Campaign for Massive IT Literacy through Spoken Tutorials and Affordable Laptop
WHEELS has adopted the Spoken Tutorial methodology (http://spoken-tutorial.org) and the affordable laptops (http://laptop.fossee.in), both developed at IIT Bombay with funding from MHRD, Govt. of India, for the massive spread of IT literacy.
Spoken Tutorials have the following desirable features:
(1) They are created for self learning
(2) The audio portion is dubbed into all 22 languages of the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It is possible to dub these into any other language as well.
(3) It is possible to use these tutorials offline, which obviates the need for Internet.
The affordable laptop is a complete laptop that runs on the FOSSEE operating system, which is based on the open source GNU/Linux. It is priced at Rs. 7,500. It has USB ports, a mini HDMI port and a 32 GB SD card slot. It weighs about 800gm. It has 1GB RAM an 8GB flash drive. Although it has low resources, the FOSSEE operating system, which takes up only 100MB, has been customized to use it effectively.
WHEELS has put the FOSSEE Laptop and Spoken Tutorials into use in the SEVAK project to collect health data in all districts of Gujarat. The same combination is now being attempted to provide skills training to students of vocational stream in partnership with PRATHAM (http://pratham.org).
Lack of access to affordable education and rapid advancement in technology has created an under-skilled global workforce - lead to high long-term unemployment, violence and increase in crime. The winners and losers in the next decade will be determined by the level of innovation a country undertakes. An intelligent, educated and highly skilled workforce is the main driving force for Innovation.
In the United States
- A Child drops out of school every 26 seconds
- Annual cost of $335 billion
- 1 in 4 African American dropout are incarcerated
- Gulf War Era II young veterans unemployment rate was 20.4% in 2012
- 27% of 1600 wounded veterans looking for work
- The bottom of the Pyramid has very little upward mobility due to lack of access to education and training
- Unemployment highest among youth
- 60% (750M) of the population are young
- 220M youth lack a formal education or possess a trade skill
Our Approach to the Solution
Goals and Objectives - United States
WHEELS’ Education track seeks to support Wounded/Unemployed American war veterans seeking entry into the private workforce. WHEELS is partnering with Operation Homefront, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to develop and fund training centers serving veterans in IT, job transition and mentoring services.
- Partner with Non-Profits, government and educational institutions to develop a market aligned skills training platform to equip our veterans with the skills required for today’s job market.
- Partner with corporations who are committed to hiring veterans within the areas we serve.
WGF project Job connect seeks to work with Non-Profits supporting wounded and unemployed veterans and corporations who have committed to hiring veterans.
- Job connect, a 12 week training program for veterans, provides targeted training in both IT and business/skills training based upon the planned hiring of our corporate partners.Click here to learn more about Project Job Connect, how to get involved, support the cause, and donate.
- Veterans seeking consideration for the program, please click here
We are in the process of completing a collaboration agreement with an organization called PARFI--PanIIT Alumni Reach for India -- which has implemented several "Gurukuls" in various states of India providing Vocational training for school dropouts in villages -- in skill development like carpentry, plumbing, electrician,auto mechanic etc with guaranteed employment in member companies of CII by prior arrangement. The graduates pay back by automatic payroll deduction with proceeds coming to PARFI to finance the loan forwarded by NABARD to pay for the training project.
This business model has been so successful that NABARD wants PARFI to take the gurukul model nationwide.
Ved Gupta & Dr. Kannan Moudgalya