Vodafone Idea Foundation, the CSR arm of Vi, and Ericsson India have partnered to set up state-of-the-art Robotic Labs in ten schools across the country to provide new-age learning experiences to children from underserved communities, preparing them to participate in future technological studies.
Digital Labs, an innovative education programme, is designed to hand-hold school going children aged 11-14 years, through their first experience with the world of programming and new technologies. By creating an open atmosphere for learning, Digital Labs aim to help students to embrace technology and acquire a problem-solving approach.
The partnership is aimed at improving the students’ education and employment prospects across Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by providing an exciting learning experience and develop skills such as teamwork, problem-solving skills, critical thinking.
The partnership aims to establish ten Digital Labs at Vodafone Idea Foundation schools in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
On the unique initiative, P Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer – Vodafone Idea Limited, and Director – Vodafone Idea Foundation said, “Digital skills are a necessity for the holistic growth of the youth in the digital era. Exposing school going children to coding and robotics helps spark creativity, stimulates critical thinking, imbues a collaborative mindset and opens up a world of opportunities. Using our technology based tools, we have been working with underprivileged children through various programmes aimed at giving them an opportunity to learn, grow and compete.”
Balaji added, “Taking our ‘Technology for Good’ mission forward, we are happy to partner with Ericsson, to expose the young minds with higher-level skills and development, as well as encourage underserved groups to pursue advanced ICT education and enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.”
Sonia Aplin, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Ericsson South east Asia, Oceania and India, said, “We are delighted to partner Vodafone Idea foundation towards setting up Digital Labs in schools across several states in India, empowering teachers and schools to deliver quality education and develop the digital skills of students. This introduction to ICT will set the foundation towards preparing these young students to be part of a digitally skilled workforce, aiding their economic and personal empowerment, and in turn creating a positive effect on India’s economy.”
The robotics course curriculum will focus on providing basic understanding of programming logic in the context of robotics, application of design theory on how to construct a robot to solve basic tasks, use of different datatypes such as string, Booleans etc. through a mix of face-to-face and virtual training sessions. A comprehensive Train-the-Trainer programme will help scale this up to benefit the learners in future.
Vodafone Idea Foundation has positively impacted over 16 hundred thousand children through novel technological interventions like Jigyasa, Gurushala, and Teachers and Students Scholarship Programme.