Over 2.5 lakh students from rural areas around the state will now have access to computer-aided education.
The Minister of Education, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with charitable trust ‘Vedanta Foundation’ on Wednesday to introduce this policy as a part of the Sarva Shikha Abhiyan (SSA).
Students from over 2,590 government schools around 34 districts in the state, will benefit from this three year scheme, that has been funded by Vedanta.
“Software worth Rs 12 crore has been arranged to make the plan a success,” said Vikhe-Patil.
“Over 3,500 rural schools have been equipped with computers. We want to get students to come to school and reduce the dropout rate. An agreement has been made with Microsoft, which will help us take these students to the next era,” he said.
The Sarva Shikha Abhiyan is an extensive government-funded programme in association with each state to provide education to all children from the age of 6 to 14 as their fundamental right.
Over 7,000 crore was invested in this programme and is currently in its last stage.
Narendra Kawde, state project director of the Sarva Shikha Abhiyan said: “That there have been no talks of an extension for the project, but its success might call for one.”
The total budget of the Sarva Shikha Abhiyan for year 2009 – 2010 was Rs 1,193 crore of which 60 per cent was invested by the central government and the rest by the state.
“The hardware is ready, the computers only need to be taken to the schools. Since computers are such an important part of modern life, its important that education be provided to them about and on it,” said Kawde.