Kerala Introduces Artificial Intelligence (AI) Education in School Curriculum

Kerala, known for its progressive approach to education, has taken a pioneering step by incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its school textbooks. Over four lakh students in Class Seven will have the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of AI as part of the new academic year, marking the first time in India that an entire class will uniformly study AI.

Under the initiative led by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the technology arm of the Department of General Education, all necessary software will be provided to schools for implementation. Students will engage in hands-on learning experiences, including creating their own AI programs capable of recognizing human facial expressions, a project embedded within the 'Computer Vision' chapter.

This innovative curriculum framework is designed to nurture critical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities essential for holistic development. Special emphasis is placed on developing logical thinking and programming skills, with primary-level ICT textbooks introducing tools like 'PictoBlox' and 'Scratch' software for visual programming, AI, robotics, and more.

The textbooks also incorporate Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) educational applications like GCompris, eduActiv8, OmniTux, and TuxPaint, covering various subjects including drawing, reading, numeracy, and language learning. Additionally, KITE-developed applications such as Traffic Signal and Waste Challenges are included to educate students about traffic rules and waste disposal through interactive gaming.

Language labs and practical ICT activities featured in the new textbooks aim to nurture life skills while enhancing learning in other subjects. K. Anvar Sadath, Chairman of the ICT Textbook Committee and CEO of KITE, emphasized the practical nature of the ICT activities, stating that they not only supplement traditional subjects but also provide guidance on cyber safety and fake news identification.

In preparation for this groundbreaking initiative, KITE commenced AI training for 80,000 secondary school teachers, with over 20,120 teachers already completing the training. The remaining teachers are set to undergo training sessions to equip them with the necessary skills to effectively integrate AI education into the curriculum.

By embracing AI education at the school level, Kerala is not only preparing its students for the future workforce but also fostering innovation and technological literacy from an early age. This initiative aligns with Kerala's commitment to progressive education and sets a precedent for other states to follow in integrating emerging technologies into the school curriculum.