The ‘Learn to Code’ programme was launched officially by the Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr.Oommen Chandy on September 8 2015 by handing over the first of the thousands of Raspberry Pi kits that were distributed simultaneously to selected Class VIII students in all 14 districts of the state. The Raspberry Pi distribution is currently the only state-sponsored programme of its kind in the world. It was implemented by the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI) in association with Kerala’s IT@School project, DIY Hacking (a platform for Makers: http://diyhacking.com) and Kochi-based mobile-internet technology incubator Startup Village.
The students will first be given basic training and encouraged to experiment with the Pi by trained faculty. Focused coding sessions will start soon after each student will be assigned a mentor to guide them through the learning process. DIY Hacking has provided free eBooks to the students which will serve as beginner guides for them and also designed the workshop structure and knowledge content for the students to begin working on Raspberry Pi.
The Govt has spent more than 160,000 USD or Rs 1 crore on procuring the Raspberry Pi kits for the Learn to Code project. Each kit costs 70 USD or Rs 4,324 and consists of a Raspberry Pi B+ board, Enclosure, 8 GB SD card, HDMI cable, HDMI to VGA cable, USB keyboard and USB Mouse. The Government plans, under the scheme, to distribute 10,000 kits annually to students, primarily in 8th Grade, and follow it up with focussed training/mentoring sessions and competitions.