Kerala schoolchildren to get Raspberry Pi to learn coding

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Kochi: Thousands of schoolchildren across Kerala will be given computer programming kits and taught to code in a pioneering new project designed to create a resource pool of skilled future IT professionals and entrepreneurs.

Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy will launch the pilot phase of the Kerala Government’s ‘Learn to Code’ project on February 21, 2015, under which 2,500 selected school students will be given Raspberry Pi computer kits and trained by IT experts to programme. The State-level inauguration of the project will be held at North Paravur.

The Raspberry Pi distribution is the first such project in India and currently the only State-sponsored programme of its kind in the world. It is being implemented by the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI) in association with Kerala’s IT@School project and Kochi-based mobile-internet technology incubator, Startup Village.

The computers will be distributed simultaneously to the selected students in all districts of the State and the inaugural will be followed by a training session handled by the faculty of IT@School. It will be telecast live to all district venues of IT@School via the Victers education channel.

The Government plans to distribute 10,000 kits annually to students, primarily in 8th Standard, and follow it up with focussed training/mentoring sessions and competitions.

Minister for Industries & IT, Shri P K Kunhalikutty said, “IT is one of the growth engines of Kerala’s economy and the project has been launched with the long-term goal of making our State a global technology hub in the coming years. We have a very strong education system and exceptionally talented youngsters, so we want to ‘catch them young’ and instil in them a culture of experimentation and innovation.”

The T-TBI has spent more than Rs. 1 crore on procuring the Raspberry Pi kits. Each kit costs Rs. 4,324 and consists of a Raspberry Pi B+ board, Enclosure, 8 GB SD card, HDMI cable, HDMI to VGA cable, USB keyboard and USB Mouse.

Dr. Jayasankar Prasad C, CEO of T-TBI said, “We will evaluate the pilot project in six months’ time, improve upon it and extend it to more schoolchildren in the future.”

Kerala IT News

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