In southern Indian state of Kerala, schools are fast becoming digital with hi-tech classrooms equipped with advanced gadgets, including laptops and multi-media projectors, coming up in over 40,000 classrooms in the state.
As part of the ambitious ‘Hi-Tech school’ project of the state government, the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has enabled 40,083 classrooms in selected state-run and aided schools to become hi-tech.
KITE, formerly IT@School project under the state General Education Department, is a special purpose vehicle envisaged to promote IT education in state schools.
K Anvar Sadath, vice chairman and executive director, KITE, said northern Malappuram district tops in the number of hi-tech classrooms (5,096), followed by neighbouring Kozhikode (4,105) and Thrissur district (3,497).
“We have completed the deployment of laptops, multi-media projectors, mounting kits, USB Speakers etc to 40,083 classrooms and additionally 16,500 laptops for the computer labs are also being deployed the week,” he said.
Of the total 4,752 government and aided high schools, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary schools, all classrooms in 3,676 schools have been made hi-tech, he said.
In 702 schools, 70 per cent classrooms have been made hi-tech, but in the case of 315 schools only less than 50 per cent of them had been made digital.
The official, however, said there are 59 schools (with 439 classrooms) in the southern state where not even one classroom has been made hi-tech.
This is because renovation/strengthening of existing classrooms in these schools cannot be undertaken since an approval has to be obtained from authorities for construction of new buildings, he said.
“As a requisite for the hi-tech school programme, the schools have to ensure safe and secure classrooms only after which the ICT (Information Communication Technology) equipment would be provided to them,” Sadath said.
However, ICT equipment like laptops and projectors would be deployed to these schools on a certain proportion, he said.
Teachers can take the equipment, which are to be kept in the labs, to the classrooms for teaching as and when it is required.
“With such a plan in place, all students in Class 8 to 12 in Kerala would be able to make use of hi-tech classroom facility from this month onwards,” Sadath said.
A total of 13,786 schools, including 9045 lower and upper primary schools in the state, have been equipped with high speed broadband connectivity.
Over 60,000 student members of ‘Little KITES IT Clubs’ have been provided first phase of ICT training.
“It is truly an achievement that 60,000 laptops and 42000 multi-media projectors are being deployed to schools within six months of the launch of the hi-tech school programme,” the official added.
Meanwhile, the Samagra Resource Portal, which helps in achieving the learning objectives of all subjects in each class, has been receiving tremendous response from the teaching and learning populace, KITE officials said.
A total of 1,22,915 teachers have been registered as members in Samagra, they said.
KITE has imparted specific ICT training using Samagra resource portal for 74,668 teachers, enabling them to effectively teach their subjects in the hi-tech classrooms.