Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate computer literacy competencies among rural and urban students in India and its prime objectives are to find out: how rural and urban students use computers, what is the purpose of computers for these students and what problems have the students encountered while using computers. Design/methodology/approach – Scheduled interviews were conducted to collect necessary data from rural and urban students. The interview schedules consisted of various questions designed to elicit details about the students’ use of computers. A total of 600 interview schedules were collected and data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for windows to test the formulated hypothesis. Findings – The findings of the study indicate that the infrastructural facilities varied among rural and urban schools. Another notable finding of the study was that majority (91.33 percent) of urban students used computers compared to a significantly less percentage of rural students (32.33 percent). Most rural students have not used computers mainly because they do not know how to (49.75 percent) followed by lack of support from teachers (48.76 percent) and non-availability of computers in their schools (48.27 percent). Electrical power failure was another major problem faced by both urban students (31.75 percent) and rural students (40.20 percent). Originality/value – This study attempted to learn about the computer literacy competencies among the students and the digital divide in Indian schools. On the basis of the findings, the study has recommended guidelines to bridge the digital gap. These findings and recommendations will potentially be helpful to school authorities and the government in order to take the necessary measurements to bridge the digital gap between the rural and urban students.
Asian Education and Development Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 30, 2014
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