Kerala becomes first state in India to have high-tech classrooms in all public schools

Kerala becomes the first state in India to have high-tech classrooms in all public schools.

Though the project was sown a few years ago, it was, in fact, the lockdown, imposed in the aftermath of the COVID outbreak which saw schools shut for months, that accelerated its successful integration in the state in the span of a few months.

The already digital-savvy people of Kerala took little to no time in embracing the model of online learning.

Kerala's High-Tech Smart Class project saw 3,74,274 digital devices, including laptops, projectors, webcams and printers, distributed to 16,027 schools in the past months. Hi-tech labs too were set up in 11,275 schools at the primary and upper primary levels. In addition, 12,678 schools now have access to high-speed broadband connection.

There are as many as 45,000 high-tech classrooms across 4,752 schools in Kerala and 1,83,440 teachers with expert ITC training.

It has been ensured that all lower primary and upper primary schools have at least one smart class room with a computer lab, an official release said.

Making the announcement through a video conference, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said with the upgradation of all classrooms to international standards and setting up of Hi-Tech IT labs, children in the state have access to learn and grow with the help of advanced learning systems.

"Kerala has become the first state to have high-tech classrooms in all public schools", giving a huge boost to the education sector, Vijayan said.

"The government took special interest in providing education and presented before the world, a Left alternative, a Kerala model of education for our future generations," he said.

"It was the firm decision of the Left government to make education accessible to all sections of society. Now, all the children in the state have access to the opportunity to learn and grow with the help of advanced learning systems. It's a proud achievement for the state," the chief minister said.

It was funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and implemented by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) under the Department of Public Instruction.

In addition to the KIIFB funding, the House's Property Development Fund and Local Government Fund too were utilized to see the project come alive.

Vijayan said the issue of loss of an academic year due to COVID-19 was averted with the help of online classes and theschools in the state will open once the conditions become conducive.

However, online classes were not an alternative to classroom learning. "We were forced to do it due to the pandemic. When the situation returns to normal, schools would reopen," the Chief Minister said.

The state government had on October 4 said that in the light of the severe spread of the virus in the state schools were not likely to open at this juncture.

Vijayan said the equipment have five year comprehensive on site warranty and insurance and to address complaints, a web-portal and call centre was also functional.

He also informed that at least 1,83,440 teachers were given special training as part of implementing the digitisation mission.

The Public Education Rejuvenation Mission was to transform schools into centres of excellence. This had been made possible to a large extent with concerted efforts of peoples representatives, local self-government institutions, parent-teacher associations, former students, and individuals, he added.

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