In what it might be called as progress in digitalisation of government schools, in Maharashtra, number of digitally enabled government primary schools has gone up by six-fold. The numbers have gone up from 11,228 to 63,458 between 2015 and 2018, which means nearly 60% of the state’s primary schools have been digitised.
According to the Hindustan Times, as per data collated by the Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training (MSCERT) for the latest state economic survey, most of this digitisation has happened with the help of corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds and local citizens. Digitised schools are described as those equipped with digital learning equipment like LED TVs, tablets, projectors and computers. In order to be known as a digital school, schools not only need to have these equipments but also demonstrate their usage in classroom learning.
In 2014, the state government started the Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra programme, the sucess of increase in the number of digitally-enabled schools can be attributed to that. An official at the state education department told the leading daily, “One of the objectives of the programme was to make learning fun and interesting with the help of technology. With several teachers being trained and encouraged to use technology in classrooms, the movement has got a huge response.”
Ranjitsinh Disale, a primary school teacher from Solapur, who was one of the first teachers from a zilla parishad (ZP) school to adopt technological aid for teaching, told the Hindustan Times, “In most cases, schools raise money through crowdfunding. But I have also seen teachers contributing from their own salaries for the cause. Students are attracted to technology and prefer schools that teach them in an interactive manner.”