16K kids in Chandigarh sans study device

Data tabled by the Ministry of Education in LS bares grim scenario

16K kids in Chandigarh sans study device

Photo for representation only.

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 21

Around 16,000 children in Chandigarh do not have access to digital devices for online education, revealed the data tabled in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The data was presented by the Ministry of Education on a query whether the government has conducted any study on the impact of Covid-induced disruption on the education level of the country and if so, the state-wise details, along with the manner in which different learning outcomes have been impacted, were sought.

According to the reply of the ministry, the states and union territories were advised to conduct a survey of children with and without access to digital devices. The data revealed that as many as 16,032 children in Chandigarh were without digital devices.

Rubinderjit Brar, Director, School Education, said: “The data tabled in the ministry is not in my knowledge. However, we had identified 3,000 such children without digital devices and provided smartphones to 1,000 of them. We had also sought additional funds from the ministry under ‘Samagra Siksha Abhiyan’ for digital devices for children.”

“If a third wave does not hit the country, it is expected that offline classes will pick up pace and children will shift to the offline mode,” added Brar.

After nearly five months, the government schools in Chandigarh reopened on Monday. Students were allowed to attend offline classes only after getting an approval letter from their parents. Around 4,000 students, nearly 10 per cent of the total enrolled, in Class IX to XII attended the schools.

Where the Internet is not available, the Ministry of Education has taken several initiatives such as ‘One Class, One Channel’ of Swayam Prabha is being used to impart education through TV and a DTH channel is being operated specifically for hearing impaired students in sign language. Community radio stations and a podcast called Shiksha Vani of the CBSE are also being used.

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