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Andhra government may give students tabs instead of laptops

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Andhra government may give students tabs instead of laptops
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Andhra Pradesh is not likely to provide students laptops due to cost factors as well as many digital learning apps not working on the device.

Students of classes 9 to 12 were expecting the state government to provide them with laptops. On Monday, sources said the proposal has been dropped.

The government is now discussing distributing tabs to students of class 8 as they cost Rs 12,000 and are loaded with digital learning content. A senior education official told PTI the government is planning to distribute tabs by September 2022.

Students in class 8 are expected to use the same device in their next school years as well. "A laptop will not be required," said the official. Many students are hoping that the government will provide laptops in class 11.

Last year, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy announced students in classes 9 to 12 can opt for laptops in lieu of the Rs 15,000 dole (now reduced by Rs 2,000) under Ammavodi scheme, an initiative designed to encourage mothers to send children to schools.

8,21,655 students of classes 9 to 12 opted for laptops instead of the cash dole. Over 1.10 lakh of these students were otherwise covered under Vasati Deevena, another freebie scheme. However, the government had to cancel the plan due to a failure in making a deal with suppliers.

Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana last week said the government is negotiating the price with the suppliers. Later, the CM only launched the distribution of the cash freebie and the distribution of Tabs. He did not mention laptops.

PTI reported that the task of procuring laptops was given to the AP Technology Services. They sought to purchase a laptop for Rs 18,000 and the suppliers quoted Rs 26,000. The Andhra Pradesh government could not afford this.

The extra cost would have created a financial burden of Rs 657 crore. The official added that scarce production caused by a shortage of chipsets was also a problem in the supply.

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