HYDERABAD: Nearly 200 government schools including zilla parishad schools, mandal parishad schools, and high schools have been equipped with Wi-Fi connections. While people understand why wireless services are being set up at locations with high footfall, they are divided on whether these services are required at schools.
The education department has issued clear instructions to the teachers of government schools, asking them not to use their mobile phones while at work. They have even warned them that strict action will be taken against teachers found violating this rule. However, a large number of Wi-Fi access points have been set up at government schools. Though internet connections may be used to enhance learning, there is also a high risk of students misusing them, especially during their breaks and intervals. High school students who previously did not carry mobile phones with them are now attempting to hide them in their bags and use them surreptitiously.
G.Haragopal, a retired professor and educationist, said that these concerns cannot be ignored. He said that efforts should be made to regulate access, sensitise students and teachers so that they do not misuse the connections. M. Ravinder, state vice- president of the Telangana Progressive Teachers Federation, said that the authorities could consider providing wired internet connections to a limited number of classrooms in government schools.
Meanwhile, officials from the IT Department say that Wi-Fi connections are being provided to schools as part of the government’s Digital Classrooms initiative which aims to impart new-age learning to students. “We want to extend wireless network services to them so that they don’t have to spend money on it,” an official said