LG Mathur e-launches YounTab Scheme Ladakh becomes 1st UT in India to provide educational tablets to school children
Leh, June 04: Striving to provide better educational support to the students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic where schools remain mostly closed, LG Mathur today inaugurated the YounTab scheme in a virtual event.
The scheme is an initiative of the Department of School Education with technical support by the Information Technology Department under which 12,300 tablets with pre-loaded online and offline content, including textbooks, video lectures and online class applications, would be distributed to govt school students from Class 6th to 12th. The offline content has been prepared class and subject-wise to help students in remote areas with no internet connectivity. The IT Department and NIC have developed a few applications for providing these contents loaded in these tablets to the students.
Addressing the event, LG Mathur stressed the importance of education technology in the years to come. He expressed satisfaction for having fulfilled the immediate need of the students of Ladakh. Tablets were distributed among students from remote areas during the event.
LG Mathur thanked the PM for granting UT status to Ladakh for making this possible and providing a sufficient budget for this initiative. He thanked the Education Minister for the visionary New Education Policy 2021 for providing a backbone for such technological interventions.
Addressing the internet connectivity issue, LG Mathur informed that the existing telecom companies have agreed to install additional towers. Further, UT Admin has also been in touch with the Telecommunication Department to implement NOFN in Ladakh by laying OFC up to Block level, in place of VSATs. An additional 115 towers with 1760 km of OFC cables have also been requested to ensure 100 per cent connectivity across Ladakh, informed LG Mathur. However, in the meantime, the administration is trying to implement interim options.
Ladakh has become the first UT/state in India to have successfully launched the scheme. The distribution of tablets would be completed in the next two months.
LG Mathur pointed out the need for substantial improvement in UT Ladakh’s education sector as per the recently published report on Sustainable Development Goals by NITI Aayog. He stated that there should be efforts to improve the quality of education, 100 per cent enrolment and zero dropouts in schools.
LG Mathur lauded the Department of Education for achieving 100% target in teacher’s training and stated that NCERT’s help in further improvement in training and curriculum development of the department would prove beneficial.
LG Mathur also spoke about finalising the board, improving school infrastructures, the possibility of keeping the schools functional during the winter months and teaching and learning in the local language. He shared about the establishment of 91 new ICT labs in Ladakh.
LG Mathur also announced financial assistance to the meritorious students of classes 10th and 12th for availing coaching for exams such as NEET, JEE, NDA and UG CLAT. Students would be reimbursed a coaching fee of up to Rs. 1 lakh under the Rewa Scheme. Similarly, for students clearing preliminary exams of Civil Services, IES and IFS, LG Mathur announced financial assistance up to Rs. 1.54 lakh.
LG Mathur also announced Rs. 25 lakh to Gram Panchayats from LG’s fund for facilitating better provision in the villages for conducting community classes for primary school students.
Meanwhile, CEC Leh, Advocate Tashi Gyalson, expressed his gratitude to GoI, led by the Prime Minister, for sanctioning and providing the tablets by understanding the importance of digital technologies for the education of school students in Ladakh. He added that the network issues in remote areas further hamper the access to online classes and education during the pandemic that needed a viable solution to alleviate the difficulties faced by the students.
CEC Leh expressed that the free distribution of pre-loaded educational tablets would hugely benefit the students of Ladakh. He shared that the Hill Council would provide all the necessary support to help this scheme reach out to every eligible school student of Leh district.
CEC Kargil, Feroz Ahmad Khan, congratulated the UT Administration Ladakh for implementing the scheme and expressed that it would help students with weak internet connectivity in Ladakh, including 9324 students of Kargil district, get timely education during the ongoing Covid pandemic.
CEC Kargil also urged the UT Administration to consider the proposal of the Education Department Kargil to provide dedicated tablets to the teachers to monitor their work.
MP Ladakh, JTN, shared that it has been a dream of Ladakh, especially after becoming a Union Territory, to impart smart education through the digital medium. Both the UT Administration and Hill Councils have worked together by formulating schemes and provisions in this regard. He termed this project ‘Yountan Nurboo Lagcha,’ an instrument to access education with its pre-loaded syllabus of NCERT and JKBOSE, 40 learning apps, and selected content for the students. He shared that free tablets would be distributed to 12300 students in UT Ladakh within 60 days under the YOUNTAB Project. MP Ladakh expressed hope that the students would wisely use the tablet for the rightful purpose.
Officials of NCERT and JKBOSE assured their full assistance in providing necessary guidance for the students of Ladakh. They appreciated the steps taken by the UT Administration and Hill Councils of Ladakh in exploring innovative alternatives in the education sector.
CEO Lenovo India shared that Lenovo has partnered with the administration in implementing the YounTab scheme in UT Ladakh and assured services wherever and whenever required in the future.
Tashi Gyalson, CEC, LAHDC Leh; Feroz Ahmad Khan, CEC, LAHDC Kargil; Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Member of Parliament Ladakh; Sridhar Shrivastava, Director, NCERT; Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Commissioner Secretary, School Education Ladakh; Saugat Biswas, Secretary Information Technology; Veena Pandita, Chairman JK BOSE; Srikant Balasaheb Suse, DC Leh; Santosh Sukhdeve, DC Kargil; Safdar Ali, Director, School Education Ladakh; Tsetan Dorjey, CEO Leh and Nazir Wani, CEO Kargil, attended the launching ceremony.