Amazon is expanding its Future Engineer computer science programme to India, making the world's second-largest internet market the firm's sixth country where the childhood-to-career community programme is available.
The company recently announced that it would provide educational materials, scholarships, internships, and mentors to teach computer science courses — and the areas it encompasses, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning — to students in India.
Future Engineer collaborates with organisations like Code.org to provide CS education to disadvantaged and marginalised children and young people. According to Amazon, the initiative is mainly aimed at kids in grades six through twelve.
"While a million students enrol in Computer Engineering courses in India each year, students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups make up a tiny percentage of the total. Low exposure to CS-related job possibilities, a dearth of inspiring role models in their society, and linguistic hurdles to accessing intriguing curriculum formats are just a few of the causes. In addition, government schools have insufficient resources to provide CS education.
Within a year, Amazon expects Future Engineer to reach over 100,000 students in over 900 government schools across seven states in India, where it has been contextualised for the Indian teacher and student community and is accessible in various regional languages.
"In India, students from disadvantaged areas suffer disproportionate educational obstacles, particularly in the field of computer science. In a statement, Amit Agarwal, Global Senior VP and Country Head at Amazon India, said, "We are thrilled to bring the Amazon Future Engineer initiative to India because we believe that all young people, regardless of their backgrounds, should have the right exposure and access to quality computer science education."
"We want to bring the CS curriculum closer to these students in the languages they choose, equipping them with the necessary skills and tools to broaden their career options. We believe that at the end of the programme, students will have gained the confidence and skills necessary to be responsible developers of technological solutions and to contribute to a better future for themselves and their communities."
For a few years, the American e-commerce behemoth, which has so far spent more than $6.5 billion in India, has been looking at the education sector. It developed JEE Ready, an app targeted at assisting students to prepare for admission to India's renowned technological schools, two years ago. JEE Ready, which has now been renamed Amazon Academy, provides free online courses and evaluates students' performance in mock exams.