Wednesday, June 23

State sets ball rolling for computer classes in schools, lessons to start from Class V

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The Bengal government has taken a step towards introducing integrated computerized education using information and communication technology in 1,719 secondary and higher secondary schools across the state with the aim to provide computer literacy and computer-aided education. Computer laboratories will now be set up in government and government-aided schools for students of classes V to XII in accordance with the curriculum prescribed by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education.
A committee of independent educationists, principals, teachers and administrators has finalized the syllabus.

In early 2019, the state had said computer education would be introduced as a compulsory subject from Class V. The introduction was deferred to 2020 because the syllabus was not finalized and computers, internet connection and teachers were not available in most government schools. But the pandemic and the lockdown forced the government to defer the plan again.

“The process of setting up the laboratories and installing computers and other hardware will start soon. The plan is to introduce computer education as a compulsory subject in Class V from the next academic year and gradually take it to the higher classes,” said an official.

At present, computer education is available as an optional subject for classes IX and X, but hardly any school has the infrastructure to support it.

In ICSE and CBSE schools, computers are taught from the middle school, creating an uneven field for students passing out of government schools. “The ICT Policy in school education aims at preparing our students for creative participation in establishment, sustenance and growth of a knowledge society leading to all-round socio-economic development of the nation and global competitiveness. The main objective of ICT is to provide computer literacy and computer-aided education in secondary and higher secondary schools,” the official said.

Principals of government schools have welcomed the decision. “Computer education is the need of the hour, but lack of proper infrastructure doesn’t allow many students to opt for it,” said Bivash Saniel, headmaster of Scottish Church Collegiate School.

However, some principals have questioned the feasibility of the project in the interiors. “We neither have good teachers nor the internet connection. Even the power supply is infrequent here. It is going to be difficult to set up infrastructure in schools in far-flung areas,” said the principal of a school in a south Bengal district.

In early 2019, the state had said computer education would be introduced as a compulsory subject from Class V. The introduction was deferred to 2020 because the syllabus was not finalized and computers, internet connection and teachers were not available in most government schools. But the pandemic and the lockdown forced the government to defer the plan again.

“The process of setting up the laboratories and installing computers and other hardware will start soon. The plan is to introduce computer education as a compulsory subject in Class V from the next academic year and gradually take it to the higher classes,” said an official.

At present, computer education is available as an optional subject for classes IX and X, but hardly any school has the infrastructure to support it.

In ICSE and CBSE schools, computers are taught from the middle school, creating an uneven field for students passing out of government schools. “The ICT Policy in school education aims at preparing our students for creative participation in establishment, sustenance and growth of a knowledge society leading to all-round socio-economic development of the nation and global competitiveness. The main objective of ICT is to provide computer literacy and computer-aided education in secondary and higher secondary schools,” the official said.

Principals of government schools have welcomed the decision. “Computer education is the need of the hour, but lack of proper infrastructure doesn’t allow many students to opt for it,” said Bivash Saniel, headmaster of Scottish Church Collegiate School.

However, some principals have questioned the feasibility of the project in the interiors. “We neither have good teachers nor the internet connection. Even the power supply is infrequent here. It is going to be difficult to set up infrastructure in schools in far-flung areas,” said the principal of a school in a south Bengal district.

Source: Times of India

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