Kerala schools to adopt AI lessons from this year

With this initiative, the state has ensured uniform exposure to AI for all students, unlike offering it as an optional subject.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: From this academic year, around 4 lakh students in class VII in state syllabus schools will get to learn Artificial Intelligence (AI) with its introduction in the revised Information & Communication Technology (ICT) textbook. With this initiative, the state has ensured uniform exposure to AI for all students, unlike offering it as an optional subject.

“From next year, curriculum of classes VIII to X will also include in-depth exploration of AI,” Kerala Infrastructure for Technology and Education (KITE) CEO K Anvar Sadath, who is also the chairman of the ICT textook committee, said. KITE, the technological arm of the general education department, has started AI training for 80,000 secondary school teachers.

Education Minister V Sivankutty had issued directives to provide training to all primary school teachers as well on the new ICT textbooks from June. The new ICT textbooks will be introduced for Classes II, IV, VI, VIII, IX and X in the next academic year. One of the activities in the ‘Computer Vision’ chapter for Class VII will involve students creating their own AI programme that can recognise human facial expressions.

Stress on devpt of children’s problem-solving, analytical skills

The programme will be able to identify up to seven different emotions on a person’s face. The new academic year, which kick-starts on June 3, will also see new ICT textbooks for classes I, III, V and VII in Malayalam, English, Tamil, and Kannada.

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 and robotics.

KITE will make available all the essential software for running such programmes in the laptops deployed in schools. The new ICT textbooks for classes I and III 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 Challenge which teaches waste disposal through gaming mode are also included in the ICT textbooks. Further, language labs are also featured in detail in the new textbooks.

“The 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,” said KITE CEO K Anvar Sadath.

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