Back to School and Digital Literacy 

Back to School and Digital Literacy 

Apart from the usual COVID-19 response of strengthening the public healthcare system and providing food and safety kit to some of the most marginalised communities, Oxfam India also set about refurbishing schools and providing stationery and sports items. And this was done in collaboration with Virtusa. This was to ensure that when children did return to school, the schools were well equipped and ready to promote digital literacy. 

In Bangalore rural, five schools were selected. They were — Govt. Kannada Lower Primary School in Sulthanpet in Chikkaballapur district; four schools in Bangalore Rural district —Sri Ramasubhaya Memorial Govt. High School (Melekote), Govt. Higher Primary School (Karnala), and Govt. High School (Konaghatta) in Doddaballapur; and Govt. Lower Primary School (Kempathimanahalli) in Devanahalli. 

What is interesting is that these schools are all in the area where we used to hold our Bangalore trailwalker — the 50km /100 km in 24/48 hours challenge. These schools have often been the checkpoints on the trail. 

As part of the Oxfam India-Virtusa ‘Back to School and Digital Literacy’ project school kits were provided to each school. Each school received one kit each containing 22 items. These school kits comprised stationery items such as glue, note books, colour papers, staplers, clip boards and chalk  and sports items such as football and ring ball.

A room, in each of the schools, was converted into a computer room. “None of the schools had computer rooms, we refurbished these rooms, completed the wiring and provided desktops, laptops and projectors for these schools,” says Domaki Bhutia of the humanitarian hub of Oxfam India. Between the five schools, three projectors, eight desktops and 12 laptops were distributed. 

Oxfam India conducted trainings with children on the UN Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC), and with parents and PRI members on the compliance of the RTE Act and Child Rights.

“Oxfam India has given laptop and desktop to our school. It is helping me to learn more about technology, digital library and browsing is helping me to learn new things and better my information technology education. I am thankful to Oxfam India and I thank them on behalf of our school for this initiative,” said Spandana of the Melekote High School. She is a student of class 8.  

Between the schools reopening and the winter vacation, the students managed to work in their new computer room for a little over a month. As the schools are gradually reopening children are exploring new ways of learning. This intervention will help 537 students (269 girls &  268 boys), enrolled in these schools, take a huge step towards digital literacy. 

“This is a very important initiative considering the last two years children have been mostly out of school due to the pandemic and the lockdowns, and many children have also been denied education due to lack of access to internet and digital literacy,” sums up Domaki. 

📢Oxfam India is now on Telegram. Click here to join our Telegram channel and stay tuned to the latest updates and insights on social and development issues.    


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