Kerala government is offering free computer education for children of remote rural areas.
The education program, called Laksha, has been launched by the state government.
In its first year, more than 10 lakh children in remote villages have been given the opportunity to attend classes.
Read full storyLaksha is a collaboration between the state Education Ministry and the Keralites Education Development Corporation (KEDC), a state-run company that helps provide computer training and educational facilities to the rural poor.
“If you have no money, the education can’t be provided.
But the Lakshya program gives you a chance to get a computer and learn to read and write,” said Rajesh Kulkarni, head teacher of Lakshe, a rural primary school in Keralas Kottayam district.
The KEDC is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, which runs the state’s computer and reading instruction programme.
Education is a basic requirement for most of the rural households of Kerala, according to Kottarapally, a senior political analyst at the Institute of Development Studies in Kozhikode.
He said that as many as 70% of rural households do not have internet access and cannot even pay their monthly rent.
“The government has put a lot of effort to improve education in the rural areas, but the lack of connectivity is the biggest challenge,” Kottarpally said.
Lakshe’s online courses are taught by two professors who are trained in computer science and mathematics.
The online learning has already attracted some international attention.
In the past few months, the U.S. has launched a pilot program to teach computers in schools.
Kerala is not the only state that is investing in computer education.
In 2016, Kerala became the first state to make online learning compulsory for students from remote rural villages.
The Kuduramu school in Puducherry was the first in the country to introduce the initiative.
A video of the Lakshiya program has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube and has garnered almost half a million views.