Kerala to aim for 100% computer literacy in 5 yrs
Sanu George
KERALA, the first state in India to claim total literacy, now intends to achieve 100 per cent computer literacy in the next five years, with non-resident Indians (NRIs) extending a big helping hand.
"In five years' time, Kerala would become the first state in the country to achieve this unique milestone, state education minister PJ Joseph said here today. The target may not be ambitious, considering Kerala's past achievements.
Mr Joseph said in the academic year 01, 50,000 Pentium II computers would be installed for Class 7 students in all schools across the state. "Schools include both private and government. In five years' time, all school-going students in the state would have access to a computer each, said the minister.
He said the computers would be donated free of cost by various NRI organisations in the US, Germany, Austria and the Middle East. The Centre has also agreed to waive the import duty. "I have already held discussions with several Malayali organisations in these countries and they have promised to make this a reality, added Mr Joseph.
As the first step towards achieving 100 per cent computer literacy, nearly 50,000 teachers in the state would be given a refresher course in computers during this year. Already 1,000 teachers have been trained by Microsoft. "I have just now completed talks with several giant MNCs in the country to take up this programme of training teachers. Companies like World Space, Pentafour, School Net will be going to Hyderabad to have talks with companies like Satyam and others, Mr Joseph said.
"To draw up modules for imparting computer training to teachers, the state government is holding a three-day national IT seminar from May 21. More than two dozen top computer software companies would be here and after a thorough discussion with them we would draw up the modules. All these would be done free of cost by these companies, said Mr Joseph.
He said the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, West Bengal, had agreed to set up here a centre which would offer a post-graduate course in IT and management from 01. Students undergoing this course would get a masters degree in technology if they pursued a six-month course at Kharagpur after completing the course here.
He also said Kerala's school curriculum would undergo a sea change with the inclusion of IT, biotechnology and physical sciences. "The curriculum committee has already agreed in principle to these changes, said Mr Joseph. IANS
Source : The Economic Times. April 19, 2000