Schools in the US spend more than Rs 25,000 crore annually on technol -
ogy. Now consider this: Most government schools in India don't even have a
clear-cut computer education programme. The obvious question that then
comes to mind is: How do we overcome this digital divide?
Global tech giants are spending crores of rupees to educate teachers on tech-
nology and provide computer equipment in schools. In fact, the US Department
of Education has gone so far as to commission a Rs 50 crore study to research
the impact of technology in education. This is possible because schools in the
West have all the pieces of infrastructure in place: they have the computers, the
connectivity, trained staff and the content.
But the situation is quite different in India. Most schools don't even have
basic computing infrastructure to impart computer literacy, let alone use
technology as a tool to aid education. Couple this with the fact that not every-
one can afford to pay thousands of rupees to a computer training institute
and only a small fraction of us actually have access to a PC, and we've got a
With computer literacy being a pre-requisite in today's age, it's obvious that
we need some sweeping changes to ensure that this digital divide doesn't make
our children start life with a disadvantage.
Companies like Intel are making attempts to bridge this gap with their
Rs 500 crore 'Teach to the Future' programme, which aims at imparting tech-
nology education to 5,00,000 teachers globally. Even though there's a humani-
tarian angle to all these programmes, these tech companies realise that they
need to do this in order to seed their own future.
We too can play an important part in bridging this gap.
Every year we junk thousands of PCs without realising that there might be
an educational institution in our neighbourhood that might have tremendous
use for our discarded technology. After all, one person's obsolete technology
might be another's future meal ticket.
Companies can get in touch with sch