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Only 22% of Indian schools had access to internet last year, govt data shows

States were ranked according to the percentage of schools that had internet access and a functional computer facility.

Out of more than 15 lakh schools in India, only 22.3 percent had access to the internet in the academic year 2019-2020, a report by the Ministry of Education revealed last week. Furthermore, only 37.13 percent of schools had functional computer facilities.

In a year when online education was the norm owing to the pandemic, these figures shed light on India’s poor digital infrastructure. Just as students relied on a mobile or laptop with internet access to attend classes, many teachers relied on their school’s infrastructure to conduct these classes. The lack of such infrastructure reveals the extent of the digital divide that plagues the country. It also raises questions on India’s ability to have a hybrid model of education as schools re-open with staggered attendance.

The digital divide is further evident between states. While most union territories perform well in both computer availability and internet access, there’s a significant disparity between states as well as between types of schools. Here are some other statistics revealed in the annual Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+) report.

Access to internet

Percentage of schools that had access to the internet in

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  • 2019-20 – 22.3 percent
  • 2018-19 – 8.7 percent
  • 2012-12 – 6.2 percent

Percentage of schools that had access to the internet by management

  • Government – 11.6 percent
  • Government-aided – 42.2 percent
  • Private – 50.2 percent
  • Others – 21.42 percent

States with the highest percentage of schools with internet access

  1. Kerala – 87.4 percent
  2. Gujarat – 70.76 percent
  3. Punjab – 48.96 percent

Only two states had internet access in more than half the schools.

States with the lowest percentage of schools with internet access

  1. Tripura – 3.85 percent
  2. Meghalaya – 3.88 percent
  3. Assam – 5.82 percent

Availability of functional computer facility

Percentage of schools with the availability of functional computer facility in 

  • 2019-20 – 37.13 percent

Percentage of schools with the availability of functional computer facility by management

  • Government – 28.6 percent
  • Government-aided – 61.2 percent
  • Private –  58.5 percent
  • Others  – 28.9 percent

States with the highest percentage of schools with functional computer facility

  1. Kerala – 92.44 percent
  2. Chhattisgarh – 83 percent
  3. Tamil Nadu – 76.55 percent

States with the lowest percentage of schools with functional computer facility

  1. Assam – 12.7 percent
  2. Madhya Pradesh – 13.28 percent
  3. Meghalaya – 13.27 percent

Availability of computer facility

Percentage of schools with the availability of computer facility in 

  • 2019-20 – 38.5 percent
  • 2018-19 – 34.5 percent
  • 2012-12 – 22.2 percent

Percentage of schools with the availability of computer facility by management

  • Government – 30 percent
  • Government-aided – 63 percent
  • Private –  59.9 percent
  • Others  – 30 percent

States with the highest percentage of schools with computer facility

  1. Kerala – 93.41 percent
  2. Chhattisgarh – 85.34 percent
  3. Tamil Nadu – 78.06 percent

States with the lowest percentage of schools with computer facility

  1. Madhya Pradesh – 13.59 percent
  2. Meghalaya – 13.63 percent
  3. West Bengal – 13.87 percent

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