The pandemic has indeed affected the economic statistics of the country. But it has also affected the education sector a lot. With schools and universities being shut even after the lockdown has been lifted, students are facing huge problems to continue with their education. Though online conduction of classes is taking place in almost all institutions, many students are facing issues to continue with the classes because they do not have the needful resources. So, to check this situation, the Mamata-led government at west Bengal announced that they will provide tabs to such students who do not have enough resources to carry out the online classes.
The need for such a move
There are a total of almost 36000 govt. and govt. aided secondary schools, almost 14000 higher secondary schools, and almost around 636 madrasahs in west Bengal. All of these are shut from the month of March-April and will remain shut till time unknown as the pandemic continues to spark fear amongst citizens. Therefore, the reopening of schools and colleges still remains uncertain sending the student’s future on a toss. So such a move is taken by the WB government so that every student can at least get to learn through online mode of teachings.
The opposition sees it as a “lure” to earn 2021 assembly election votes
While Mamata Banerjee said, “Because of the pandemic students are suffering. We will provide tabs to 9.5 lakh students studying in class 12 in government schools, government-aided schools, and madrasas. Computers would also be provided to every secondary school to facilitate online education during the pandemic”, the opposition sees this as a “luring move” and that she is taking such decisions to gain more votes in the 2021 assembly elections. For the 10 lakh state government employees, Mamata Banerjee also announced a 3% dearness allowance.
More such scheme by the Bengal government
Mamata Banerjee said, “Many more investments are coming. On December 1, we cleared 20 proposals of setting up IT offices at Bengal Silicon Valley Hub with a proposed investment of Rs 3000 crore. They would directly employ 9000 IT professionals”. She also said, “Tata Consultancy Services is expected to increase their employment from the present 44,000 to around 61,000. Very soon their operation in West Bengal would be larger than their Bengaluru operation”. This indicated that she is eyeing development in the employment sector as well, other than just helping the students taking online classes. She ended her speech by saying, “Our youth will not have to roam in other states and across the world looking for jobs. They can work here”.
The Policy Times suggestion
- It is a very appreciable decision taken by the WB government as it would benefit a lot of students to continue with the online mode of teaching. There are many families who cannot afford a smartphone and thus, this move will help them a lot.
- But as there is a positive side to these decisions, there is also a negative side. Many students can misuse this scheme and tend to use the tablet outside of educational purposes. Some candidates may also seek the benefit of the scheme even if they do not have an actual requirement of the same. So, it must be seen that only students with a lower family income who actually have the need gets the benefit from the scheme.