Meta, CBSE expand partnership to train 10 million students in digital, augmented reality

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At Meta’s Fuel for India, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Meta announced that the company will expand its partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to provide a Curriculum on Digital Safety & Online Well-being and Augmented Reality (AR) for over 10 million Students and 1 million Educators in India. Additionally, in line with the government’s vision of universalizing education, Meta and CBSE will democratize the high school curriculum by allowing students access to quality educational content online through modules which would be made available on CBSE’s website.

The first phase of ‘FB for Education’ initiative launched in June 2020 with an aim to prepare students and teachers for the future of work and creating a safe online environment and learning experience, witnessed over 500,000 students show interest for digital safety and online well-being and more than 14,000 teachers apply for training in Augmented Reality.

Kickstarting the second phase of the partnership for the next 3 years, select principals and teachers participated in the Educators Roundtable at the India International Centre, New Delhi on 2 November 2021 and further a webinar was organized on 1 December 2021 with over 5,000 teachers discussing on digital wellbeing, digital citizenship and immersive STEM education using AR/VR.

The partnership with CBSE also underscores Meta’s commitment to India, and reflects the joint ambition to universalize STEM education by ensuring that students across India have equitable access to quality educational content which will prepare them for the Future of Work in a digitally powered economy. The partnership will also aim to empower educators with new age tools and skills needed to nurture the Generation Z and Generation Alpha students into responsible digital citizens.

Aligned to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Meta and CBSE will collaborate on content curation and development of curriculum integrating immersive technologies, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) that is relevant for the evolving digital landscape by introducing these as skills subjects for students. By integrating Augmented Reality experiences into the curriculum, students will be able to collaborate more actively and create using emerging technologies of the future. Immersive education will also enable students with different learning challenges and lack of access to lab resources to learn in an engaging manner. CBSE will aim to empower students in the under-served regions of India through its community skill centers making these new age skills available to the youth and help them become creators in the digital economy through equitable access to resources.

Speaking on the collaboration, Dr.Biswajit Saha, Director (Skills Education and Trainings), CBSE, said, “The pandemic has impacted lives all around. The learning process has undergone an unforeseen shift. This drastic change has brought along a wall of challenges in facilitating the process of learning.  With the assistance of Meta, we hope to build on our online teaching and curriculum capabilities and make them available to students across the country. The response to the first phase of the program was encouraging and has encouraged us to expand the scope of this partnership.  This partnership will help equip our teachers with requisite skills to effectively use online tools for student engagement. Understanding that the era of ‘Digital India’ has begun, we aim to build responsible digital citizens with the introduction of Digital Citizenship and Augmented Reality in the curriculum, along with providing quality educational content for all “ 

Ajit Mohan, Vice President & Managing Director, Facebook India, said, “As a company that is passionate and excited about India’s digital journey, it is our endeavour to provide both educators and students with easy access to quality digital tools to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment. We are united with CBSE in their goal to democratize education for all. We believe access to quality online education resources and new technologies in the form of AR to the country’s youth can be transformational to their learning journey.”

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