Hole in the wall (HiWEL) was started by Dr.Sugata Mitra at Delhi in 1999 as an NIIT subsidiary and later, a World Bank and IFC funded project. The programme has been tested and used in rural and urban areas, by state Governments, under the "Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan" of the Central Government and internationally in places like Cambodia. HiWEL's main aim is to provide children with an exposure to technology apart from televisions and radios. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems break the barriers to information in education. The computers under the HiWEL programme train and orient children in three areas â€“ English, Computers and Mathematics. CGPL requested us to launch 5 HiWEL learning stations in schools of their surrounding villages. We undertake a baseline study in the area before we start any intervention and the one in Mundra villages was undertaken in July 2011. We learnt that there were high dropout rates, low retention rates, children were very poor in English and computers and showed tremendous potential in mathematics. The school did have computers but they were inaccessible to students. We launched the project in collaboration with CGPL when the school admissions were on. An impact study was conducted again in December 2011 with the same sample as the baseline study. Results showed considerable improvements in our content assimilation test which assesses a child on English, computers and math's learning. The teachers of the school have been delighted with the program since it has also helped in maintaining child's interest and teacher's learning. Children have started taking part in the sessions and are able to practice what they learn on these computers. Teachers as well as students have begun to observe, replicate and understand interactive methods of teaching. All this has been made possible due to CGPL's initiative of launching our programme. We aim to reach every student and teacher in the community, creating an ownership in them for the learning stations. CGPL's focus is on sustainable development. Our focus is on increasing mainstream and institutionalized ICT, taking into account local area specifications. Both the organizations have gelled exceptionally well due to their similar goals and principles and have become a strong team. The faith for CGPL, I have seen in the eyes of its surrounding communities is fantastic. We could not have asked for a better, people centric organization like CGPL, as our partner.
- MR. SUHORTO BANERJEE
HOLE IN THE WALL