Computer Education Project at VSAI
Few years ago we started the computer lab for special children at VSAI. The lab sought to impart functional education to special children with the help of a variety of educational software.
The main objective of the programme was to introduce computers to all children at VSAI, and to help them to use a variety of software that supports their educational activities. Computer software, such as “paintbrush” and “greeting card maker” provide a stimulus and a tool to undertake creative activities. Students who are not part of the formal stream of education at VSAI find it thrilling to work with the software which is fun and at the same time provides them a non-formal mode of learning. A select set of students are also given training in word-processing to prepare them for a vocation in the computer field.
Based on the success of our start-up programme with special and other children and the increasing demand for computer education among the less advantaged, a decision was taken to expand our lab. The timely generous support by the Virginia-based APEX Foundation enabled us to build a larger computer lab which currently has 15 computers whereby about 150 under privileged children and youth are imparted free computer education. Hour-long classes are offered daily to batches of 15 students enabling 120 students to have access to computer training through eight separate sessions.
We run four short-term modules of three-month’s duration each as part of a one-year course. Both Theory and Practical examinations are held at the end of every module and only after passing the exam can the children proceed to the next module. At the completion of the one-year course, children receive a certificate. For the last two years, we are happy that the National Institute of Information Technology has recognized our centre as a training centre and permitted us to run their certified computer training programmes.