According to the report, the state has 67,020 schools including 53,260 government schools. But only 8,615 government schools have computer facilities. It also revealed that only 15.96 per cent of the government schools have functional computers against the national average of 28.55 per cent.
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However, government aided, private unaided and other schools fared better in this parameter. A total of 3,918 out of 5,839 government aided schools and 4,116 out of 6375 private unaided schools have computer facilities. The percentage is 67.1 per cent for government aided and 65.56 per cent for private unaided schools which are higher than the national average.
The report also stated that only 2.72 per cent government schools in the state have internet facilities against the national average of 11.58 per cent. Only 1450 out of 53,260 government schools in the state have internet facilities. Similarly, 5.74 per cent government aided, 35 per cent private unaided and 20.18 per cent other schools have this facility in their institutions. These schools could not surpass the national average too.
Anil Pradhan, convenor of Odisha Right to Education Forum, said the report exposed the state government’s tall claims of strengthening the educational infrastructure to boost school education. “If the government schools have only 15.96 per cent functional computers and 2.72 per cent internet facility, nothing will happen in the state for the online education of the poor students,” he added.
He said online education is not accessible for most of the government school students. Rural students are facing a lot of problems due to poor internet and lack of smart phones. “Reality of online education is very grim at the ground level. The government should strengthen the digital infrastructure in schools and help the students to access the online content with ease,” he added.