By Shubhankar Chakravorty
HOLALKERE, Karnataka (March 16)—Government schools in Holalkere Taluk, Chitradurga District, provided with computers under various state government and corporate schemes have been gathering dust due to lack of teachers and textbooks to support the courses.
M. M. High School, the largest government high school in the taluk, has yet to start its computer courses.
“We received computers from the government to start the course, but not having qualified teachers or even books to support it, we had to return the computers,” M.M. High Principal S. Lakkappa said.
Officials at the Block Education Office admitted that the government’s program of initiating computer education has failed to take off in government schools.
E. G. Kabureappa, an official at the Holalkere Block Education Office, said, “Karnataka government’s plan of introducing computers in government schools under the scheme has not been implemented properly.”
On the other hand, the government schools have been losing out on students due to the absence of computer studies in the curriculum.
Kamalamma, principal at the Government Higher Primary Girls School, said, “The four computers we received have been lying unused ever since they arrived, we do not have teachers to run the course.”
The school received the computers from the Azim Premji Foundation, but has yet to use them. Computers have also been distributed to schools by Infosys foundation, apart from those by Karnataka state government.
Similarly, other big government schools in Holalkere town, including the Government Modern Higher Primary School, had previously received computers that they returned due to lack of support staff or books.
“Government teachers were given training to teach computer in schools,” said Manjula D. S., a science teacher at GMHPS. “But even after the training, the courses have not started in government schools.”
Students deprived of computer courses have to enroll into private computer centers instead of receiving free government education. The trend has given rise to computer-training centers coming up in the taluk.
Surprisingly, Holalkere Taluk Panchayat has set up a computer-training center where course fees run into thousands of rupees instead of developing the computer courses in the government schools.
The panchayat operated computer-training center is used by a few who can afford it. The centre runs 12 courses, from basic to professional level.
Vinayak, a ninth-standard student at the M. M. High, goes to the computer center for training, for which he has to pay at least Rs. 1,000 per month.
Manjula, trainer at the computer center said, “The students that we get are mostly from government schools that don’t have computer courses at schools.”
(Published in The SoftCopy)