A whopping 10,000 lower and upper primary government schools in Kerela will be provided with high-speed Internet and 2 Mbps Wi-Fi services from November 1, the state’s foundation day, officials announced on Sunday. The scheme is being made available for a paltry fee of Rs 5,000 per year including service tax, which is the lowest rate in the country for unlimited usage of 2 Mbps internet.
The IT@School Project has already been providing broadband internet connection to almost 5,000 high schools, higher secondary schools and educational offices since 2007, mentioned K. Anvar Sadath, Director of the project by the state government.
“With the addition of broadband internet to primary section also, the state’s school broadband internet network will cover over 15,000 connections and this would be the largest and first of its kind in the country,” Sadath added.
IT@School will also be implementing an e-monitoring mechanism and will provide specific training to ensure the safe and secure use of the internet connections provided to the schools to measure its usage and effectiveness in general.
Being envisioned as the starting point of ICT infrastructure upgradation in the primary section and as a furtherance of the high-tech school programme announced by the government by the State Minister for Education C. Ravindranath, the initiative enables all 8 to 12 classes to be upgraded swiftly using modern ICT tools.
“The lower primary schools would get the new ICT textbooks prepared on Edutainment platform titled ‘Kalipetti’ (Play Box) in November. The ICT training for all primary teachers is all set to commence from October 24. Along with this, IT@School would also provide a comprehensive Digital Content Collection, prepared on Free Software platform exclusively developed for the primary section,” said the minister.
The Government had first announced its willingness to undertake such schemes last year in August with the Digital Kerala initiative spearheaded by the Kerala State IT Mission. The Digital Kerala initiative sought to establish a fibre optic network to provide affordable broadband connectivity for households and institutions, develop mobile apps for government services and develop a common platform titled digital literacy to the masses in the state.