Since 2018, Tata Steel Foundation has established six community education resource centres in Keonjhar district of Odisha. The centres which have been set up by the foundation are crucial in imparting basic knowledge about using computers, the internet and other educational resources to the youth across villages in the district.
Since Keonjhar lacks in basic educational resources, many local students have received necessary training from these resource centres. So far, over 344 local students have benefitted through the initiative.
The centres have been initiated with the support of a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), ASPIRE, which assists with training and development of local resources.
A local from Deojhar village who is currently working as the facilitator at one of these centres, Udipti Nayak, said, "Since the establishment of these centres, we have seen a lot of interest not only from kids but also from senior citizens to learn computer skills. The training we provide here has accelerated the growth of local youth and has groomed them to pursue higher studies."
At present, the centres, situated in Kundurnala, Bhuyanroida, Jajang, Bolani and Deojhar villages in Joda block, offer a 6-month diploma course in Computer Applications.
Recently in November, a new centre was started in Anseikela to provide a similar course.
All these centres have been equipped with resources such as projectors, printers and laptops which could be utilised by the youth getting trained here for various purposes such as filling online forms, applying to colleges, universities and so on.
Apart from being used for educational purposes, the facilities at these centres are also used for recreational activities such as to screen movies, documentaries. The activities based on arts, crafts, and basic science experiments are also conducted.
Tata Steel's 1000 Schools Programme, which aims to create a model of Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) within the Right to Education (RTE) framework forms a major component of these centres. This programme was started in January 2015 to reform school education.