The Haryana education department has taken steps to address concerns related to the misuse of e-tablets by students in government-run schools. Following reports of students breaching security codes and accessing inappropriate websites, the department has upgraded 65% of the e-tablets assigned to Class 10 and 12 students with the latest operating system (OS).
These e-tablets were distributed under the ₹620-crore flagship e-Adhigam program, benefiting over five lakh students in 2022. However, issues arose as students were found using the tablets for non-academic purposes, prompting calls for their withdrawal by parents and village panchayats. The tablets had a security feature, mobile device management (MDM), but some students were able to bypass it.
The education department addressed the situation by updating the OS to the top version (OS 13) on almost 65% of the tablets. During the process, it was discovered that the MDM breach also occurred through the device maintenance option. The vendor was then instructed to remove the device maintenance option from tablets with OS 13, further securing the devices.
While the upgrade process is ongoing, it has not been applied to the tablets of plus two students due to pre-board examinations. The upgrade for these tablets is scheduled to begin in April, with final-year students from government technical colleges inspecting the tablets for security breaches. Around 2,500 students will be involved in this task on a voluntary basis, each receiving a ₹500 honorarium for their efforts.
The decision to involve technical college students was made during a review meeting in August 2023. The inspection process aims to ensure the security of the tablets and address concerns raised about breaches in the MDM security walls.
The e-tablets, initially part of an initiative to enhance learning through technology, faced challenges due to misuse. The education department's efforts to upgrade the tablets' operating systems and involve technical college students in inspections demonstrate a commitment to addressing these challenges and ensuring the effective use of educational technology in government schools in Haryana.