12% schools in Karnataka have internet: Report

The number is the lowest in South India says the UNESCO study; 37 per cent of classrooms are unfit for learning while 55 per cent of teachers are female

Though Karnataka is at the forefront of an internet revolution, access to internet facilities in schools is dismal as it has the lowest percentage of internet access in schools in south India. According to the UNESCO’s 2021 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India called ‘No Teachers, No Class’, internet facilities were available in only 12 per cent of schools.

The numbers are in stark contrast with the other states/union territories. For example, Chandigarh ranked the highest with 97 per cent internet availability, Maharashtra (34 per cent), Kerala (88 per cent), Puducherry (67 per cent) Goa (40 per cent), Tamil Nadu (34 per cent), Telangana (18 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (17 per cent) ranked higher than Karnataka.

“With professional resources and professional development being provided online, and with school administrative work increasingly requiring access to computing devices and internet, their availability in schools is an aspect of professional working conditions. Providing these resources has not been treated as ‘essential’ and ‘must-have’ but ‘nice-to-have’ and is driven through central government schemes and state government initiatives.

“The overall availability of computing devices (desktops or laptops) in schools is 22 per cent for all India, with rural areas seeing much lower provisioning (18 per cent) than urban areas (43 per cent). Access to the internet in schools is 19 per cent all over India – only 14 per cent in rural areas compared to 42 per cent in urban areas,” said the UNESCO report.

37 per cent of the classrooms unfit’


Thirty-seven per cent of classrooms in Karnataka are not in good condition. The report highlights that Karnataka is faring well in other parameters compared to other states. There are 78,223 schools out of which 72 per cent were in rural areas. Interestingly, the report states that 99 per cent of the schools had good road access and drinking water facilities, while 88 per cent of the schools had boys’ toilets and 91 per cent of schools had girls’ toilets while 89 per cent of the schools had a good electricity connection.

Karnataka, like other states, has reserved between 30 – 50 per cent of vacancies for female teachers

– The report

Female teachers have the upper hand

Around 55 per cent of teachers in the state are women. The report highlights that Karnataka has a comparatively higher number of women in the teaching profession (80 per cent of teachers in Goa are women).

Though the shortage of teachers exists in the state, it is comparatively less than other states. According to the report, 13 per cent of schools have vacancies for teachers while only six per cent of the schools have just one teacher.

The report states that Karnataka (along with other states like Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu) has, for limited periods of time, reserved between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of recruitment for women, resulting in significant increase in women’s representation.

Not enough qualified teachers

The report also highlights that 0.14 per cent of teachers in the higher secondary are under-qualified. The maximum was found in pre-primary classes with 1.66 of teachers being under-qualified followed by 0.6 per cent in primary, 0.03 per cent in upper-primary and 0.02 per cent in secondary schools.

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Sagar Biswas

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