To provide the first experience with the world of programming and new technologies, digital labs, an innovative education programme, is designed to hand-hold school going children aged 11-14 years
For today’s children, digital skills are at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution and a prerequisite for future employment opportunities. Vodafone Idea Foundation, the CSR arm of Vi, and Ericsson India, with an objective of playing a role in building a future ready talent force from the school level onwards, have partnered to set up state-of-the-art Robotic Labs in ten schools across the country to provide new-age learning experiences to children from underserved communities, preparing them to participate in future technological studies.
To provide the first experience with the world of programming and new technologies, digital labs, an innovative education programme, is designed to hand-hold school going children aged 11-14 years. Digital labs, by creating an open atmosphere for learning, aim to instil courage in these students to embrace technology and imbibe a problem-solving approach.
By providing an exciting learning experience and develop skills such as teamwork, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, the partnership is aimed at improving the students’ education and employment prospects across Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Ten Digital Labs will be set up at Vodafone Idea Foundation schools, through this partnership in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Commenting on this initiative, P Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer – Vodafone Idea Limited, and Director – Vodafone Idea Foundation said, “Digital skills are a necessity for the holistic growth of the youth in the digital era. Exposing school going children to coding and robotics helps spark creativity, stimulates critical thinking, imbues a collaborative mind-set and opens up a world of opportunities. Using our technology based tools, we have been working with underprivileged children through various programmes aimed at giving them an opportunity to learn, grow and compete. Taking our ‘Technology for Good’ mission forward, we are happy to partner with Ericsson, to expose the young minds with higher-level skills and development, as well as encourage underserved groups to pursue advanced ICT education and enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields”.
States Sonia Aplin, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, “We are delighted to partner Vodafone Idea foundation towards setting up Digital Labs in schools across several states in India, empowering teachers and schools to deliver quality education and develop the digital skills of students. This introduction to ICT will set the foundation towards preparing these young students to be part of a digitally skilled workforce, aiding their economic and personal empowerment, and in turn creating a positive effect on India’s economy”.
Through a mix of face-to-face and virtual training sessions, providing basic understanding of programming logic in the context of robotics, application of design theory on how to construct a robot to solve basic tasks, use of different datatypes such as string, Booleans etc. will be the focus of the robotics course curriculum.
To benefit a larger segment of the society in future, a comprehensive Train-the-Trainer programme will help scale this up.
Also, through novel technological interventions like Jigyasa, Gurushala, and Teachers and Students Scholarship Programme, Vodafone Idea Foundation has positively impacted over 1.6 million children.
To build capacity of teachers, introduce digital content, training tools, and innovative pedagogy is the aim of the flagship programme ‘Jigyasa’ to make learning and teaching more enjoyable, and augment existing infrastructure as needed. Additionally, thousands of teachers and students are digitally enabled to upload and access material for students learning & development anywhere and anytime by Gurushala, a knowledge sharing & exchange platform. Support is provided to deserving students and outstanding teachers for e-learning infrastructure such as laptops, online courses etc. by Vodafone Idea Students and Teachers Scholarship programme.
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