Amazon Future Engineer aims to address the gap by bringing early exposure and access to computer science education to students through in-person, online and blended learning formats. Amazon is working with its global knowledge partner Code.org, a global non-profit organization dedicated to computer science education.
Taking local nuances into account, the curriculum has been contextualized for the Indian teacher and student community in government school settings, and will offer students coding fundamentals along with future-focused tech courses like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (Voice Technology) in Indian languages, the company said. Amit Agarwal, global senior vice president and country head, Amazon India:
“Students from underserved communities in India face disproportionate barriers to education, especially in the field of computer science. We are thrilled to bring the Amazon Future Engineer initiative to India, as we believe that all young people, irrespective of their backgrounds, should have the right exposure and accessibility to quality computer science education. We aim to bring the Computer Science curriculum closer to these students in the languages of their comfort and choice, empower them with the right skills and tools to be able to expand their career outlook.”
The initiative will primarily focus on students in grades 6-12, and will also train teachers and educators to teach computer science in a more engaging way. The initiative also includes ‘Class Chats’ through which students meet Amazon employees to understand tech industry careers, and ‘Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge’ where students learn programming basics and coding robots and discover how Amazon uses robotics to deliver millions of products around the globe. Hadi Partovi, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Code.org, also commented:
“We’ve been honoured to work with the Amazon Future Engineer initiative in many countries for several years and we’re excited to strengthen our partnership as Amazon launches the program in India.”
Amazon will partner with multiple education-focused non-profit organisations to take quality computer education to students of government schools across Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Telangana. Kruti Bharucha, Founder and CEO, Peepul India, also noted:
“Over the past several years that we have been working with government school systems, we have seen how providing equitable learning opportunities can transform not just the lives of their students, but of families and teachers around them. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills acquired by learning Computer Science have the potential to break opportunity barriers for underprivileged children in India.”
Over the next few years, Amazon India will continue to scale the programme and expand the bouquet of CS-related education offerings in India. Amazon Future Engineer will also amplify its support to students through scholarships, internships, problem-solving hackathon events, and targeted mentorship programs by Amazon employees, the company added.