Facebook has launched “Facebook for Education” initiative in India, the world’s second largest internet market, and has partnered up with the Central Board of Secondary Education, India’s central education board. Together, they will roll out certified curriculums in the fields of AR and Digital Safety and Online Wellbeing.
The launch of Reliance Jio gave a major boost to the internet facilities in India. Ever since, more and more Indians have been connecting with Facebook, either directly through its main app, or indirectly via one of its many subsidiaries, which include Instagram and WhatsApp. Thus, Facebook sees the merit in making bets on the country’s youth, who are either already its clients, or will become one sometime in the future. Facebook also recently invested in Jio for a 10% stake.
To that end, Facebook has announced two courses for India’s private and public schools, handled by CBSE. The courses are named, “AR by School of Innovation from Facebook” and “Digital Safety & Online Well-Being”. The AR course, which will span over the duration of 3 weeks, will cover what little we know of this up and coming field, and will mostly focus on using Facebook’s Spark AR Studio to create augmented reality experiences. The Digital Safety and Online Well Being course, on the other hand will teach kids about the unending world of Internet, and how to be a responsible part of this new formed, alien society.
Facebook plans to do this in different phases. The first phase will include undertaking 10,000 teachers to teach them the specifics of the course, who in turn will teach them to 30,000 students in phase II.
“To further their commitment towards digital inclusion and digital empowerment, CBSE and Facebook have partnered to launch curriculum and related training in Augmented Reality, Digital Safety & Online Well-Being and introduce Instagram Toolkit for Teens. This partnership is led by Facebook for Education, a global initiative by Facebook to build diverse learning communities and bring the world closer together,” the CBSE website for registration of the “Facebook for Education” initiative reads.
Facebook has been investing in the country for a long time now, even taking part in a multibillion dollar funding round in Reliance Jio, the country’s largest telecom operator. The deal, valued at $5.7 billion, netted Facebook a 9.99% stake in the company. With this deal, the company has also gained access to Reliance Jio Platforms and will work to bring about “Digital Udaan”, the “largest ever digital literacy program” to the country.