As South Asia takes steps to not be left behind in the technological revolution, it will need a competent and computer literate workforce of men and women. Computer literacy for poor urban youths can be achieved by providing career-oriented computer training. The main reason for the IT awareness program is to empower poor urban youths to take advantage of the IT revolution and earn a respectable living for themselves and their families. Canadian youths were considered an integral part of this project designed to assist South Asian youths.
Some of the specific objectives of the project are as follows:
- Conduct a need assessment study within the broader project area to determine those regions that would most benefit from an IT education and awareness initiative.
- To assist in the development of skills required for the growth and development of local and international economies by establishing IT institutes to service various localities.
- Afford community members an opportunity to exchange views and ideas on matters pertaining to computer education and training, and to maintain affiliations with local and foreign Associations with similar objectives.
This was a long-term program and was implemented in four different phases.
In phase one the study of research done by NGO`s of target countries was reviewed. This review identified the centers in the target areas for launching the project.
The second phase of the project envisaged the introduction of awareness-raising initiatives to notify the affected populations of the program, its aims, and the advantages of participating. Local media was used and public forums were activated for this purpose.
In this phase of the project, It training centers were established in centers identified in the selected project areas of these countries.
In the fourth and final phase of the project aimed at establishing a unique communal approach to resources within the tri-national project area. In this approach the best IT resources were shared as knowledgeable faculty was able to travel to different training centers and guest lecturers were invited to conduct seminars on particular topics of regional importance. Another important component of this phase included the launching of a portal website which served as a notice board and information source for all IT activities relevant to participants in the various career programs.
Description of Activities:
This project entailed two-fold activities:
The Canadian youths were appointed as interns. The intern in Canada was engaged to develop a website for interacting with international staff. All aspects of web development were open for the student to explore, from design, to the various aspects of programming, to incorporating the suggestions and ideas of colleagues such as content providers.
The overseas intern worked with field office in Pakistan to lent technical and administrative support to our team of IT professionals.
Monitoring ongoing project:
- To monitor the project a reporting system was developed to have:
- Timely, complete and accurate status information.
- Readily acceptable to the project team and senior management.
- Warning of pending problems in time to take action.
It was completed in 18 months.