Bringing Home The Future… Computer Learning On Wheels
Based on the principles of equal opportunities of quality education for all, project e-shiksha strives to bring home computer education for the marginalized and far-flung areas of our nation. The core target is – if they cannot reach a computer learning centre,let the computer learning center reach them. This involves equipping mobile vans with laptops, power back-up and qualified instructors and sending them from one village school to another on a scheduled roaster to provide a 6-month government certified IT course to students and drop-out youths alike.
A project that started its journey in 2008 from one of the remotest parts of district Guna in Madhya Pradesh is now in the process of expanding its scope to other areas. For the youth from neglected, impoverished regions of India, this is more than just an opportunity to connect to the mainstream of education. We have done this project in association with renowned organizations such as UNICEF & GAIL (India) Ltd. This is a dream come true.
Why IT education?
Perhaps one of the most unfortunate paradoxes of India’s economic development, particularly in the area of IT, is the fact that while India surges ahead as a major player, access to computer and IT education remains a distant dream for a vast majority of the population. According to the NASSCOM – McKinsey study the Indian IT industry accounts for nearly 35% of Indian exports*. The size of the industry has increased from a mere USD 150 million in 1991 to a sizeable USD 71.7 billion in 2009*. Given the inequitable economic growth, it is no surprise that only 7 Indian cities account for 95% of the total IT export revenues in India. At GIDF we work towards reducing poverty by empowering individuals from disadvantaged communities with education that will lead to employment. We believe IT education for all will shape the economic progress of communities that are trying to break out of the poverty cycle.
The GIDF dream of bringing opportunity of growth and development by digital inclusion is in line with the UN Millennium Development Goal of digital inclusion. As GIDF Founder Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri says, “In the Indian economy today, more and more jobs are being advertised and responded through the internet and computers. Admission to various courses is now through the internet with having basic knowledge of computers almost a pre-requisite. In such a scenario, disadvantaged communities continuously battle with (and often lose to) a vast digital barrier that keeps them away from employment and a chance to lead a better life.”
Given GIDF’s close association with IIPM, we ensured we leverage our existing strength and experience of the education industry to bridge the digital divide that is juxtaposed just a few metres outside the gleaming sparkle of highly affluent corporate parks.
The GIDF project e-SHIKSHA took shape as a result of our dream to bridge this very divide.
Whilst the e-SHIKSHA project has been a success in every sense, we do battle with a fair share of challenges. Most villages where we provide e-SHIKHSA do not have electricity supply. The e-SHIKSHA uses generator power to run the IT courses and ‘computainment’ programmes.One of our foremost challenges is the funding required to run the project on an ongoing basis.
Another challenge is encouraging women to join these courses which sometimes require convincing both at individual and family level.
Our task is made even harder by the predicament of having to provide computer education to youth who lack basic schooling in many cases.
The future of e-Shiksha – It is in your hands!
GIDF is committed to providing IT education to disadvantaged regions. Based on our initial accomplishments, we are committed to replicating the success of e-SHIKSHA in other parts of India. We want to raise funds and awareness about the e-SHIKSHA projects to further expand this initiative.
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Guna, Madhya Pradesh
Impact of the Project