Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan. 9

Over one lakh government schools as well as government-aided secondary and senior secondary schools will soon be able to provide computer-aided teaching and learning facilities, with the Union Cabinet on Saturday clearing a revised scheme on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The move will help bridge the digital divide and benefit nearly 1.5 crore students.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, approved the revised scheme on ICT that aims to provide the required computer hardware, software and e-content to imparting computer literacy and ICT-enabled teaching and learning.

“The revised scheme on ICT will cover about 1.08 lakh government and government aided secondary and higher secondary schools and would help to bridge the digital divide,'' the Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, told presspersons.

He said the revised scheme would cost Rs 6,929 crore and enable more than 10 lakh teachers in using ICT-based tools for teaching through induction and refresher trainings. Dependable power supply and Internet connectivity, preferably broadband, would be provided to the schools.

Besides, there would be development and dissemination of appropriate e-content in the regional languages to enhance the comprehension levels of children in various subjects.

It would also involve a scheme of rewards for teachers and schools for encouraging use of ICT in the teaching learning process.

The Centre would provide 75 per cent share while the states, other than the northeastern states including Sikkim, will bear 25 per cent. In case of the North Eastern States, the Centre would provide 90 per cent of the share, while the States would give the remaining 10 per cent.

Mr Sibal said that priority would be given to educationally backward blocks and areas with special attention on SC, ST, minority and weaker sections and the disabled.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 10, 2010)
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