Only 5.18 percent government schools in J&K UT, 1.86 percent in Ladakh UT have internet connections

VIKAS SHARMA
JAMMU: The Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Ladakh are among the 20 States/UTs wherein the government schools have less than 10 percent of internet connections. As per data available, only 5.18 percent government schools in J&K UT have internet connections while Ladakh UT performed even worse with just 1.86 percent government schools having internet connections.

Apart from J&K and Ladakh UTs, the States/UTs with less than 10 internet coverage are Andhra Pradesh (9.10 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (3.44 percent), Assam (4.32 percent), Bihar (2.05 percent), Chhattisgarh (3.35 percent), Goa (8.46 percent), , Karnataka (7.75 percent), Madhya Pradesh (3.81 percent), Manipur (2.36 percent), Meghalaya (1.27 percent), Mizoram (2.35 percent), Nagaland (3.03 percent), Odisha (2.72 percent), Telangana (8.03 percent), Tripura (1.61 percent), Uttar Pradesh (2.94 percent), Uttarakhand (6.40 percent), and West Bengal (9.65 percent).

The states and UT’s with the best internet connectivity in schools are Chandigarh with 100 percent coverage followed by Lakshadweep at 93.33 percent, Delhi at 88.18 percent and Kerala at 87.16 percent.
“Various measures are being taken to improve internet coverage, to improve the internet connectivity in rural areas, the CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd (CSC-SPV) of MEITY has been assigned the task of providing Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connectivity to the government institutions, including schools”, official said.

However, education experts have expressed concern over the sorry state of affairs prevailing in the school education in J&K. “The successive governments be it the erstwhile J&K State government or the present UT Administration, the government schools are even struggling for basic facilities leave aside the smart classrooms, ICT labs etc. On paper, our government schools have been developed/upgraded and equipped with all the facilities but the ground reality is totally contrasting exposing all big claims”, experts said.

“What is the logic behind installation of computers in the schools when there is no provision of providing internet connection. In fact, many government schools in J&K do not had playground facilities, boundary walls, laboratories, libraries for decades. No serious efforts were taken to ensure all such facilities.

The issues are being discussed in the meetings held at state and national level but there is no proper implementation of the directions in letter and spirit to overcome these serious shortcomings which are providing fatal for overall development of the enrolled students in the government run schools”, they maintained.

As per the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2020-21 data, J&K UT has a total of 28,930 schools including 14856 primary, 9669 upper primary, 3144 secondary and 1261 higher secondary. The strength of government schools is 23167 and private unaided schools is 5649, government aided schools are one and others are 113.