Vodafone Idea Foundation to Set up Robotic Labs in Schools to Empower Underserved Students with Digital Learning Skills

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Vodafone Idea Foundation, the CSR arm of Vi, and Ericsson India have joined hands 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.  The companies, through this partnership, will set up ten Digital Labs at Vodafone Idea Foundation schools in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Digital Labs is an innovative education programme that guides school-aged children aged 11 to 14 years through their first experiences with programming and new technology. Digital Labs aims to instil courage in these children to embrace technology and adopt a problem-solving mindset by creating an open learning environment.

“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. 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.” 

P Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer – Vodafone Idea Limited, and Director – Vodafone Idea Foundation

By delivering an interesting learning experience and developing abilities such as teamwork, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking, the partnership aims to improve students’ education and employment opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

“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.” 

Sonia Aplin, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceania and India

Through a mix of face-to-face and virtual training sessions, the robotics course curriculum will focus on providing a basic understanding of programming logic in the context of robotics, application of design theory on how to construct a robot to solve basic tasks, and use of different data types such as string, Booleans, and so on. In the future, a complete Train-the-Trainer programme will assist in scaling this up to serve a larger segment of society.

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