Intel Learn Easy Steps India
The Intel Learn Easy Steps India program works with the National Digital Literacy Mission and a network of non-profit organizations to provide materials to educate people in ICT skills in India since 2012. The Learn Easy Steps modules designed by Intel have been used by 28 partner organizations in face-to-face trainings, as well as in online education programmes to reach over 900,000 people through face-to-face training, including 200 physically challenged persons.
Keywords: digital literacy training, education, India
India’s population of over 1.3 billion people suffers from acute challenges in traditional and digital literacy. To address this gap and enable adoption of services provides using Internet connectivity, the Government of India started the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) in 2011. The mission aims to partner with non-governmental organizations and corporate social responsibility initiatives to deliver training programs to a range of students, youth and adult learners. The Digital Literacy Mission’s vision is to create a multi-stakeholder consortium that can work to showcase the transformative impact of digital literacy on governance, employment, social inclusion and empowerment.
The NDLM seeks to complement the objectives of National Optic Fibre Netowrk (NOFN)—now Bharatnet-- plan to transform every household by educating one adult from each household in India.
|Population (UN, 2015)
|Fixed broadband subscriptions (%) (ITU, 2016)
|Population density (people per sq.km) (UN, 2015)
|Mobile cellular subscriptions (%) (ITU, 2016)
|Median household income (Gallup, 2006-2012)
|Individuals using the Internet (%) (ITU, 2016)
|Education (Mean years of schooling) (UNDP, 2013)
|Male: 5.6 Female: 3.2
|Individuals using the Internet by Gender (%) (ITU, 2016)
Intel® Learn Easy Steps, launched in April 2012, uses a curriculum developed in India to give youth and adult learners the opportunity to improve their social and economic self-sufficiency through digital literacy. It teaches participants with little or no prior computer experience, basic computer skills that are relevant to them through activity-based cards.
The Easy Steps curriculum includes a Basic Course (with a module on entrepreneurship); PC Basics, a computer-based tutorial; Activity Cards, and a Help Guide (available in six languages). Currently, the course is available in eight languages – English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Telegu, Marathi and Malayalam.
Partner organizations use local institutions to advertise for the training. Pamphlets and banners are put across the village to spread awareness about the timings and venue. Training is offered in the following modes:
Face to Face Training: Intel works with more than 28 organizations to whom the Easy Steps curriculum is provided free of cost and who manage local implementation. The program can be adapted by the organization partnering with Intel to customize it to their needs.
Technology Delivered Programs:
a. Students Internet World: Intel collaborates with a relevant government department at the state level and makes available Intel® Learn Easy Steps resources available for download on an open platform. Using a scalable model, Master Trainers are trained on the material who in turn commit to training a certain number of students regularly.
b. Easy Step Mobile Apps: Intel India launched an Android-based application of Intel ® Learn Easy steps. The content on the application is available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Gujarati.
Alignment with Government Programs:
a. In Kerala, Intel collaborated with Kudumbashree Mission, the women oriented, community-based, poverty eradication mission of the Government of Kerala, to help its 37 lakh women members become digitally empowered to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
b. Intel collaborated with the Gujarat Government through the Gujarat e-saksharta Abhiyan, the Krishi Mahotsav to empower farmers, and Mahila Samakhya, a nodal organization that manages women-oriented schemes for the marginalized to provide digital literacy. Under the Primary Education Department, Government of Gujarat, Mahila Samakhya programmes are currently being implemented in 3503 villages. Launched in January 2014, the program has so far equipped 500 women with digital literacy skills, with the objective to train another 1000 by end of 2014.
c. Intel has been leading the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM), a consortium of industry partners, to increase digital literacy in the country. Easy Steps was implemented in Arain (Rajasthan), Noagang (Tripura) and Muthyalammapalem (Andhra Pradesh) where the NOFN has been rolled out on a pilot basis, to provide digital education and enable the people to make the most of the opportunities that the access to technology and the internet would provide.
d. Intel associated itself with the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Government of Karnataka to train government officials on the Easy Steps curriculum. This will cover 44 Departments of the Secretariat followed by around 60 Government Directorates and Zilla Panchayats across the state.
Roadshow - Under this initiative buses fully equipped with required hardware and software and accompanied by specialists travel to various locations equipping people with basic skills in digital literacy. This initiative has taken place each year since 2012. Intel employees also volunteer as trainers for the Learn Easy Steps programme.
|Digital literacy training
|Face-to-face training workshops
|Year program started
|Cost to users
|Total cost of program
|Rural areas Low-income communities
|State governments, 28 local NGOs
Progress and Results
Intel has trained over 200 physically challenged members on the Easy Steps curriculum across different locations in Karnataka.
More than 22,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers in Uttar Pradesh benefited from the Vigyan Yatra, an initiative by the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Intel. Earlier, in a similar initiative in Karnataka, 4,100 students attended science workshops, and 250 teachers were trained on digital literacy.
Women have been empowered by digital literacy skills through Intel’s partnership with the Mahila Samakhya program. Many women have gone on to become trainers themselves, which serves as an alternate source of livelihood for them.
Low levels of traditional literacy – People are often unaware of the importance of digital education and do not opt in to take digital literacy training. The low levels of basic literacy compounded with low levels of ICT knowledge makes it harder for citizens to see the relevance of technology to improve their lives. The training schedule is hard to finalise initially due to the conflicting daily schedules of different types of learners.
Limited and irregular electricity access – It is difficult to source and maintain appropriate infrastructure in rural areas. Erratic electricity supply is a huge challenge in the implementation of the program, which can extend training schedules by months. The lack of ubiquitous 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi infrastructure compounds this issues.
Lack of affordable access– A large percentage of the citizens living in rural areas are daily wage earners engaged in farming, fishing or manual labour. Attending training sessions in person is often at great cost to them, as they may have to forego their daily wages.
Intel India’s Suggestions for Future Projects
A ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work –Partnership with key government agencies and organizations is essential to create locally relevant and tailored training program shows the most impact. Adaptability in several languages can aid the uptake of a training program among populations with low levels of traditional literacy.
Kishore, B. (2016, August 19) Personal Interview
Intel. 2016. Accelerating Digital Literacy in India report