Dramatically lowering computer hardware costs in schools and homes

A Creative Cost Saving Technology Solution for Schools.

The Floods of Kerala greatly impacted the infrastructure of various Schools. Sujith Sukumaran, a young TCS employee and a community activist, came across a request to sponsor Computers for St Sebastian's High School at Goduruth near North Paravoor.

The young man called up the School Management and asked if the school was willing to try out an Educational purpose computer called Raspberry Pi. He confirmed that the computer supports many operating systems - Many variations of Linux in particular.

The challenges before proposing the solution was to check out if Linux based applications that covered the syllabus were available for the High School. A preliminary check indicated that the situation looked promising and that schools would be able to drastically reduce computer costs should they choose to.

Yes Rs. 4000 is the cost of the CPU. A good enough monitor, mouse & keyboard can be purchased with another Rs. 6000. Speakers could cost Rs. 500 more. The configuration would be able to run an open source configuration of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

One interesting aspect of this CPU is that it is powered by a Mobile charger. The power consumption is so low that, One UPS unit procured for the normal PC would be good enough to act as a backup for 10 such units.

Back to our Flood affected School :
Sujith talked to Instructors teaching Computers in various schools and was able to get their assessment of the syllabus. He was able to verify that Raspberry Pi would be a suitable fit.

In a weeks time, he and Shakeer Ali, an Ernakuam based AAP leader decided to have the system installed at the School on a Saturday. They promised to have the funding arranged if the School also was able to justify that Raspberry Pi indeed was good enough to be used in the computer lab. This way, the Children could try things out.

After a month and a half, School Head Mistress Ms. Jolly MV confirmed that the Solution was indeed working fine.

Sujith, Shakeer Ali and their colleagues were able to procure a new Raspberry Pi and donated it to the School. The fund for the initiative came from a group of Engineers who passed out of Amrita Institute of Technology, Ettimadai, in the Year 2000.

Lesson : The Kerala State IT mission spends huge amounts on Laptops ( that are said to piled up in School stores)*. Children / Teachers do not have to be loaded with costly Laptops if they aren't willing to try things out on their own.

Kids play with mouse balls, Staff members sometimes takes memory sticks out of PCs and then get the PC repaired, saying its not working. The PC comes back with a new set of RAM. This is the money of tax payers that government is spending without any accountability.

Political parties make it an Election promise- Laptops for students if they come into power.

Question is why is the government nor the reaching staff not proposing such alternatives. Only a flood created an opportunity for the AAP Team to make this demand. Sujith knew it was an apt time to make a demand -- When several people was sceptical about this "Poor" Computer

Raspberry Pi use could be made a strict practise in Schools. For more info on Projects that can be done using Raspberry Pi


Parents have to stop buying Laptops for children unless they can prove they need much more computing power.

We really have to conserve the money to built the lost infrastructure. And to conserve the money, we need to have more educated and unselfish breed to get involved in Social causes.

* https://www.citizenznews.com/2018/10/driver-of-technology-education-in.html?m=1


  1. Seems its a great thought..hope all google searches for all info are avble in it..An ideal christmas gift to any housing society library room.
    Thanks for sharing. PRAVEEN ARAPURAKAL

  2. I will Whatsapp you Sujith's number. He is a great guy. Call him if you need advice. Thanks for sreading the word!

  3. There are many such different solutions. But the administration is interested in bloating up the budget so that kick back is more

    1. That is unfortunately a feature of most governments. What is equally alarming is that there is no sense of public outrage on substantive issues like corruption. Apparently one in three rupees spent by the government is siphoned off through corruption. If someone did that to our wallets we would leave no stone unturned to stop it. When the government is doing it, we the public don't seem to understand that this is our money they are wasting.


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