Reaching the unreached: how Vijay Computer Academy has been promoting CS training in rural areas

Was computer science a part of your studies in high school?

I don’t know you, but I know that the majority of answers for these questions will be, if not a “no”, a “yes, but in a very limited way”.

Unfortunately, schools and institutions responsible for kid’s development don’t teach computer science as they should, and we grow up with minimum to no notion of the subject.

However, in a world where we use technology for almost everything, it seems odd that our kids are not learning how to master that technology and use it for the best scenarios.

When we talk about showing these kids their way around a computer, we talk about enhancing the quality of their education, making it more wholesome, giving them tools to explore whatever field they choose.

That’s why CS for All is all about, and that’s what VCA believes as well.

Barriers between us: unprivileged kids in rural areas 

And if there are already barriers when we talk about CS teaching for kids in regular situations, imagine when these kids face even more challenges on the way to their education.

Not only there’s the social barrier telling them that STEM/tech studies are too hard; there are also economic and locational impediments.

As a fact, we know that going to school when you’re an underprivileged kid living in rural areas can be tough.

To even get the basics of learning, these students can face long distances, precarious teaching situations, or even drop out to work at home and help with the support of the family.

That’s why dropout rates are so high in these areas, having not to do with laziness or lack of interest by the kid’s side.

Sometimes, the circumstances beat them, and without any support or help in hand, they see no option.

So, if they aren’t getting even basic studies, what can we say about computer science studies?

The situation gets even harder.

However, there’s still a glance of hope: reaching programs.

Reaching the unreached: Vijay Computer Academy program for unprivileged rural youth

As a company that fights to bridge the skill and gender gap in the IT world, VCA is very aware of the obstacles that unprivileged youth face on a daily basis.

And as a company that cares, we couldn’t just stand there and watch this reality unfold. It was there that the “reaching the unreached” program was born.

For those who don’t know, we were founded in India, one of the countries with the most rural population, and that even though it’s highlighted on the IT part, still faces big challenges when it comes to their kid’s teaching.

For that, we decided to implement our program there first of all.

When we started the project, we faced many adversities, starting by arriving at the places of training until the point of actually arriving and finding a minimum to zero structure for any technological teaching.

Some of the places where we hosted our training didn’t even have electricity to turn on computers or connect to the internet.

However, we knew that these challenges would face our way, and we went prepared.

We provided all the materials needed to host the training, including electric power generators to get it all good and running.

And we did.

The training happened, and among all the obstacles that we found to help that youth, the lack of willingness was never one of them.

That kids were able to recognize what we were trying to pass to them, and they gave their all to learning and connecting on these free training.

Today we can say that as a company, training +4,500 unprivileged youth in rural areas was a transforming experience.

We taught them a lot, yes, but we also learned just as much with their resilience and perseverance.

Together, we go further: joint efforts are the best way to bring computer science to everyone

Even though we’re so proud of the work we’ve done with the “reach the unreached” program, we know that there’s still a long way to go in order to spread computer science for all.

Every day, we identify new demands in different regions and countries that need the same help we offered for those kids in India or even a bigger one.

All of this just shows that one thing is for certain: we can’t do it all alone.

It’s our joint efforts that will lead to a more equal path in education and will allow these kids in rural areas worldwide to get the teaching and opportunities they deserve.

Organizations like CS for All are a good example of how we can change this harsh reality, one step at a time.


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