16th May 2016, was a memorable day for 40 bright eyed and eager youth, all residents of the slums surrounding the busy thoroughfare that is Noida Sector 16 in Uttar Pradesh. They were enrolled in vocational training courses - learning computers and tailoring.
FXB India Suraksha believes in a comprehensive and holistic education system and that only rote memorizing and examinations has lost coherence with the needs and pressures of modern life. Through 'Suraksha Education Centers' in different parts of India, it is attempting to impart valuable skills which not only help provide financially backward youth an alternate livelihood but also a means to continue to their formal education. The Vocational Training Programme implemented in association with partner organizations, Kherwadi Social Welfare Association (KSWA), Yuva Parivartan and Sai Sansthan is based on scientifically curated syllabi and directed by trained instructors.
As the name indicates, FXBIS Vocational Training Courses is primarily non-academic and offers practical training and skills needed to pursue an occupation or self-employment. The training manual and course syllabus provided by Kherwadi Social Welfare Association (KSWA)'s Yuva Parivartan Movement started with a month long emphasis on basic computer training and basicstitching techniques using a sewing machine.
Initially some children were faced with a linguistic hurdle as the training programme and computer software are written in English. But to ensure that language does not act as a discriminatory force and barrier to learning, FXBIS is organizing weekly special class where the children can clarify their doubts before proceeding to the next module of the course. Students who faced a time constraint due to pressures of school work and tuition classes are also given assistance in these extra classes.
A discrepancy in expectations as to the course content and structure within the students was resolved through an orientation workshop. The structure of the course and syllabus and the importance of mastering the basics of computers and basic sewing techniques before moving onto more specialized fields were explained to them. The workshop also included discussions on appropriate modes of teaching to ensure maximum retention amongst the students. The students were also trained on appropriate classroom discipline.
The courses being scheduled during the summer vacations also presented us with a problem of drop out as many families return to their native villages during the season. Though both classes saw a drop in numbers, the number has steadied with a regular attendance of 35 in both classes respectively. With the courses nearing completion, students are being prepared to apply the theoretical knowledge gained through the training into practical situations through simulation questions and final examination is scheduled to be held on 16th August, 2016.
Hailing from the impoverished districts of states neighboring Delhi- NCR, hundreds of families migrate to the fast paced and rapidly growing industrial zone in Noida. Theseyouth however is acne on the shining face of India's famed IT service industry led growth in the economy. Their presence is ubiquitous in the form of peddlers, street urchins, beggars and child labourers. Dire poverty and lack of education make the youth vulnerable to harmful influences including drug abuse and other criminal nexus. The adolescent girls are doubly vulnerable due to their gender; personalsecurity is promiscuous and acts as a hindrance to their education and earning a livelihood. The irregularity of income forces their parents to ignore the basic need of sending their children to school and they would rather help them in their work or look after their siblings when parents are out for work. The nutrition and health status are also very poor. The families have no skill training so they earn very less amount and work as casual labourers. The women are also paid very less while they have to work for a long hours.
Through these training courses, FXBIS expects to facilitate employability and capacitate under-privileged Women, Adolescent Girls in Noida for higher paying jobs. The improved economic capability of the women and girls are expected to influence other aspects of life and provide them an empowered status in society and in the decision making process within their families. Despite hurdles, as the programme nears completion, there has been an heart-felt and enthusiastic participation in the teaching- learning process. The boost in their self esteem and confidence in how they approach life after school is a tangible reality.
A glimpse of the training : https://www.flickr.com/photos/88471363@N07/albums/72157671083056281