Of Bits and Bytes

The children at Lady Hawabai Girls High School at Pune will now be comfortable to talk about bits and bytes, hardware and software and a host of computer language, thanks to the efforts of Rotary Club of Pune Cantonment, RI District 3131 and a UK-based charity, Nancy Tweddle Foundation.

Established in 1963, the school is probably the first in the Camp area of Pune to impart education in Urdu medium. A majority of the total school strength of 475 hail from underprivileged families. The school did have a computer facility but with just 20 computers, each shared by three girls, making learning tedious and cramped for them.

Students at the new computer lab at school.

The idea to transform it into a fully equipped lab germinated in 2012 when a team from Nancy Tweddle Foundation visited the school to donate classroom furniture for the students. The Foundation is the charity wing of Jupiter Marketing, suppliers of agricultural produce based at UK. While the funding for the entire revamp of the lab was undertaken by the Foundation, RC Pune Cantonment managed the smooth execution of the project.

Estimates for the computer lab were worked out; fund-raisers were organised, the significant one being a 24-hour Challenge to climb the three highest peaks of England, Scotland and Wales by the corporate’s team. The money thus raised helped in improving the facility with 25 more computers, a projector, furniture and fittings; the floor area was extended, making the lab more spacious and the walls given a fresh coat of paint — All this at a cost of Rs 8.5 lakh.

“The children just love the new computer lab so much that they eagerly await the ‘computer hour’ everyday. The projector helps in training the ­students to give presentations, thus building their self-confidence, and making them future-ready. The exhaustive computer literacy would increase their chances of getting employment after they leave school,” said Project Chair, Rtn Azhar Tambuwala.

The children just love the new computer lab so much that they eagerly await the ‘computer hour’ everyday.

The school headmistress, Zille-huma Bargir, echoed the thoughts of the parents stating that this new dimension to grassroots computer-learning is of paramount importance for the disadvantaged children, giving them a chance to learn skills that may transform their lives.

She also informed that the fully-equipped lab is of great help for Classes 9 & 10 where the students learn computer as a compulsory subject, besides basic computer being a certificate course for classes 5 to 8. “Recently our students participated in the IT Olympiad in the city. Though the results are awaited, they are confident that they have performed very well, thanks to the swanky lab we have been gifted with now,” she added.

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