Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Monday became the first state in the country to go completely digital in public education.
This has been possible due to the efforts of successive governments in the state, where education has always been given huge importance.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will be making the official announcement soon.
By virtue of the hi-tech projects comprising the Rs 4.93 billion (Dh246 million) hi-tech school project for secondary schools and the Rs 3 billion hi-tech lab project for primary schools, all the 16,000 public schools in the state are now equipped with 374,274 IT equipment, including 119,055 laptops, 69,944 multimedia projectors, 100,473 USB speakers, 23,098 projector screens, 43,250 mounting kits, 4,545 LED TVs, 4,578 DSLR cameras, 4,720 full HD webcams and 4,611 multi-function printers along with high-speed broadband internet connectivity to 12,678 schools.
These programmes are being implemented by the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE).
K. Anvar Sadath, CEO at KITE, said that all the equipment have a five-year comprehensive onsite warranty, which is the first of its kind in the country, and to address any complaint, a web-portal and call centre are also functional. All equipment come with an insurance coverage. “Since the deployment of IT equipment to schools alone would not suffice an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enabled learning system, we have ensured essential components such as ICT content development through its Samagra portal,” said Sadath.
Following these efforts, public schools in the state have hi-tech classrooms and IT labs providing truly global experience for students and teachers in the teaching and learning process.
As COVID-19 struck hard, KITE came out with the First Bell Digital Classes for students, which is an interim alternative for classes in the backdrop of schools remaining closed. It has completed over 2,650 classes since its launch on June 1.
“The state has ensured that not even a single student misses out any classes during these testing times. Through the First Bell programme, classes are being held through the KITE VICTERS channel, which are also broadcast through Facebook Live and YouTube,” added Sadath.
However, the Congress backed teacher’s organisation, KPSTA, said this announcement is nothing but an eyewash and a bluff as there are public schools in the state which do not have these facilities.