with educational institutions being closed for off-line classes amid pandemic, the government of India has revealed that 70 percent school children in In-dian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, don’t have access to digital devices to avail the online mode of education.
Indian Minister for Education, Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply to a question as to whether the government or any other body under its administrative control bothered to gauge the level of the digital divide in India, stated in lower house of parliament that over 2.96 crore school students are without digital devices in India.
According to the reply, 70 percent students in IIOJK don’t have access to digital devices, which implies that these children don’t have smart phones, laptops to avail online education facilities.
Though the government of India has stated that over 2.96 crore students are without digital devices, when it comes to IIOJK, the Indian government has given only a percentage of students without digital access.
According to government data presented in the Lok Sabha, the total of 2.96 crore does not include such students from Delhi (4 per cent) Jammu and Kashmir (70 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (70 per cent), Punjab (42 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (28.27 per cent) as their absolute numbers were not shared.
In terms of absolute numbers, Bihar has the highest number of such students at 1.43 crore, fol-lowed by Jharkhand (35.52 lakh), Karnataka (31.31 lakh) and Assam (31.06 lakh). Uttarakhand has 21 lakh such children.
Other states with over 10 lakh children without digital devices are Haryana, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu, while Kerala has 9.5 lakh children in this category.
“Due to the prolonged school closures forced by Covid-19, the teacher and learning process has moved online.
States/UTs were advised to conduct surveys of children with access and without access to digital devices,” the reply reads.—KMS