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AI learning in Kerala schools begins with this academic year

AI learning in Kerala schools begins with this academic year

Kerala has decided to include Artificial Intelligence (AI) in school textbooks and as a result, over four lakh students in Class Seven will study the nuances of AI in the new academic year beginning next month. 

It is the first time in the country that all students in a class are getting an opportunity to learn AI uniformly.

Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the technology arm of Department of General Education, will make available all the essential software for this in the laptops deployed in schools.

One of the activities in the 'Computer Vision' chapter will involve students creating their own AI programme that can recognise human facial expressions.

This programme will be able to identify up to seven different emotions on a person's face.

Apart from Class Seven, the new Academic Year will see new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) textbooks for Classes One, Three and Five in Malayalam, English, Tamil, and Kannada mediums.

The curriculum framework emphasises the development of children's critical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities, which are essential for their holistic development.

In this context, special emphasis has been placed on the development of logical thinking and programming skills in the ICT textbooks for the primary level.

The 'PictoBlox' package, along with 'Scratch' software that teaches visual programming, is introduced in the textbooks to enable students to practice programming, AI, robotics and similar things.

The new ICT textbooks for Classes One and Three include FOSS (Free and Open-Source Software) based educational applications such as GCompris, eduActiv8, OmniTux, and TuxPaint which cover drawing, reading, language learning, numeracy, operations, and rhythm.

In addition to these, applications developed by KITE such as Traffic Signal through which children learn about traffic rules, and Waste Challenges which teaches waste disposal through gaming mode are also included in the ICT textbook.

Further, language labs are also featured in the new textbooks.

K. Anvar Sadath who is the Chairman of ICT Textbook Committee and also the CEO of KITE said the that new ICT textbooks present practical ICT activities that nurture life skills while also helping in the study of other subjects and providing guidance on cyber safety and fake news identification.

“KITE commenced the AI training for 80,000 secondary school teachers from May onwards and so far 20,120 teachers have completed the training and the remaining also will be trained,” said Sadath