Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaching Oriya to mess Bhainas through TCS software- an SRC initiative.

The Social Responsibility Cell (SRC) of XIMB has always been aiming at removing illiteracy and educating the masses.
Most of our mess workers and cooks here at XIMB('Bhainas', as they are called here in the local language) couldn't read/write. So we decided to start off with them. SRC volunteers taught 10 mess Bhainas, aged between 18-35 years, to read and write Oriya with the help of a software developed by TCS.

Computer Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) solution is an innovative teaching method conceptualised, designed and developed by TCS, based on the theory of Cognition and Laws of Perception. It is acclaimed as pioneering the third generation approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. It has been successfully deployed in India and abroad, as part of the Corporate Sustainability initiative of TCS. CBFL metaphors in the multimedia presentation making it interesting and attractive for learners. Material from National Literacy Mission (NLM) is adopted for use in the program. It takes about one-third the time required by conventional methods and there is flexibility to adjust to the learning pace of individuals. Adding to it's advantage, the multimedia format ensures the pronunciation of the words/letters is taught accurately through the system, rather than being left to individual teachers.

The mess Bhainas are relatively free after 10PM everyday. We had installed the TCS CBFL software in one of our laptops and we taught them daily at night, for about 2 hours. This continued for about a month. At the end of 1 month the Bhainas could read and write Oriya effortlessly!
This small step taken by us has brought a significant difference in their lives. Now they are more informed, will take better decisions and are definitely more confident. Our goal of giving them a better tomorrow has been realized.

This is what one of our Bhainas has said at the end of the course,
“I can now read newspapers, board the right bus, sign my name, help my children with their homework… It is a new life.” - CBFL Student, Sanjay Bhaina (35), Mess worker, XIMB.


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