Photo: Jason Henry/The New York Times
Washington: Three major Indian information technology firms—Infosys Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), and Wipro Ltd—have joined US President Barack Obama’s “computer science for all” initiative as part of a public-private collaboration, pledging thousands of dollars in grants.
Obama announced the plan in his weekly address on Saturday as he emphasized on the need for teaching computer science as a “basic skill” to all children across schools in the country in a changing economy.
While Infosys has pledged a $1 million in donation, TCS is providing support in the form of grants to teachers in 27 US cities, the White House said in a fact sheet issued on Saturday.
Wipro announced a $2.8 million grant for multi-year project in partnership with Michigan University to involve over a hundred school teachers, with the aim of nurturing excellence in science and mathematics. This would start with the public school systems of Chicago, Obama’s home town.
According to the White House, the TCS and Infosys pledge is part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) effort to collaborate with the private sector to support high school computer science (CS) teachers.
“Infosys Foundation USA will be a founding member of this public-private collaboration with a $1 million philanthropic donation, and, as an initial participant, Tata Consultancy Services is providing additional support in the form of grants to teachers in 27 US cities,” the White House said.
“This collaboration will ultimately provide opportunities for as many as 2,000 middle- and high-school teachers to deepen their understanding of CS,” it said in the statement.
“Wipro is committed to being an involved participant in its communities. This initiative seeks to develop and inspire young people to contribute to excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education,” said T.K. Kurien, chief executive officer and member of the board, Wipro Ltd.
“There is a critical shortage of excellent math and science teachers nation-wide and even more so in urban school districts,” said project co-leader Sonya Gunnings-Moton, assistant dean in the College of Education, Michigan State University.
Aarti Dhupelia, chief officer of College and Career Success at Chicago Public Schools, said this partnership with Wipro and Michigan State University have a transformational impact in classrooms and communities.