Three major Indian IT companies - Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro - have joined US President Barack Obama's ambitious computer science for all initiative as part of a public-private collaboration, pledging thousands of dollars in grants.
Obama announced his 'Computer Sciences for All' plan in his weekly address yesterday as he emphasised on the need for teaching the subject as a "basic skill" to all children across schools in the country in a changing economy.
While Infosys has pledged a USD 1 million in donation, Tata Consultancy Services is providing support in the form of grants to teachers in 27 US cities, the White House said in a fact sheet, also issued yesterday.
Wipro announced a USD 2.8 million grant for multi-year project in partnership with the 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 hometown.
According to 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 CS teachers.
"Infosys Foundation USA will be a founding member of this public-private collaboration with a USD 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.
"This collaboration will ultimately provide opportunities for as many as 2,000 middle- and high-school teachers to deepen their understanding of CS," said the White House.
A joint Wipro and Michigan University statement said the Wipro STEM Fellowship Programme will focus on building leadership in these disciplines in urban schools by leveraging on research validated expertise of the College of Education at the university in designing transformative and innovative instructional experiences.
Wipro's initiative is aligned with the US national goal to significantly improve the quality of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), it said.
"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 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 nationwide 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 that will have a transformational impact in classrooms and communities.