The C Times, 4th June 2017, Agartala: The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Schools was launched in December 2004 and revised in 2010 to provide opportunities to secondary stage students to mainly build their capacity on ICT skills and make them learn through the computer-aided learning process. The Scheme provides support to States/UTs to establish computer labs on the sustainable basis.
The objective of the Scheme was to cover all Government and government aided secondary and higher secondary schools by giving priority for early coverage of schools in educationally backwards blocks and in areas having the concentration of SC/ST/minority/weaker section. Under the revised scheme, there was a provision of a suitably qualified full-time computer teacher in each secondary and higher secondary school. In the case of higher secondary school having computer related subjects as elective, there would be a need for a post graduate in computers teacher.
Financial assistance was given to States, CIET and SIETs on the basis of the approvals accorded by Project Approval Board (PAB) chaired by Secretary (School Education and Literacy). The project cost was shared between Centre and States in the ration of 75:25 except for the NER states including Sikkim where it was 90:10.
The State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) was the implementing body of the ICT@school project in the State. SCERT outsourced the process of recruitment of 700 computer teachers and creation of Computer labs in 350 Govt. Schools to few companies like Educom, ACES, NIIT, Teledata etc. By doing this the Govt. squizzed commission from the above companies indirectly in huge amount. The companies also had their shares but the ultimate losers were the innocent school teachers who were ill paid despite central govt’s full assistance to them. They were allotted a consolidated amount of 10,000 per month but received a mere amount of 2,500 per month initially which was subsequently increased to 5,000 after their Eleven day’s Hunger Strike. Details of ICT@School Project can be found on this link: http://ictschools.gov.in/sites/default/files/pdf/ICTscheme.pdf
“The CPIM party’s apathy towards technological development has come into focus again. If we turn the pages of history the great CPIM leader late Sri Jyoti Basu was in full support of trade unions crusade against the use of computers as it would have drastically affected employment in West Bengal. Now the Manik Sarkar govt. is recreating history by showing their dispassion for school computer teachers. This is why this state is still lagging behind than other developed states of India by 10 years and if such attitude persists then it will continue to do so”, said one of the deprived Ex School Computer Teacher.
She also pointed out that, “when it comes to CPIM leaders and their own family members the picture is completely opposite. They love to use the latest gadgets, smartphones and are always accessible through FB and Whatsapp………….What an irony?”