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May 13, 2002 | 1220 IST
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Literacy drive begins at home for software firm

BS Corporate Bureau

Charity begins at home. That's the philosophy with which the employees and management of Noida-based software services company Xansa kicked off an in-house literacy programme.

The aim of the programme was to provide basic education facilities to the rung of people working as help staff in Xansa including peons, drivers, sweepers and others.

"The literacy programme is an attempt to motivate the staff for pursuing higher level of education for better jobs or roles once they achieve the basis literacy levels. The programme has been created understanding the needs of the help staff to climb up the ladder and provide a better quality of life to their families," says a company official.

To facilitate the formation of a course module for the staff, the company decided to rope in the government's National Literacy Mission team to help them with this initiative.

"The requisites for the education program were formulated by means of a day-long workshop involving specialists from the State Resource Center, a branch of the NLM and the management from Xansa India," informs the official.

A special course curriculum in English was developed with the help of the NLM experts. "This is a pioneering effort as the course has been specially tailored taking into consideration the working environs in an IT organisation.

The course has been developed after lot of research and interaction with Xansa employees and the National literacy mission as there was no such course in the English language," she says.

The NLM experts worked on no-profit-no loss-basis (no cost involved in designing the module) and took up this cause on voluntary terms. It took a period of 30 days for the module to be developed. This curriculum can now be used by the mission to impart education to employees in other organisations.

The first Xansa classes started in Noida in September with 22 students. The classes are run by 16 employee volunteers, who help the students to work through the curriculum material at their own speed.

Every evening, one volunteer from the company takes this one-hour class at the Xansa campus in Noida. The students have been divided in-groups based on their educational needs - basic or higher education.

The curriculum includes lessons to help students understand the importance of literacy and to help them read and write in the first six months of their education. "Health and hygiene and IT skills training will follow in the next phase," says the official.

The programme will now extend to other Xansa offices in India and then to the families of the help staff. "We would be rolling off this initiative in our Okhla and Chennai offices very soon," says the company official.

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