Kerala to Provide Raspberry Pi To School Students To Promote ‘Maker-Culture’
Teaching basics of computer science to school children is a long gone thing now. The Kerala government has taken up an interesting project called ‘[email protected]’ to bestow computer knowledge and bring about nurture a “maker- culture” among students.
Raspberry Pi kits will be provided to students of over 6000 schools (both Government as well as Aided).
So what does a Raspberry this kit do?
- The kit performs basic functions of a desktop. It can be used for word processing, playing games and watching videos. Internet surfing needs can also be served over it. With this, students can learn programming in languages like Scratch and Python.
- It costs Rs. 4,324 and includes a Raspberry Pi B+ board, enclosure, 8GB SD card, HDMI cable, HDMI-to-VGA cable, USB keyboard and USB mouse.
- It is being implemented by the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (TTBI) in association with Kerala’s [email protected] project and Kochi-based incubator Startup Village.
- The structure of the kit divides electronics into six basic blocks, each of these bricks is colour coded so as to make it more intuitive and easier to understand.
So the project aims to distribute 10,000 kits to students annually. These students will be first selected, on basis of merit. It is not however clear as to on which basis they would be rated. So as per calculations, the project would cost the government over Rs. 4.32cr, other governments of states should also try implementing and adopting the same. However, in the corrupt country like ours, there will be some biases over the distribution of these gadgets too.
These students who are selected will also be trained and mentored later. “We require skilled employees for India to become a manufacturing powerhouse, who can build products for industries such as electronics and ICT. To build these products, we need excellent coders and they are the key to building startups which will turn into billion dollar companies,” IT Principal Secretary P.H. Kurian said.
This project sounds too good to be true as all the basic electronic knowledge will be provided at school itself. However the limitation to it is that only the meritorious ones will have access to it. As the kit is based on puzzle solving concept, children can understand things by themselves through trial and error method. Children can make simple electronic items all by themselves. Something that has never been a part of the long history of Indian education system where the students are expected to mug things up and put forth a three hour vomit called exams.
This first of its kind project in India of coding in school is as cool as it sounds, provided the government increased numbers of kits and every student rather than just meritorious students are provided the benefit.
Also, we really hope that fate of this project does not end up to be similar to that of Aakash Tablet!