Katha IT and E-commerce School (KITES) is a programme which offers quality IT education to children as well as the men and women from the communities to enhance opportunities for them. This innovative centre has proven to be one of the most successful and unique projects in Delhi’s slums.
Working with British Telecommunications (BT), one of the major private sector companies in Europe and an acclaimed provider of telecommunication services over the world, Katha has created a huge impact on children in slums.
Katha has been working in Govindpuri for the past seventeen years and has pinpointed the lack of high quality, motivating education as a key problem holding the community back. Many children as young as six drop out of formal school with few skills and begin working in low income jobs with no hope of improving their situation. KITES gives these underprivileged children access to new and valuable skills. The school aims to transform the children into skilled and knowledgeable workers, able to support their families and take their place in India’s IT age.
Why does this project focus on communication technology?
Increasingly, it is access to information and communication technology (ICT) that allows people, companies and countries to participate in the global economy, to generate wealth and to improve their quality of life. ICT is a crucial factor in job and wealth creation. With global unemployment running at a record high of 160 million, more jobs are urgently needed to alleviate poverty. ICT spurs the creation of jobs, but the digital divide means that these jobs are concentrated with the haves, leaving the have-nots even further behind. Only those armed with education and skills to work with ICT can benefit from the new economy.
BT’s Better World campaign is committed to narrowing the digital divide by tackling two of its root causes:
- Illiteracy and lack of access to basic education.
- Lack of basic computer skills
Who will benefit?
Over the three-year partnership, 500 children from one of Delhi’s poorest slum communities will receive education and training to equip them to become software, IT and e-commerce professionals.
This will include:
- 100 children between the ages of 6 and 8 who will learn pre-IT skills, computer aided painting and drawing as well as science, maths and language skills.
- 200 children in the 11-14 age group will learn to use a computer and surf the net. Children will be encouraged to explore teaching and learning sites and will develop independent study skills.
- 50 students of 14 + will enter courses that will prepare them for careers in computing. At the end of the 3 years, they will receive Computer Specialist Junior Certificates
- 50 high school students will work towards diplomas in IT, training in entrepreneurship as part of a programme leading to the School Leaving Certificate.
- Opportunities to develop IT skills will be available for parents and other adults from the community at Katha’s Lifelong Learning Centre. This will enable KITES to benefit maximum number of people.
Teacher-training will be a priority at KITES. All teachers will learn new computer skills. Better web-based learning for teachers will mean better classroom learning for the students.
Teaching will focus on building fluency and writing skills in business English. Teaching/learning materials will also be translated into Hindi so that all students and the wider community can benefit
The Katha IT&E Curriculum for IT builds three key elements built into every session:
- Technology made relevant and as something for everyday life
- Personal achievement and growth for every learner
These elements will go on tandem with three other elements which reiterate Katha’s philosophy of education:
- Scholastic learning towards a formal school leaving certificate.
- Lifelong learning skills, entrepreneurship and overall development that come from Katha’s 9Cs – creativity, critical thinking, cooperative learning, competence – and LIFE skills
- Citizenship – the ability to put service above self, to be passionate about work and to have an inner imperative to excel.