The fourth industrial revolution is upon us and it is crucial that we encourage today’s children to engage with digital skills so that our future workforce becomes ‘digital makers’ rather than just ‘digital users’. With the objective of building a future ready talent force from the school level onwards, Vi Foundation, the CSR arm of Vi, in partnership with Ericsson India has set up a state-of-the-art Robotic Lab in Sayajinath Maharaj Vidyalaya and Jr. College, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune.
This is the first among the ten labs to be set up by Vi Foundation in the six states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Gujarat.
The Digital Lab was formally inaugurated today by Amarjeet Singh, Vice President & Head of Customer Unit, West India at Ericsson, in the presence of Rohit Tandon, Cluster Business Head – Maharatshtra & Goa, Vodafone Idea Limited.
At the event, Vi Foundation also inaugurated a library, and felicitated select students from its vocational training centre.
Equipped with robotic kits, 3D printer, laptops and a projector, the Digital Lab is designed to assist students of standard 6th to 9th through their first experience of the world of programming and new technologies. It aims to improve the students’ education and employment prospects across Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by providing an exciting learning experience and developing skills such as teamwork, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.
Commenting on this initiative, P Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer – Vodafone Idea Limited, and Director – Vi Foundation said, “Leveraging technology for good is key to our social development agenda. At a time when we are advancing towards a new Digital India, preparing our children to be part of the future workforce and aiding their economic and personal growth is of utmost importance. As one significant step in this direction, we are happy to partner with Ericsson to set up Digital Labs across six Indian states. Our Lab in Pune will help expose young minds to coding and robotics, spark creativity, stimulate critical thinking, and open up a world of opportunities leading to a brighter future for them and for the nation.”
Vi Foundation’s technology-driven education programmes such as Jigyasa, Gurushala, and Students Scholarship Programme aim to provide underprivileged children an opportunity to learn, grow and compete.
Amarjeet Singh, Vice President, Sales, West India, Ericsson, states, “The launch of 5G services in India has set the foundation for realizing the Digital India vision, and investing in building a future ready workforce is a critical first step. We are excited to partner with Vi Foundation in setting up Digital Labs in schools across several states in India to develop the digital skills of students. This marks the first of the many labs that will equip thousands of students with the digital skills that will drive India’s economic growth.”
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 a larger segment of the society in future.
Vi Foundation’s Education and Literacy Programmes:
Vi Foundation has positively impacted over 1.6 million children through novel technological interventions like Jigyasa, Gurushala, and Teachers and Students Scholarship Programme.
The flagship programme ‘Jigyasa’ aims to build capacity of teachers, introduce digital content, training tools, and innovative pedagogy to make learning and teaching more enjoyable, and augment existing infrastructure as needed. Additionally, Gurushala, a knowledge sharing & exchange platform, digitally enables thousands of teachers and students to upload and access material for students learning & development anywhere and anytime. Vodafone Idea Students and Teachers Scholarship programme provides support to deserving students and outstanding teachers for e-learning infrastructure such as laptops, online courses etc.