Day 5: training

  1. Six days with the Akshaya project: day 1: overview
  2. Day 2: technology
  3. Day 3: entrepreneurs
  4. Day 4: promotion
  5. Day 5: training
  6. Day 6: conclusions

Once people were convinced the training could be worthwhile, it took a few months for each entrepreneur to train one person in each of the families they were responsible for. Each center trained between 1000 and 3000 people. Most centers used two or three trainers to get the job done, and many centers stayed open late to accomodate working people – rishaw drivers, fishermen, farmers, businessmen, housewives.

Each student paid 2Rs per class (45Rs = 1US$), and took 10 classes. The entrepreneurs received an additional 100Rs (about 2US$) from the Akshaya project for each student that completed the course.

Each class took between one and one and a half hours. The project tried to get the person responsible for the household to attend – in many households the man is working in a Gulf country so the woman would attend the course. Children were not being trained (now there is a training program for children, sponsored by INTEL).

The training material was developed by the Akshaya project and provided to the entrepreneurs for free. It consisted of a CD-ROM and a booklet with training material, in Malayalam.

The course.

Each class takes about an hour to an hour and a half. One student per computer. Most Akshaya centers have 5 or 6 computers, so they could train 5 or 6 people at a time.

Day 1 of the training is meant to familiarize students with the mouse and get over the fear of a computer. It consist of an introductory video, and a game that teaches the student to use the mouse: “Catch the mango”.

After that, the training material continues with introductions to basic computer stuff: how to manipulate windows, counting, excel, the internet, printing, document types.

Day 2 has another video, then students draw a picture using MS Paint. On Day 3, they learn how to manipulat windows.

Here are some screenshots from the training material.

All trainers I spoke with confirmed that on day two, fear for touching the computer was much reduced. No more trembling fingers, much less fear to “break things”.

In the end, the project succesfully introduced one member of each of the 750,000 families to the computer and the internet.

Because I only had a few days, I didn’t get to talk to many end users (there was the language barrier as well), but I spoke to one man taking a typical training package. He worked in a Gulf state, and that day was using Word to take notes for his job. He was hoping to get a job again in the Gulf, and planning to teach his family members (father, wife, kids) to use email if he did. Here are some pictures.

0 thoughts on “Day 5: training

  1. hello! thanks for this interesting piece of information on the akshaya centres. i am currently working on a tutorial presentation that will provide an overview of ict for development models in india, and akshaya is one of them. would it be okay if i used some of your pictures in the presentation?

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