Amazon Future Engineer program, which is the company’s global initiative, aims at taking Computer Science education in India to grassroots
Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Future Engineer, its global computer science education program, in India. The program aims at enabling access to quality computer science education and career opportunities for students from underrepresented and underserved communities. In the first year of its launch, Amazon aims to enable and deliver computer science learning opportunities to more than 1 lakh students from 900 government and aided schools across seven states in India.
The program has been launched as although a million students enroll in computer science engineering courses annually in India, the participation of students from underserved and underrepresented communities remains significantly low on account of multiple factors, including low exposure to computer science related career opportunities, lack of inspirational role models in their community, and language barriers to access interesting curriculum formats. Further, smartphone penetration in India is significantly higher than availability of computers; and yet most existing computer science learning modules and online content are not mobile-friendly, instead leaning on the computer as a medium, which acts as an additional impediment for students, said a statement from the company.
Amazon Future Engineer, the comprehensive childhood-to-career community program, aims to address this gap by bringing early exposure and access of 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, to bring high quality and mobile interactive CS content to Indian students. Taking the 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.
Amazon will partner with multiple education-focused non-profit organizations to take quality CS education to the students of government schools across the states of Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Telangana. 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. Apart from enabling content and curriculum, Amazon Future Engineer will also help students discover and explore the world of Computer Science and its application in the real world, through hands-on experiences. Initiatives will include ‘Class Chats’ through which students meet Amazonians to understand tech industry careers, and ‘Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge’ where students learn programming basics while coding robots and discover how Amazon uses robotics to deliver millions of products around the globe.
“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 right skills and tools to be able to expand their career outlook,” said Amit Agarwal, Global Senior VP and Country Head, Amazon India. “We hope students emerge more confident and skilled to be responsible creators of technology solutions and build a better future for themselves, and communities around them,” Amit added.
Over the next few years, Amazon India will continue to scale the program 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 Amazonians. Schools, administrators, and teachers interested in participating in Amazon Future Engineer can learn more about the initiative by going through the official website in detail.