Artificial Intelligence to be part of school education in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: Over 4 lakh students in Kerala are set to get familiar with Al in the ensuing academic year with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning in the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) textbook of Class VII. 

One of the activities in the Computer Vision chapter will involve students creating their own Al programme that can recognize human facial expressions. This programme will be able to identify up to seven different emotions on a person’s face.

“It is the first time in India that all students in a class are getting an opportunity to learn Al uniformly”, said K. Anvar Sadath, Chairman of ICT Textbook Committee and the CEO of KITE. 

The PictoBiox package along with ‘Scratch’ software that teaches visual programming, has been introduced in the textbooks to enable students to practice programming, Al, robotics, etc. Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the technology arm of the general education department, will make available all the essential software for this 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, nameracy, 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 textbook. Further, language labs are also featured in the new textbooks.

“The new ICT textbooks present practical ICT activities that nurture life skills while also helping in studying other subjects and providing guidance on cybersafety and fake news identification”. Anvar said.

KITE commenced the Al training for 80,000 secondary school teachers from May 2 this year onwards and so far 20,120 teachers completed the training.