For Himachal Pradesh, IT has been embracing the education sector from quite a long time now. Balbeer Tegta, Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Board School Education talks about several IT initiatives that the State has taken to bring efficiency in the sector.
How Has IT initiatives been taken in the school education department in Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh has pioneered in the IT area, and it has won several awards at national level. It’s an IT savvy state, and probably one of the few states in the country which is in a big way deploying the IT applications with respect to e-governance, with respect to applications of the IT into various areas and particularly in education sector. IT has been introduced in a phased manner in various schools and also in the education board.
Please throw light on few initiatives that are in the pipeline and are involving intensive IT Implementation?
In school education board, we have introduced several IT initiatives from last two years. We have introduced online applications for registration of students for entrance interviews, various exams, we have digitised old records to provide facility to old students who want to take their registration, certificate and other records from the board. Now, we are also setting up various modules for the working of the office. We want to introduce more transparency and bring efficiency as IT as a tool helps in increasing efficiency, bringing more transparency and providing better services.
What is your opinion on ELETS taking the step to bring all the key stakeholders and IT initiatives under one roof?
I have lot of exposure to various IT applications particularly in education sector and in overall growth of infrastructure, health and other areas and I wish we could also have a summit like this, sometime in near future, for which I will pursue this matter with the government and I am hopeful that this kind of summit would do a good work in furtherance of the cause of education in the State.
I would like to throw light on the growth of Himachal Pradesh in the education sector from last three decades because there had been large expansion of educational activities in the State with the visionary leadership of the present Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The State has 17,000 educational institutions, around 90 colleges and five universities. For a population of 65 lakhs in the State, we have around 16,000 villages and for every village we have a school. And that’s a tremendous growth and expansion that has taken place in the sector of education in the State.
This year the education budget for the State is 4,400 crore which is roughly one-fourth of the budget of the State. That shows the priority the government has for the education in the State and the concern it has for improving the quality of education.
We are focusing on ICT programme in our State and have introduced IT in primary education. We are running Computer Aided Learning (CAL) programme in elementary schools on pilot basis