IIT-M, NGO launch computer science centers for govt. school students in Tiruvallur

More such rural technology centers have been proposed near government schools across the State

Two villages in Tiruvallur now have centers for students from government schools to learn computer science. The centres, situated around 60 km from the city, at Kanakamma Chathram and Sethanjeri village, will train students from classes 9 to 12 in the subject.

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation has launched the initiative in partnership with Asha for Education. More such rural technology centers have been proposed near government schools across the State. IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation would provide the financial support besides technical support in the future.

Institute Director V. Kamakoti said the institute was committed to working towards providing access to quality education and technology to students from rural areas. “The setting up of these two rural technology centers mark the beginning of our journey,” he said.

Asha for Education is a worldwide action group formed to catalyse socio-economic change in the country. It has been working with elementary and middle schools since 2015 to educate students in digital literacy and computational thinking.

Rajaraman Krishnan of Asha for Education said the aim was to use the Institute’s experience and expertise in quality technical education besides using proven methodologies such as curriculum from code.org. “We wanted to open centers close to higher secondary schools so that the students are able to attend courses in our centers in the evening after school hours. Most children do not get any opportunity to learn computer science and other technologies,” he said.

The training would enable children use technology confidently, and receive hands-on experience. They would be involved in interesting projects.

Based on the assessment of the students’ levels, the Asha team has proposed to launch two courses – on basic digital literacy and basics of programming. A third of the course work involves doing projects where the children would make a presentation or software program of their own. The courses would be followed up with code.org courses on animation, webpage design and hardware based programming. Eventually, the children would also be provided technologies such as drones, 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence for children.

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