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Only 34% Indian schools have internet access, less than 50% have functional computers, shows data

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New Delhi: Only about 34 per cent of schools in India have internet facilities till date and more than 50 per cent do not have functional computers, data released by the Ministry of Education Thursday, has revealed.

According to the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2021-22 data, of 14,89,115 schools in India only 5,04,989 — 33.9 per cent — have internet access. While 24.2 per cent of the schools with internet access are government schools, 53.1 per cent are government aided and 59.6 per cent are private schools.

When it comes to functional computers in schools, 45.8 per cent of schools have functional computers. Here again, the percentage of government schools with functional computers is only 35.8 per cent, while 67.5 per cent of the schools are government aided and 71.9 per cent are private schools.

The findings come at a time when the central government is pushing for inclusion of digital means of education, smart-boards and online learning.

Graphic: Soham Sen |  ThePrint
Graphic: Soham Sen | ThePrint

Both the number of schools with internet facilities and those with functional computers, has, however, gone up since 2018-19. According to the previous UDISE data, the percentage of schools with functional computers has gone up from 33.49 per cent in 2018-19 to 45.8 per cent in the year 2021-22.

Schools with internet facilities have also gone up from 18.73 per cent in 2018-19 to 33.9 per cent in 2021-22.

“The government is well aware of the fact that there are many schools that still do not have internet facilities and computers and hence we are pushing the states to improve their infrastructure constantly,” said a senior government official in the education ministry, who did not want to be named.

The official added: “However, there has been a remarkable improvement over the years and we hope that this will only become better in the future.”

Also read: More young children dropped out of school in 2021-22, but girl students up, says ministry report

100% of Delhi schools have internet, functional computers

When it comes to state-wise statistics of schools with functional computers, Delhi and Lakshadweep are placed on top in 2021-22, with 100 per cent schools here having functional computers.

Punjab and Chandigarh have also fared well on the index with more than 99 per cent of schools having functional computers.

In 2021-22, Delhi also tops the percentage index of schools with internet facilities, with 100 per cent schools here — including government, government aided and private schools — having internet access.

Graphic: Soham Sen |  ThePrint
Graphic: Soham Sen | ThePrint

Chandigarh and Puducherry also fare well on the index with more than 98 per cent of schools having internet access.

“States are supposed to allot a budget to schools for infrastructure development, specially in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology). The responsibility lies on the states as well and not just on the Centre,” said the official quoted above.

Thursday’s UDISE data also revealed that in 2021-22, 13.4 per cent of schools did not have functional electricity connections.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab top Modi government’s school performance index for states