Digital Literacy Program
Digital Literacy Program
In the current digital age, it is difficult to imagine education and learning without having access to technology and E-learning content. Yet, there exists a huge digital gap in the access and quality of education that is being provided to the ‘underprivileged’ sections of our society.
NIIT Foundation has made a number of significant interventions in trying to bridge this divide and is striving towards an inclusive and equitable digital India. One of the key interventions in this direction has been the Digital Literacy Program.
The pedagogy and curriculum adopted is innovative with there being a correct balance between theory and practice, therefore making it interesting for all. Students who undergo The Digital Literacy training Program become tech-savvy and can easily send and receive emails, search the internet for information and become aware of the larger world around them.
The Digital Literacy Program begins by mobilizing and orienting key stakeholders and the larger community. The students who show interest in enrolling for the program undergo counselling. The parents are counselled as well and are informed about the program benefits.
The course duration is 20 hours and covers topics ranging from introduction to digital devices, operating digital devices, introduction to the Internet, communications using the Internet and applications of the Internet.
The curriculum has been designed to provide both theoretical and practical knowledge. The students who complete the digital literacy training course are assessed via an online portal. They are each provided with a certificate at the end of the course. Post the completion of the digital literacy classes and course, the student should be able to understand the role of digital technology in our everyday lives and be able to use it effectively.
NIIT Foundation is Following Three Models of Implementation in Digital Literacy Program
These centers have been set up in selected communities with the help of our corporate partners – American Tower Corporation, NASSCOM Foundation and Pune City Connect. These Digital Literacy Centers are mandated to provide digitally-enabled education and associated skill-sets to economically backward sections of our society.
It caters to people in the age group of 14-60 years who are situated in rural and underprivileged sections, thereby taking digital literacy programs to the remotest sections of our society.
The objective of the Digital Literacy Center is to make each student IT literate so that he or she can operate a computer or any other digital device, example smartphone, tablet etc. Once students decide to join, they undergo a formal admission process and are registered for the course at the center.
The Digital literacy classes at the center are structured and led by trained faculty. In addition to the centers providing digital knowledge, several group activities and events are held to build larger skill sets and develop the overall personality of the students.
Anusaya belongs to the Katkari Tribal Community in Maharashtra. The social conditions of this community, especially for the women and children are filled with suffering. Women are sexually harassed and children are forced into child labour. Most of the children, especially girls are illiterate because of the non-availability of schools in the nearby migrant areas.
Anusaya too was forced to drop out off school and was married off at a young age. She lived with her husband in Sutarwadi locality in Pune. They had two sons. Recently, Anusaya lost her husband in a work place accident. He was the only earning member in the family. Anusaya was left all alone to fend for herself and her two sons who are now in primary school.
Anusaya was forced to take on the responsibility of providing for her family and found a job as peon in the nearby Balwadi School. Through the principal of the school she learnt about the HCCB Career Development Centre being run by NIIT Foundation in Pirangut district in Pune. Anusaya knew that the job in the Balwadi school was not sustainable. She felt this was her opportunity to harness her skills and knowledge and aspire for something better.
The centre manager at Pirangut could see the determination in Anusaya’s eyes. She decided to sponsor her course at the centre. Anusaya in the midst of her job at the school, taking care of her household and raising her two children, managed to find time and attend the digital literacy classes. Anusaya began to learn how to use audiovisuals, computers, mouse, key pad, paintbrush etc. All this was very new for her. Initially she would hesitate to interact with other students. However as she began to master her skills and the subject matter, a newfound confidence developed in Anusaya. She began helping other students in class. In the group activity sessions, she shares her experience to motivate others.
Post the completion of the course; Anusaya landed a government job in the Gram Panchayat as a Data Entry Operator. This course and job has helped Anusaya in acquiring a regular income and providing her family with security. Anusaya’s story is inspirational as it shows how one can convert a tragedy into an opportunity and fear into hope.