About 35% of the total government secondary schools do not have electricity even as the policy makers are hoping to bring in a qualitative improvement in the current state of the education through maximum utilisation of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
According to government statistics, a little over 18,000 secondary schools are functional under the Centre-sponsored Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) across the country.
Out of them, a total of 12,159 schools have power supply to operate their computers and other ICT-based teaching-learning materials for the benefit of both teachers and students. Rest of the 6,537 schools have no means to even give an exposure of computers to their students and teachers or utilise any of the ICT-based tools, provisioned for all the government schools under various Centre-sponsored schemes.
"Dwindling quality of school education is the biggest concern today. At a time when country is facing acute shortage of qualified teachers, the use of ICT is being seen as an effective means to empower our teachers and students both. But how will they be benefited by the ICT tools when there is no power supply in the schools. States will have to take proactive action and provide electricity to all the schools," a ministry official said.
Only 11 out of a total 36 states and Union Territories have so far been able to equip the school functioning under their jurisdiction with power supply while rest of them are still lagging.
"Kerala, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Goa are the only five states where power supply has been made available to all the schools under RMSA. While more than half of the schools with no power supply are located in Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, the respective governments of the three states continue to remain indifferent towards taking sincere efforts to fulfilling the need," the official added.
With a total of 1,759 schools deprived of power supply, Madhya Pradesh accounts for the highest number of such schools functioning in the country, followed by 1,088 schools in Jharkhand and 1,002 in Bihar.
Karnataka 51 school with no electricity while Andhra Pradesh 79, Chhattisgarh 294 and Uttar Pradesh 492.
While the policy makers have been insisting for greater use of the ICT tool for improving the quality of teaching-learning, a new education policy being drafted by the Centre is set to stipulate for making ICT an integral part of the school education, the official said.
The HRD ministry in its proposals for the new policy has emphasised on ensuring integration of ICT tools in education.