Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the distribution of 4.3 lakh tablets to Class 8 students from government schools in Chintapalli village, Alluri Sitarama Raju District on Thursday, December 21 as part of the education reforms under the Nadu Nedu programme. Last year the government distributed 5.2 lakh tablets. According to Jagan, the government has so far allotted Rs 1306 crore towards these gadgets which are equipped with Byjus's learning content.
The YSR Congress Party's (YSRCP) flagship programme, Nadu Nedu, aims to improve the infrastructure of government schools and reduce the dropout rate.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said that these tablets are enabled with the Duolingo application allowing children to learn foreign languages. “A separate period will be allotted for the TOEFL curriculum, which will be incorporated for students in third standard and above. For the upcoming academic year, students of Class 8 and above will have access to a future skills training program that covers subjects like cybersecurity, IoT, financial literacy, and other technologies. The government aims to include the International Baccalaureate (IB) syllabus alongside the state syllabus to align with international standards,” Jagan said.
He also expressed discontent against the Opposition and some media houses which have criticized the decision of the government. “The Opposition is alleging that the students are playing games on these tablets. The tablets come with mobile device management where the teachers and parents can monitor the usage of the devices. In addition, to facilitate students a platform for clarification, a "Doubt Clearing app" comes pre-installed on the devices,” he said. He added that the price of each tab is Rs 17,500 rupees, and the price of the Byju's content Rs 15,000.
Jagan said that under the first phase of the Nadu Nedu program over 15,000 schools have been digitized, and in the ongoing second phase, the goal is to digitize all the 67,000 government schools by January 30.