TED NewsDesk, Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala has become the first state to have high-tech classrooms in all public schools, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday. He described it as “a proud achievement” for the state. He informed through a video conference there will be an up-gradation of all classrooms to international standards and Hi-Tech IT labs will be set up. Children in the state will have access to learn and grow with the help of advanced learning systems.
More than three lakh digital equipment, including laptops, projectors, webcams and printers, have been provided as part of the Public Education Rejuvenation Mission. “Kerala has become the first state to have high-tech classrooms in all public schools”, immensely enhancing the education sector, Vijayan said. The government emphasised on 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 students 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.
As per the government, it was possible by the Public Education Rejuvenation Mission aimed at upgrading all classrooms to international standards and set-up Hi-Tech IT labs. The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) was assigned the task, with funding from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). As part of the mission, currently, a total of 42,000 classrooms from classes 8 to 12 have been equipped with laptops, projectors and screens and networked with school studios. All lower primary and upper primary schools must have at least one smart classroom with a computer lab, according to an official release.
All 16,030 public schools in the state are now equipped with 3,74,274 IT equipment, inclusive of 1,19,055 laptops, 69,944 multimedia projectors, 23,098 projector screens, 4,545 LED TVs, 4,578 DSLR cameras, 4,720 Full HD webcams and 4,611 multi-functional printers along with high-speed Broadband Internet connectivity to 12,678 schools, it said.
Vijayan said that the online classes averted the loss of an academic year due to COVID-19, besides the schools in the state will open once the conditions improvise. However, online classes are 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 light of the problematic COVID-19 situation in the state, schools were not likely to open at this point. Vijayan said the equipment has five-year comprehensive onsite warranty and insurance and to address complaints, a web-portal and call centre is 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 seeks to transform schools into centres of excellence. It was possible due to focused efforts by peoples’ representatives, local self-government institutions, parent-teacher associations, former students, and individuals, he added.