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Home > City Resources > Education > Pratham - Computers
 Pratham - Providing Computer Education to Municipal Schools 

Pratham, a voluntary organisation, has launched a project titled ``Pratishrushti'' which will promote computer literacy in 45 Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools. This project is a part of Pratham's Information Technology venture. The Pratham Trust, through the co-ordinated efforts of UNICEF and BMC, was constituted around 6 years ago, based on the report of a comprehensive study of the work carried out by the BMC in the field of educating around 7 lakh economically deprived children in the financial capital of India. Pratishrushti, launched a year back, has established 15 centres in 45 schools in various parts of the metropolis. Every centre has ten "486'' computers with a Pentium machine, provided by ICICI Bank.

The computer games are integrated with the school timetable of the primary school level children (between First Standard and Fourth Standard) in such a manner that every student avails of 30 minutes of computer time, every week. Corporate sponsors finance the entire services provided at the centres. In addition, every evening, computer classes are conducted for the local youth who are charged a nominal fee. The revenue earned from these coaching classes is pumped back into financing the programme.

"Since the inception of this programme, around 9000 children have benefited from the facilities provided by Pratham. The software of these games have been exclusively developed by an in-house-team of Pratham, to cover the requirements of the students. It also contains a number of fun programs in vernacular languages- Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi, which are the main mediums of instruction in BMC schools. The main thrust is on sharpening the students skills in spelling and mathematics,'' said Prem Yadav, Chief Coordinator of Pratham.

"The games are designed in the form of a quiz. The eye catching graphics and sound effects automatically captures the attention of the student and makes the skill testing exercise an enjoyable experience. This programme has brought to light the fact that students prefer computer games to the drudgery of learning through conventional methods,'' adds Yadav.

Author : Mani D'Mello

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