ACM India started a education initiative, CSpathshala, in 2016, to introduce computational thinking in K-12 education in India. The primary objectives of the initiative are to promote computational thinking and initiate dialogues with government officials and educational boards to influence the education policy and enable the introduction of computational thinking into formal school curricula.
Introducing a computing curriculum for schools in India poses several unique challenges. Apart from cultural and regional diversity, India has over 1.6 million schools offering K-12 education to 300 million students. To compound the problem, in addition to two national boards of education, each of the 29 states in India has its own education board. While English is the common language of instruction in urban areas, 70% of the population residing in the rural areas is educated in regional languages. In urban India, teaching computing is part of the school curriculum, with a focus primarily on digital literacy. Lack of computing infrastructure, as well as skilled teachers to teach computing, deprives the rural student of a formal computing education.
To achieve its objectives, CSpathshala is developing an unplugged computational thinking curriculum with teaching aids for Grades 1 to 8 and is working at grassroots levels with schools to train teachers and execute pilot projects. CSpathshala curricula and teaching material are being used by a large number of students, including students from rural areas. An annual conference for teachers to share experiences is helping to nurture and support a community of practice. CSpathshala also organizes the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge to promote computational thinking.
For more details visit CSpathshala.
The ACM India Eminent Speaker Program (ESP) provides local ACM Professional and Student Chapters in India with direct access to top technology leaders and innovators who will give talks on issues that are important to the computing community.