The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools have been subsumed in the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). Now ICT in Schools is a component of the RMSA. 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 computer aided learning process. The Scheme is a major catalyst to bridge the digital divide amongst students of various socio economic and other geographical barriers. The Scheme provides support to States/UTs to establish computer labs on sustainable basis.
Implementation mechanism of the scheme
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at schools scheme was launched in December 2004, to build capacity of secondary students on ICT skills make them learn through computer aided learning processes. This scheme is a major catalyst to bridge the digital divide amongst students of various socio-economic and other geographical barriers. The scheme provides support to States/UTs to establish computer labs on sustainable basis. It also aims to set up smart schools in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas which are pace setting institutions of the Government of India to act as “Technology Demonstrators” and lead in propagating ICT skills among students of neighbourhood schools.
Based on the experience gained so far, the scheme was revised in July 2010.
Components of the scheme
The scheme essentially has four components:-
- Partnership with state governments and UT Administrations for providing computer aided education to secondary and higher secondary government and government aided schools.
- Establishment of smart schools, which shall be technology demonstrators.
- Teacher related interventions, such as provision for engagement of an exclusive teacher, capacity enhancement of all teachers in ICT and a scheme for national ICT award as means of motivation.
- Development of e-content, mainly through Central Institute of Education Technology (CIET), six State Institutes of Education Technologies (SIETs) and 5 Regional Institutes of Education (RIEs), as also through outsourcing.
Highlights of the revised scheme
- The non-recurring expenditure for school has been revised from Rs. 6.7 lakh to Rs. 6.4 lakh, whereas annual recurring expenditure has been revised from 1.34 lakh to Rs. 2.70 lakh. The recurring cost will be provided for a period of 5 years from the year of sanction.
- The objective of the scheme is to cover all government and government aided secondary and higher secondary schools by giving priority for early coverage of schools in educationally backward blocks and in areas having concentration of SC/ST/minority/weaker sections.
- Under the revised scheme, there is a provision of a suitably qualified full time computer teacher in each secondary and higher secondary school. In case of higher secondary school having computer related subjects as elective, there is a need for a post graduate computer teacher.
- There are provisions for in-service (induction and refresher) training for all teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools to equip them to impart ICT enabled teaching.
- 150 smart schools would be set up by the state governments and UTs at the district level using a grant of Rs. 25 lakh per school and a recurring grant of Rs. 2.5 lakh per year. This would enable provision of at least 40 computers in each of such school.
- There is a provision to strengthen SIETs to contribute to e-content development.
- Management, monitoring and evaluation will be strengthened.
- Convergence with the existing programme would be essential especially in teacher training and ensuring reliable power supply and internet connectivity.
- The scheme includes National Award for teachers using ICT in schools for teaching learning process.
- The sharing pattern will be 75.25 between the Centre and the State except for the north eastern States including Sikkim where the ration would on 90.10.
The scheme currently covers both government and government aided secondary and higher secondary schools. Financial assistance is provided for procurement of computers and peripherals, educational software, training of teachers, development of e-contents, Internet connectivity and setting up of smart schools.
Financial Assistance and cost norms
Financial assistance is given to states, CIET and SIETs on the basis of the approvals accorded by Project Monitoring and Evaluation Group (PMEG) chaired by the Secretary (School Education and Literacy). The project cost is shared between Centre and states in ration of 75:25 except for the NER states including Sikkim where it is 90:10.
A committee has been constituted to draft a policy on the usage of ICT in schools education. A draft policy has been prepared which is in the final stage. The draft policy aims at using ICT for preparing youth to compete globally and participate creatively in the establishment, sustenance and growth of a knowledge society.