Thiruvananthapuram: Learning will go digital in state-run schools in Kerala from first standard itself in the next academic year onwards.
The Education Department has announced the holistic intervention of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-assisted education to its 9,279 schools, from classes 1 to 7 in the state.
The initiative would be implemented through IT@School Project, a state government initiative to impart IT education in schools, in the academic year starting from June 1, 2017, education minister C. Raveendranath said.
Kerala, being a role-model in ICT enabled education, has already started IT education under IT@School Project for High School classes (standards 8 to 10) in early 2005.
It is now being scaled up to the Lower Primary and Upper Primary sections, thus enabling ICT-enabled education right through standard one to 12, he said.
Under the program, the department has launched e@Vidhya, new ICT textbook for class 5 to 7, and an Operating System & Resource DVD for primary schools, developed by IT@School.
"The scaling up of ICT-enabled education in upper primary classrooms is a major step in achieving the goal of the government with respect to its General Education Rejuvenation Mission," Raveendranath said. The detailed ICT school survey for the lower primary and upper primary classes would commence in June and the Detailed Project Report would be prepared by IT@School in July.
Computer labs and smart classrooms would be set up in all lower primary and upper primary schools, he added.
K Anvar Sadath, executive director of IT@school project, said specific ICT training had been imparted for 70,602l lower primary and upper primary teachers in the state.
"We have roped in BSNL for providing broadband connectivity to all LP and UP schools in the state and as on date as many as 8,918 LP and UP schools (97 percent) have been fully covered," he said.
IT@School has implemented ICT-enabled education rather than IT education in High School section in 2009.
"Now in 2017, we are scaling up the same after elaborate preparations including content development, teachers training, operating systems and so,' Sadath said.
All contents in the new ICT textbook, 'e@Vidhya', are prepared entirely using free and open source software.
In addition to the Malayalam version, the new ICT textbook is also made available in English, Tamil and Kannada languages.
Each school would also be provided with a DVD that contains the software packages which would assist in learning the ICT-enabled contents in the textbook, IT@School sources added.