The Andhra Pradesh government will distribute tablet computers (Tabs) to students and teachers of Class 8 at a cost of Rs 643 crore.
Over 4.50 lakh students and 50,194 teachers in 8,395 schools will get the Samsung T220 Lite Tablet PC, loaded with content from Byju’s in the next two months.
The state Cabinet, which met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, approved the proposal for the distribution of Tabs.
Initially, it was proposed to give the gadgets only to students of Class-8, but the Cabinet now extended the facility to the teachers in government and aided schools as well.
Sources in the Education Department said the government entered into an agreement with the vendor on September 5 under which each Tab with a 64 GB memory card will be supplied at Rs 12,843, as against the market price of Rs 16,446.
In all, there are 4,38,216 Class-8 students in government-run schools and another 12,324 in aided institutions.
The process will take at least 60 days now, despite the government's initial announcement that the Tabs would be given to pupils in September.
In place of the Rs 13,000 per year "Amma Vodi" handout, the state government initially planned to give away laptop computers to children in classes 9 through 12 (Intermediate). When the suppliers provided a base price of Rs 24,000 for each laptop, the concept was abandoned.
The government then came up with the Tabs idea, which would now be given to Class 8 students annually.
State Information Minister Ch S V Gopala Krishna said at the post-Cabinet media briefing that the Tabs scheme was independent of Amma Vodi.