The KGBV in Labang, West Sikkim, India

Code At the Edge of the Internet

The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalay School for Girls in Labang, West Sikkim, India has 200 students between the ages of 12 and 16. Most come from very poor backgrounds; often they are orphans. In May 2018, we were lucky enough to teach a brief HTML workshop to 50 of them. The results were amazing, and we want to go back.

There are over 3,000 KGBV schools in India, but only one in the state of Sikkim, where University of Toronto professors have an ongoing research project. This location is of particular interest because of its location at “the edge of the Internet”. In West Sikkim, Internet travels only over cellular signals, and the lines of sight in the Himalaya are short and uncertain. But fiberoptic cable is being laid in the district, and over the next several years Internet access wil expand dramatically. The district is also replete with small businesses, many in the tourism trade; a substantial fraction of these businesses have no web precence at all. There is very limited web development expertise in the region.

Our goal is to create and teach a web development curriculum appropriate to the region and the demographic we’re working with. We need help from mesh networking experts, Sysadmins, and Web Skills Teachers to make the project a success!

Join us by writing directly to Matt or by visiting us at Github. We’ll be meeting soon, look for the invitation!

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