Digital Literacy & Empowerment

  • The project titled ‘Digital Literacy Curriculum (DLC) for the students and members of tea and other ethnic communities of Golaghat district of Assam’ is being carried out by the Institute of Research and documentation of Indigenous Studies (IRDIS) in Assam with the assistance and collaboration of Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Assam, under the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and in partnership with Microsoft, India. Through the DLC program, IRDIS proposes to set up computer centers in the vicinity of the ethnic groups and communities in the remote rural and semi-rural regions of Assam so that their students and even the village elders can avail of the opportunity at becoming computer literate. It is important to mention that the different community centers that IRDIS proposes to take up for the DLC program will include those that have not had the opportunity to avail of any computer literacy programs offered by the government, private schools or other institutions.

    A large section of the population in Assam, as in the rest of India, needs access to information such as market prices of goods they produce, about health services, about the structure and services of public institutions, their mode of governance for improving the quality of their lives and livelihood. Information Technology (IT) could provide access to knowledge, education and skill development. IT can also contribute towards universal access to education, equity in education, delivery of quality learning and teaching and more efficient education management, governance and administration. The proposed project would look into these issues. The problems that arise due to large numbers of literate youths in our state who are unemployed could be overcome by turning them computer literate through the DLC program which would provide job opportunities and access to higher level IT courses for the youth of the different ethnic communities living in remote regions of Assam. The Microsoft Certification test conducted at the end of the DLC program would be an added qualification when successfully completed. The population that would be taken up for DLC program is situated not only in the urban and semi-rural areas but also in the remote and gated areas. If we are successful in making such a remote and underprivileged population computer literate and if IRDIS can provide access to computer centers to such areas, we could bring the culture and knowledge of the rest of the nation and world to them.

    On the same note, the rich culture and traditional knowledge of the ethnic communities could be preserved and could be shared with the outside world. This will not only bridge the communication gap between the remote ethnic population and the rest of the population but will also bring different ethnic communities together through sharing of information. With the above goals in mind, IRDIS would seek the assistance of organizations, private and public sectors as well as Individuals to assist IRDIS to take the DLC program to the members of the underprivileged communities/tribes of Assam for their benefit and empowerment. The Digital Literacy Center under the DLC program which has been set up by IRDIS within the Lattakoojan Tea Estate premises, at Golaghat district of Assam, is the first such center to be set up by IRDIS. IRDIS will seek the assistance of organizations, private and public sectors and individuals to assist IRDIS to set up more such centers in the State to take the DLC program to the members of the underprivileged communities/ tribes of Assam for their benefit and empowerment.

    The DLC program carried out by IRDIS within the Lattakoojan Tea Estate, at Letekujan in Golaghat district of Assam, has received an overwhelming response from the underprivileged and economically challenged students and members of the ethnic communities in the remote rural and semi-rural areas in and around Letekujan. Till date, 587 students from remote regions of Golaghat district have been empowered with basic computer literacy and 113 students in advanced computer literacy, free of cost, at the Letekujan DLC Centre provided with ten desktop computers.