Amrita’s MoVE towards Vocational Education
Can vocational education reach out to people residing in the remote corners of the country?
Now it can. With the inauguration of MoVE (Mobile Vocational Education), an initiative of Amrita University’s AMMACHI Labs, training in the trades will no longer be out of reach for anyone.
“This is a great project. It is essential to empower women. Women empowerment will greatly benefit our society,” stated Mr. P. J. Thomas, District Collector, Kollam at the inaugural ceremony.
Mr. Thomas was referring to the fact that the center has already trained women in plumbing and fabric painting at Amrita University. Now through its mobile unit, the training will be made available to women in Chavara and Panmana regions in Kollam District, Kerala in the first phase.“As far as we know, MoVE is the first of its kind, a solar-powered mobile computerised classroom on wheels,” stated Ms. Bhavani B., Director, AMMACHI Labs.
The solar-powered Tata Winger van captures the sun’s energy and stores it in four batteries. This is sufficient to power the 20 computers, that will be used to provide the training. Haptics-enabled training modules, Wi-Fi connections and the A-VIEW e-learning platform will enable an enhanced learning experience.
“The technologies used to deliver classes are intuitive and are designed to teach those even with rudimentary literacy,” added Bhavani.
After the initial run, the initiative is expected to impart skills in over 120 vocational trades. Coupled with vocational training courses, will be life enrichment education that will focus on gender equality and civic responsibilities, among other things. Basic processes such as how to open a bank account, how to access legal aid, etc. will also be taught.
The duration of the courses will vary from 15 days to 3 months.
“Our deployment strategy will be to zero-in on an area and then select couple of villages or tribal settlements nearby. We can have a session for 2-3 hours in one place and then travel to another place which may be 5-10 kilometres away, for a similar session there,” explained, Sreeram K., Project Co-ordinator for MoVE.
A Vocational Training Centre (VTC), located at the nearest semi-urbanized location will act as the hub, to coordinate the operations and logistical movements of the MoVE units.
The project is funded in part by the Robinov Family Foundation. When Mr. Jeff Robinov, President of Warner Bros. visited the Mata Amritanandamayi Math about two years ago, he was inspired to learn about the activities at AMMACHI Labs. That is when he decided to support its MoVE initiative.
September 5, 2012