MP students yet to make a ‘headstart’ in computer education

  • Purvi Jain, HT Correspondent, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jan 11, 2016 14:49 IST
Over 3,000 government-run schools across the state were equipped with three computers and a printer under the Headstart scheme. (Representative image)

More than 10 years after the Madhya Pradesh government launched the “headstart” computer scheme, students are yet learn the basics, say academics.

In 2003, the state government launched the headstart computer scheme, a computer-enabled programme under the Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, using multimedia-based lessons to enhance classroom teaching.

Neither the computers are functioning nor are teachers trained to operate them, said Ashutosh Pandey, secretary general of Madhya Pradesh Shikshak Congress.

Under the scheme, each “headstart” center in the 3,414 government-run schools across the state, was equipped with three computers and a printer.

More than 11,000 teachers were given training in computer-based teaching skills.

“The course was never structured in a PowerPoint format to teach students through presentations. No new staff has been hired to operate the systems,” he said.

“These systems are Linux-based instead of Windows and none of us have ever worked on the software, so how can we teach the students?”

In 2013, a similar scheme called “Smart Class Yojana” was launched to teach students with the help of audio-visual and digital platforms.

The government installed 42-inch screens and provided a laptop to 1,450 government schools across the state under the programme.

The government spent crores of rupees on both the schemes, yet the results are far from satisfactory, said Pandey.

The headstart scheme is in a bad shape and the smart class programme has been stopped in several centers, said Deepti Gaur Mukherjee, commissioner of Rajya Shiksha Kendra.

“Both the schemes were central-sponsored. Since funds stopped coming several year back, computers were stolen from many centers and there was no electricity in some of the villages, the schemes were not very successful, ” she told Hindustan Times.

“We have merged the two and are trying to run them within the state budget,” she said.

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