To bridge the digital divide in degree colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday rolled out the distribution of tablet PCs and started formation of 2,500 smart classes across Karnataka.
The tablet PCs will be distributed among around 1.55 lakh students at a cost of ₹163 crore. The creation of 2,500 smart classrooms will cost ₹27.77 crore, and development of a Learning Management System (LMS) will cost ₹4.04 crore.
The Chief Minister said that these initiatives are aimed at benefiting students belonging to economically weaker sections of society who pursue their studies in government institutions.
In a press release, the Higher Education Department has said that the tablet PCs will be distributed to first-year students of 430 government first grade colleges, 1st and 2nd-year students of 87 government polytechnics, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-year students of 14 engineering colleges.
According to the Chief Minister, 2,500 classes have been converted to smart classrooms by equipping them with projector, whiteboard, Android box, UPS, and the internet to facilitate the usage of modern teaching and learning models. LMS enables access to learning both in online and offline modes.
Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayana, who is also the Minister of Higher Education, said the programmes would enable ‘Any Time, Anywhere’ learning and benefit 25,000 teaching faculty and 5 lakh students. “These initiatives will be helpful to resolve the imbalances between offline and online, digital and physical, rural and urban, government and private, rich and poor and also English and native language barriers with respect to access to quality teaching and learning, besides providing a strong platform to implement National Education Policy effectively.”
Under the Learning Management System, students will have to answer multiple choice questions for assessment. They will get an analysis of their performance and it will be linked with the attendance of students. Students will be given the option to give ratings for the content.