The IT@School project under general education department of Kerala government was set-up to augment the IT education in schools and also to enhance the quality of IT education towards a complete ICT enabled educational system.
According to Press Trust of India, the prime objective of IT@School's transformation as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Company named KITE was to avail the funding from Kerala Infrastructure And Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The new decision will give more freedom and authority for the organization to leap frog further, a press release said.
The hitherto scope of General Education Sector has now been extended further with KITE positioned to fuel ICT support to Higher Education sector also including Arts & Science, Engineering colleges and Universities, reports PTI.
Incidentally, KITE is the first new SPV to be formed after the Nava Kerala Mission of the State Government commenced.
"The new form of KITE would help in facilitating ICT enhancement in Higher Education sector also, by fully using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) tools.. The activities of VICTERS channel would also be expanded under the new mechanism.. However IT@School would be retained as a brand name under KITE," said Mr Anvar Sadath Vice Chairman and Executive Director of KITE, who was Executive Director of IT@School.
Through the transformation, KITE has now more scope and authority for implementing various ICT programmes, when compared to the earlier Project mode of operation.
KITE has already started the implementation of Hi-Tech school programme of the Education Department, by which 45,000 classrooms in 4775 schools are being made Hi-Tech, for which KIFFB has already approved a funding of Rs 493.50 crores.
Usha Titus, Secretary of General Education Department has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of KITE and K V Mohan Kumar, Director of Public Instruction is the Director Board Member.
The Project is now been implemented from Lower Primary to Higher Secondary classes in the state covering as many as 12,000 schools, says the official website of IT@school. An estimated 50 lakhs students and 2 lakhs teachers are now part of this project who have benefited from ICT enabled education.
The Project operates through 200 Master Trainers, who are school teachers attached to the Project on working arrangement, School IT Co-ordinators (selected subject teacher in each school) and Student School IT Co-ordinators. The Project functions completely on Free Software platform since it provides the freedom to an individual to study, copy, modify and re-distribute any content, a process which would ultimately benefit the whole society.
The first breakthrough of IT@School came in 2005 when Information Technology was made a compulsory subject in class 10.
KIIFB came into existence on 1999 under the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Act 1999 (Act 4 of 2000) to manage the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund. The main intention of the Fund was to provide investment for critical and large infrastructure projects in the State of Kerala. Comprehensive modification of the Act and Scheme has been made through an amendment Ordinance in August 2016.
With new strategy and structure, KIIFB aims to dynamically mobilise funds for the infrastructure development of Kerala. This also includes major land acquisition needs of the State. KIIFB have recourse to the advanced financial instruments approved by SEBI and RBI and is expecting an upspring of sustainable infrastructure development of the State.
(With Inputs from PTI)