Telecentres as Community College for Skill Development and Higher Education, India

Filed under: March 2010 |


The Vadalur Knowledge Centre and Mahatma Gandhi Rural Community College, situated in the Cuddalore District of Tamilnadu, India, is a telecentre with a difference. It offers not only IT training, but a number of other skill development courses to the community it serves. These courses have been designed keeping in mind the skill requirements of the community.

Through its community college model, the Vadalur Knowledge Centre is addressing the higher education needs of the ‘school drop outs’ and other ‘out of school’ youth, who could not continue their education through the formal system. Through its non formal education approach, the Community College serves as an alternative to the existing formal education system.

The Vadalur Knowledge Centre is managed by John Nelson,who is also a Fellow of the Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy (NVA Fellow). It is also a partner in Grameen Gyan Abhiyan (GGA), the Indian national telecentre network, previously known as National Alliance for Mission 2007: Every Village a Knowledge Centre.

 As mentioned earlier, the courses offered at the Vadalur Knowledge Centre sync with the requirements of the community and its different segments, like the rural youth, women, Self Help Group (SHG) members, etc. They offer courses of six months duration on Computer Applications and Microsoft Unlimited Potential programme. They also provide self employment training, ranging from one week to three months. They are using the content created by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for the Community Colleges. All this content is available on an open platform and it could be accessed through various Information and Communication Technology (ICT) interfaces, such as computer, Internet, television, audio and video cassettes or the online ignou-wikipedia.

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