The objectives of this study were: (1] To study the status of Computer Education Programme (CEP) in schools in terms of physical facilities, financial provisions, human resources, curriculum and its execution. (2) To compare the status of CEP on the basis of demographic variables, like, situation of the school (rural and urban) and the type of school management (Government and private). (3) To identify issues related to CEP in schools. (4) To perceive the future of CEP in schools (by 2012 AD). (5) To suggest a model for making CEP in schools effective and futuristic.
Descriptive field survey was used to study the status and issues whereas the Delphi Technique was used to perceive the future of CEP.
The findings were: (1) CEP started in a majority of schools in Rajasthan after the CLASS project in 1986 and is being run on the contract basis in two-third of the schools. (2) Most of the schools have computer laboratories with basic computer facilities, but there are certain issues that need immediate attention like: status of contract computer teachers in terms of salaries, teaching experience, permanent appointment of staff and in-service training, separate budget for CEP, dissatisfaction of most students towards the quality of study material provided by the contract agency, lack of correlation between theory and practice, guidance given by teachers during practical classes, students facing difficulty in theory and practical examinations, and the ICT policy of the state of Rajasthan for implementing CEP in schools. (3) The status of CEP is particularly poor in Government and rural schools when compared with private schools and urban schools. (4) Students have a high level of interest in CEP despite its poor status in schools and possess an average awareness towards Internet. (5) Barring a few cases, most of the experts predict a promising future of CEP in schools by 2012 AD in all respects except that hardware maintenance would be a problem and schools would still have one computer per student. Experts also do not foresee any substantial improvement in the status of CEP in rural Government schools.
Keyword(s): Computer Education