American technology company Hewlett-Packard's Indian arm, HP India will enable up to 2,000 digital classrooms to enhance digital learning opportunities. Under the HP ALFA (Accessible Learning for All) initiative, these classrooms will be set up in government or government-aided schools across 17 states for the students of classes 9-12, the company said in a statement.
The HP ALFA project aims to develop digital infrastructure within schools and support teachers to practice technology-led teaching to help integrate technology in the classroom. The initiative is aligned with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 vision of the government's goals that aim to transform India's education system by 2030.
Ketan Patel, Managing Director, HP India, said, "Through this project, we aim to accelerate quality education for young students and inclusive access to skills, knowledge, and technological expertise”.
The company is inviting corporate foundations and NGOs to participate in this initiative and the last date to submitting requests is October 7, the statement read. HP will fund the capital expenditure required to equip each classroom with technology including Multi-function Printers, Webcams, a laptop for teachers, Smart TVs, Android boxes, and an internet dongle for connectivity.
Implementation will be managed by the HP’s NGO partner NIIT Foundation with active support from other corporations, corporate foundations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. HP, through NIIT Foundation as an implementing agency, will deploy cluster coordinators to monitor project implementation and progress across different clusters.
Further, the National Council for Educational Research & Training (NCERT)’s DIKSHA course content and syllabus will be used for the classroom learning program. The project will ensure that these students utilise the digital content and e-learning tools to the maximum and add further value to their learning journey.
The project will offer teacher training sessions in all schools, empowering them to use technology-led teaching to further integrate it into the classroom and engage students learning. It will also look at partnering with individual State Boards and private content providers to use their specified course materials content in vernacular languages across select locations.
Besides academics, additional government of India approved programs and courses on EDP (Entrepreneurship Development Program) would also be offered in the project and be made available for students to aid their learning based on the requirement, the company said.
Digital learning tools are fast entering educational set-ups and revolutionising the traditional chalk-black board system of learning existing in classrooms. A report by market research firm Technavio forecasted that the digital education market share in India is estimated to grow by $2.28 billion at a CAGR of 20% from 2021 to 2026.
The rise of cloud computing technology, triggered by the pandemic has accelerated the market, both in urban and rural areas, said the research firm. However, lack of fundamental IT infrastructure, such as advanced hardware, software, and data centres, and learning environment pose a huge problem, despite widespread use of the Internet and mobile phones.