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February 25, 2007

Interacting with children in technology course

After a bit of manual labor (which later we replaced with early morning walks) the first activity of the day is working with the elder boys on the technology course.

The technology course was started this year as a way to engage with adolescent children. It is a one-year course over which Tulir works with children who have dropped out of from class X. It refreshed my idea of technology as not just IT. The children learn about construction of homes, plumbing, electrical wiring of homes, etc. The children are also taught to value their work and calculate how much man-hours it took to get something done and evaluate a fair price to charge for their work. Additionally, different visitors have their expertise and they get a chance to learn some of these like working with clay. Also, since at their age they is constant pressure from family and peers to take up unskilled labor they are also provided a stipend. The time spent is also used to help the children pass the Xth class exams.

This being the first year of the course they decided to start with only boys. More about the course can be read off the Tulir website. During our stay there were three boys – Balu, Perumal and Senthil. We learnt a lot about these boys over the course of the next few days.

That day the children were going to get a primer on computer hardware from Maboo the other visitor to Tulir. Maboo had helped fixed the really old computers that were donated to Tulir and were on their last leg and was helping the boys learn how to detect what is wrong when a computer conks out and basic usage.

It was mentioned that the children had learnt boolean logic in the past and I sneaked in a brainteaser that involved a ruthless king and his plan to eliminate his political prisoners by making them stand in a line and put black and white hats on their heads and they had to guess what was on their head. You can take a look at the puzzle on Tuku’s brain teasers page.

1 comment:

Gaurav said...

Hey Anu & Sanjeev,

It was really nice reading your blog. Nice way to start the work-day! :-)

Gaurav (chicago)