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The Intel-IT@School initiative to distribute 625 netbooks to ‘smart’ schools in six districts should be extended to all students in schools in the State, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Tuesday.
He was speaking after launching the netbook scheme through which 625 Intel ‘Classmate Laptops’ would be given to six government high schools in Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki, Ernakulam, Palakkad, and Malappuram districts.
As soon as Mr. Chandy launched the initiative, a screen behind the stage slid aside to reveal a ‘smart class’ complete with 12 students from Cotton Hill Government School, Thiruvananthapuram, and South Ezhippuram Government High School, Ernakulam.
Mr. Chandy accompanied by Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb did a round of the ‘class’ talking to the students ‘busy at work’ at their brand new netbooks.
Later, in his inaugural address, the Chief Minister pointed out that thanks to certain attitudes that were prevalent in the State, at least two generations of students were denied ICT-enabled education. At least the future generations should not have that misfortune, he said.
A decade ago, Kerala society viewed illiterates with a certain degree of contempt. This was, however, not openly expressed. In future, society would have the same attitude towards computer-illiterates, Mr. Chandy warned.
In his address, Secretary, General Education, M. Shivshankar said the Education Department in Tamil Nadu had sought the consultancy support of the IT@School programme to implement an ICT-enabled education initiative in that State.
Intel’s ‘Classmate PC’ has an Atom N465 processor, 1GB RAM, and 160 GB HDD and is packed in a secure casing. Each school will also be given a storage cart which can safely hold 40 devices. Under this scheme, all participating teachers and students will be given ‘Classmates’ for a fixed period of time. Groups of students will take turns using these devices.