SHILLONG | MAY 22:
Meghalaya Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui today informed that the State Government has no plan of providing the students with mobile gadgets to help them cope with the new method of online learning.
Replying to the question raised by Congress MLA from Rangsakona, Zenith M Sangma during the Question Hour in the Assembly today, Rymbui said that the Government does not have the resources since it will need Rs 200 crore if they are to provide 9,21,461 students with gadgets costing Rs 2000 per unit.
To a supplementary question of Sangma if the Government can consider providing gadgets to students from Class IX to Class XII, Rymbui said that the State Government would need to spend Rs 150 crore if they are to provide gadgets at subsidised rate to more than 1.50 lakh plus students of these four classes.
He further said that even if the Government is able to provide these gadgets then the students will require internet data to assess to the various online teaching contents.
According to him, there are many students who will not have assess to internet data since the 4G connection is not available throughout the State adding that the gadgets will be of no use if students does have assess to internet connection.
Meghalaya Education Minister also said, there is digital disparity among the have’s and have nots’. According to him, even the teachers are finding it difficult to adapt to this new method of learning.
Rymbui also asserted that online teaching will not be able to replicate class room teachings.
He further informed that the budget earmarked for the Education department during the current fiscal year is Rs 2525 crore adding that the department will face difficulty to meet its various current commitments.
On the question of providing financial support to the private run schools, Meghalaya Education Minister said that the Government understands the problem faced by the private schools in view of the current pandemic situation.
“We have already made an assessment on the difficulties faced by the private run schools. We will be able to decide on the way out to help private run schools within the next one or two days,” he said.