Importance of Computers in the Indian Education Sector
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30-12-2010, 02:03 PM

Submitted By: Ikjot Dhawan

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The future of India will be shaped in the classroom. India has amongst the largest student populations in the world and a low literacy rate of 65% (ranked 172 globally). While India has took many steps in improving the education system and much still remain to be done. There is a short supply of educated manpower which is employable. To meet existing and emerging demand, India needs to significantly gear up its education infrastructure. The Government of India targets to guarantee elementary education to every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years and for this purpose, continues to support federally sponsored scheme, known as “Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, to increase access to education as well as improve the quality of education. This scheme also aims to promote computer-based education in schools.
In the last decade, we have experienced rapid advances in information technology which have created new changes in the way we live, work and play. The growth of the Internet, e-commerce and telecommunications has created tremendous opportunities and challenges for both societies and economies. Information Technology is also having a profound effect on education. IT is one of the most powerful enablers, which facilitates learning and administration. The landscape of our schools today is vastly different from that which we were familiar with during our own schooldays. Visit any school and you will see students accessing the Internet from PCs along the corridors, in the classrooms and the library. IT has opened up the world of education. It provides new tools for teachers and the students. And it opens up the whole world of knowledge and allows teaching and learning to take place beyond the traditional boundaries and resources of the school.

The goal of this case study is to enhance the Education System to its best by using computers.

The objectives of this case study is to outline how computers can help create an education system that is based on principles of helping teachers be effective in what they do; improving the quality and relevance of classroom instruction; and making quantifiable and measurable progress towards improving efficiency.

Computers are extremely fast information processing machines. They take a given input, process it and deliver a certain output. The developments in microelectronics and transistors have gone so far much ahead that computers are classified in terms of different generations. The first computer ENIAC (Electronics Numerical Integrator and Calculator) was invented in 1946. From that point we have moved into the age of the 5th generation super computer (based on artificial intelligence), though in day to day life 4th generation personal computers are predominantly used. What we are concerned here is the use of micro-computers in education. 'These are machines with high speed, accuracy and versatility, which characteristics are a by-product of the interaction between the hardware and software components of a computer. The hardware consists of physical components of a computer and other related devices. The software is a set of programs that allows the hardware to operate. It is particularly important that users of the computer should understand its software - not necessarily how it has been developed, but how to use it.

Present day computers have the following capabilities:
• They perform operations at high speed.
• They store huge amounts of information in formats like text, sound, picture, film, etc.
• They are portable. One can work on a 'notebook' or 'laptop' computer even while making a trip from Mangalore to Bangalore.
• They are highly interactive and also enable communication from one place to another.
• They are user-friendly and easy to operate.
All these qualities make computers highly suitable for use in education and training.

We know that the computer is a versatile device of modern information technology and it can be used in a variety of situations for storing, processing and retrieving data. Hence, its uses are almost as endless as are situations in human life, which includes those under which educational transaction take place. However, the reactions of teachers to the computer as a teaching-learning tool have been far from uniform. For some of the developing countries, the computer is still very much like a disease that is best avoided, because it threatens the traditional well-tried educational system. But this is only one side of the story. An increasing number of teachers, on the other hand, are fascinated by the opportunities that it offers to them as well as to their students; they feel encouraged to try out its usefulness in almost every subject area.
According to Moore (1986) "Teachers who do not use the computer in their teaching are not only doing a disservice to their pupils, but are rejecting a teaching tool which is limited in its use by the imagination of the teacher".

Behind the attractive India growth story lays a hidden truth. The education system is in a sorry state. Despite adequate funds, inefficient systems have resulted in high illiteracy and a shortage of skilled staff. The government has now identified education as a focus area to maintain sustainable economic growth and the private sector is coming up with new structures to increase participation. I believe India’s education sector could see long-term secular growth with rewards for early movers. India has the largest base of children less than 20 years of age as shown in figure 1.


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