Devidas Gaonkar is a poet and journalist, and a proud member of the indigenous Velip tribe. He lives in a remote forest reserve not far from the beautiful and touristic beaches of South Goa. Devidas dropped out of school in 2003 because there was no money for education, and of boredom if he had note found film-making, his passion. One…
Government of Goa distributes low quality computers to students.
About the video: Students in Goa feel cheated by the government scheme which promised heavily subsidized computers and ended up providing them with some heavily faulty machines. Motherboards, hard-drives and CPUs crashed. For the scheme only two service centers were set up: One in South and one in North Goa. People from all surrounding districts would bring their broken desktops here. They had to cover a distance of up to 100 km. Due to a great congestion of repairs the service of one machine took one month. During this time the students were unable to practice their computer skills. Once the computer came back, it was not before it broke down again.
The Community Correspondent says: Devidas Goakar, India Unheard Community Correspondent from Goa says: "During classes in school one computer is shared between about ten students. So there is no space for them to learn. Because of this a lot of students from my community really looked forward to have their own computer to practice. Sadly in the end they had more trouble than use with the computers."
The Issue: The Goa government introduced the Cyber Age Scheme in 2003 to push forward computer literacy among the students. The applicants of the scheme would receive their own home computer paying between a 1000 to 2000 Rupees. But when the government selected a suitable supplier their only benchmark was the price rather than the quality of the computers. The consequence is that the hardware in the computers is cheap and breaks down easily. After complaints on the quality of the computers, the government decided to stop the scheme in 2012. Now students are deprived of possibilities to learn basics of computing.
Call to Action: Computing has become an essential skill for students after they graduate from school. Therefore students ask the Goa government to continue the highly popular scheme, but improve the scheme setting up more service centers as well as providing them with high quality computers as promised.
Related Links:Goa News Online "Students unhappy with Cyberage scheme computers" 08.June.2009:Consumer Court Forum "Warrenty problem acer cyberage desktopn computers" 18.07.2010: Times of India "Cyberage scheme non-operational for lack of funds" 14.11.2009Herald Goa "Cyberage scheme under evaluation says Kamat" 03.08.2010:
Lack of smartphones is one of the major factors why primary students in India are not able to take regular online classes and are forgetting the habit of going to school, take classes and make education a part of their lives.