Laptops for poor children in Kerala, Rs 1000 crore to be spent

Laptop for children

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government will spend Rs 1000 crore to ensure digital learning facilities for students from poor families.

The aim is to provide laptops to 4.71 lakh children across 14 districts through the Vidya Kiranam project, that was announced by the Chief Minister the other day. The average price for one laptop is Rs 20,000. The tender procedures for the laptops will be completed soon. The laptops will be provided to the children within three months.

Maximum amount would be mobilised through the Chief Ministers' Educational Empower Fund, on the lines of the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). If the amount proves to be insufficient, then the government will bear the remaining cost. The government will seek the support of Keralite expatriates, corporate companies and organisations. The common people can become partners in the project by paying as little as Rs 100.

The laptops will be bought from brands that meet the quality specifications set by the government. Only those tenders will be accepted that give an assurance on delivering the laptops within the stipulated time. This is in the wake of the Vidyashree laptop scheme, implemented via the KSFE chitti, getting impeded because the companies, that were given the tenders, did not deliver the laptops on time. The laptops will be handed over only after installing software to prevent misuse.

4.71 lakh children do not have digital facilities
As many as 471596 children in 14489 schools across the state do not have digital devices of their own, according to a survey conducted by the Kerala government. The highest number of such children are from Palakkad (113486), Malappuram (91887) and Thrissur (65255).

Figures from other districts:
Thiruvananthapuram - 11899, Kollam - 17054, Pathanamthitta - 6561, Alappuzha - 18944, Kottayam - 13313, Idukki - 10732, Ernakulam - 22615,  Kozhikode 36702, Wayanad 6423, Kannur - 12208, and Kasaragod - 44517.

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