Union Budget 2018: Is digitisation of education an over-ambitious plan?

Updated: Feb 02, 2018, 15:18 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

While private players support the move, several others believe that it is far from reality

Swati Popat, president, ECA
Swati Popat, president, ECA

Budget 2018Moving towards a world of complete digitisation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned in his Budget speech that slowly digital boards would replace blackboards in schools across the country and even teachers would be trained for its implementation through specially designed BEd courses. While the move has received a lot of support from private players, several others are of the opinion that there would be several roadblocks in the path of implementation.

Swati Popat, president of Early Childhood Association, said, "The move to digitise education is a good one, but we need to focus that the shift doesn't become just click-and-talk from chalk-and-talk. There should be a change in the way subjects are taught. In this case, integrated B.Ed programmes will help. The B.Ed curriculum should be revamped." "Digitisation will help in improving the standard of education. We definitely welcome the step," said Anil Ganu, president, Parle Tilak Vidyalaya Association.

While the government believes that it has accomplished the mission of getting all students to schools and hence it's time to enhance the quality of education, Heramb Kulkarni, an educationist and the key person in Maharashtra's ambitious programme of getting school dropouts back to schools, believes that this move is far from reality.

"First of all, government must ensure that all children are going to school. Even now, when I visit the rural parts of the state, I find schools that aren't even comfortable with blackboards, forget about getting digital ones. There are places where electricity is unavailable, and the government is thinking of digitising education. This appears to be an over-ambitious plan at a time when even the basic facilities are unavailable."

Rs 1 lakh cr
The total allocation for the upgrade of the education sector

1,000
No. of B.Tech students who'll be given the opportunity to pursue research work at IITs and IISc every year

24
No. of med colleges, hospitals to be set up by upgrading district-level ones

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