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Computer education prog for slum children with US help

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 13 (UNI) A Congressional delegation, led by United States Senator Michael B Enzi and US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, today visited a novel computer education programme for slum children in the capital.

The programme, 'Hole in the Wall' in Vivekanand Basti at Chanakyapuri in Central Delhi was a computer kiosk promoting informal learning for at-risk children. With minimum adult involvement, the children had learned all Windows operational functions and were able to draw and paint pictures on the computer, a statement said here.

They could load and save files, run educational and other programmes, browse and surf the internet, as well as send and receive e-mail, download music files, and do simple troubleshooting.

The 'Hole in the Wall' was sponsored by the American Embassy School in partnership with the American Women's Association (AWA), NGO Disha and the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT).

The US delegation witnessed firsthand the benefits the programme brought to the children. A representative of NIIT briefed the delegation about the programme, and Disha representatives described the educational activities in slums and the innovative pedagogy used to make learning joyful for vulnerable children.

The delegation, which also included US Senators Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isakson, also interacted with women members of self-help groups and watched an educational puppet show.

Hole-in-the-Wall Education Ltd was established in 2001 to research and scale-up the idea of informal education without adult supervision.

In partnership with USAID, Disha provided educational support to 3,500 vulnerable children that included street children, working children and children of sex workers in six slum clusters in Southwest Delhi.


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