Having Digital Devices
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee have repeatedly stressed on bridging the digital divide and reaching out to every student. The percentage break-up can be used to devise a strategy accordingly.
The West Bengal School Education department has asked headmasters of state-run educational institutions about the percentage of students having digital devices in their respective schools. In a letter to all schools, the department had asked them to submit the number or percentage of students having smartphones, tablets or laptop.
"You are requested to provide this office information regarding the number of students or percentage of students having digital devices (smartphone/ computer/ laptop)," a letter of the department issued five days back said. "The report should be sent soon positively," the letter said.
Headmaster of Jadavpur Vidyapith Parimal Bhattacharya said on Wednesday that "70 per cent to 80 per cent of our students have smartphones and we have submitted the report to the department a few days back." Mr Bhattacharya said for the rest 20-30 per cent students, his school is taking several steps like preparing audio clips of lectures which are sent to a school WhatsApp group from where the students not in possession of smartphone can hear and note down the points.
"We are also planning to use the corpus in possession of the school for arranging smart devices for students not having android sets. We can also think about giving tuition to a small group of students following social distancing norms," he said.
Bhattacharya said his school and other institutions are waiting for the guidelines from the School Education department before deciding on the matter.
A school department official said in the city 70-90 per cent students in the state-run or state-aided schools are in possession of smartphones or tablets going by the reports submitted by at least 20 schools in this regard.
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee have repeatedly stressed on bridging the digital divide and reaching out to every student. If we get a fair idea about the exact percentage break-up we can devise a strategy accordingly and advise the schools to follow the model in their own way," the official said. He said the findings of the report will be made known later after careful scrutiny.