Smartphone at home but not for study in rural Assam: survey – Times of India

Guwahati: Home availability of smartphones for schoolgirls has doubled to 71% during the Kovid epidemic in Assam and to 92% this year for the two northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland. But their access to smartphones for study purposes is a matter of concern. For more than half of schoolchildren, smartphones are sometimes available or not accessible at all.

It was published in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021, released on Wednesday, covering 581 districts across 25 states and three union territories of the country.



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In the five northeastern states where the survey was conducted, 36.1% of the children surveyed in Assam in 2018 found smartphones in their homes. The corresponding statistics in Manipur have increased from 53.4% ​​in 2018 to 92.9% in 2021. Nagaland also had smartphones available to 92.9% of children at home in 2021, though the same was 50% in 2018. For Meghalaya, similar figures were 41.3% (2018) and 77.9% (2021) respectively. In Assam, 51.4% of the children surveyed sometimes had access to a smartphone for study purposes, whereas 22.9% did not have access to it despite being available at home. In Manipur, 39.9% had only occasional access and for 24.5% it was not accessible. Similar figures for Meghalaya were 34.2% and 30.7% respectively.

Interestingly, in Nagaland, 41% sometimes had access to a smartphone, although for only 3.8% it was not accessible. In Arunachal Pradesh, in 2021, 84.6% of registered schoolgirls had a smartphone at home. But 50.7% of them sometimes had access to study purposes, while 19.9% ​​did not. Arunachal, where there is a poor mobile network coverage in the vast hills and mountains, in 2018 only 57.3% of children had smartphones at home.


Trishna Lekharu, research manager at Assam Research, told TOI that demand for smartphones has increased across India during the Kovid period. “Even though the number of homes with smartphones has increased, the level of availability of education for children has been low. The good news is that the availability of smartphones can help the government provide smart education through digital media, ”he said.

ASER 2021 was a household rural survey conducted by phone. At the all-India level, a smartphone was found in the home of 67.6% of children.

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