Thiruvananthapuram:Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac has earmarked Rs 10,000 crore ($1.5 billion) for state-run and aided schools for the five year term of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Democratic Front government. The [email protected] project has been entrusted the responsibility of forming a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to oversee the programme. [email protected] project was launched in 2001 in Kerala to foster information technology education in schools and on a longer term facilitate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled education. Speaking to IANS, Executive Director of [email protected] K.Anwar Sadath, said that this programme has two segments. "One segment involves setting up of around 60,000 hi-tech class rooms in all government and aided schools from standard eight to 12. The second segment focuses on elevating 1,000 schools to international standards," said Sadath. Professor-turned-Minister Thomas Issac has set aside Rs 450 crore for the first year of these two programmes. The SPV is being set up to ensure that finances for the project run smoothly and apart from budgetary allocations, funds from external sources were also recieved. "The hi-tech classrooms will have state-of-the-art computer laboratory besides overall improvement in the curriculum, qualitative improvement programme for teachers and administration will also be ensured," said Sadath. To bring a thousand schools at par with international standards, quality infrastructure including indoor stadiums would be provided. "Already the pilot projects have begun in four schools and an assessment is on to prepare the road map for speedy implementation," added Sadath.