27 Oct 2008, 0158 hrs IST, D Suresh Kumar, TNN

Computers in classrooms: Delhi schools show the way

CHENNAI: Around 13.5% of all schools across India now have computer penetration, according to a recent report of the Union HRD ministry, which underlines the fact that barring Delhi, Maharashtra, southern states, Gujarat and MP, access to such facilities remain virtually non-existent to most students in the country.

The report on 'Strengthening Education Management Information System in India' , published by the HRD ministry and the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), reveals that Maharashtra leads the nation in providing computer access to its school kids.

"In absolute terms, Maharashtra has the highest number of schools 28,882, which constitutes 33.42% of its total schools that have computers in schools, followed by 19,154 schools in Andhra Pradesh, 16,064 schools in Madhya Pradesh, 13,336 schools in Rajasthan, 11,603 schools in Tamil Nadu," says professor Arun C Mehta of the NUEPA in the report.

The study reveals that across the country, computer penetration has gone up since 2003-04, when just 72,000-odd schools (7.68%) in India had computers. The figure has now risen to 1,67,000-plus schools (13.43%), as of 2006-07 . The report for 2006-07 has been prepared based on the data received from across the country as on September 2006.

In terms of percentage of schools which have computers in each state, Delhi stands first (68.85), followed by Kerala (60.9), Maharashtra (33.42), Gujarat (24.03) and Tamil Nadu (22.13).

However, the spread of computer education has been limited to just 6.51% of all primary schools in the country. And except for Delhi, Chandigarh, Kerala, Gujarat, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Orissa, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu, the percentage of computer penetration in primary schools is below double digit in the rest of India. Veteran educationist S S Rajagopalan, however, says even these figures don't entirely reflect the bleak picture.

Times of India, October 27, 2008