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British Telecommunications (BT) and Katha announce the creation of the BT/Katha Information and Technology E-Commerce School (KITES).

British Telecommunications, one of the major private sector companies in Europe, is an acclaimed provider of telecommunication services over the world. Its principal activities include local, long distance and international telecommunications services, mobile communications, Internet services and IT solutions.

KITES aims to provide high quality education and access to IT and computer skills to children in one of Delhi’s largest slum cluster in Govindpuri. BT has chosen to support KITES as part of its “BT Better World Campaign”, which aims to open up access to information and communication technology to help create a better world.

Katha has been working in Govindpuri for the past ten years and has pinpointed the lack of high quality, motivating education as a key problem holding the community back. Many children as young as six drop out of formal school with few skills and begin working in low income jobs with no hope of improving their situation. KITES will give these underprivileged children access to new and valuable skills. The school aims to transform the children into skilled and knowledgeable workers, able to support their families and take their place in India’s IT age.

BT and Katha are committed to a three-year partnership that will ensure that KITES will fulfil this dream.

Why does this project focus on communication technology?

Increasingly, it is access to information and communication technology (ICT) that allows people, companies and countries to participate in the global economy, to generate wealth and to improve their quality of life. ICT is a crucial factor in job and wealth creation. With global unemployment running at a record high of 160 million, more jobs are urgently needed to alleviate poverty. ICT spurs the creation of jobs, but the digital divide means that these jobs are concentrated with the haves, leaving the have-nots even further behind. Only those armed with education and skills to work with ICT can benefit from the new economy.

BT’s Better World campaign is committed to narrowing the digital divide by tackling two of its root causes:

  • Illiteracy and lack of access to basic education.

  • Lack of basic computer skills

Who will benefit?

Over the three-year partnership, 500 children from one of Delhi’s poorest slum communities will receive education and training to equip them to become software, IT and e-commerce professionals.

This will include:

  • 100 children between the ages of 6 and 8 who will learn pre-IT skills, computer aided painting and drawing as well as science, maths and language skills.

  • 200 children in the 11-14 age group will learn to use a computer and surf the net. Children will be encouraged to explore teaching and learning sites and will develop independent study skills.

  • 50 students of 14 + will enter courses that will prepare them for careers in computing. At the end of the 3 years, they will receive Computer Specialist Junior Certificates

  • 50 high school students will work towards diplomas in IT, training in entrepreneurship as part of a programme leading to the School Leaving Certificate.

  • Opportunities to develop IT skills will be available for parents and other adults from the community at Katha’s Lifelong Learning Centre. This will enable KITES to benefit maximum number of people.

Teacher-training will be a priority at KITES. All teachers will learn new computer skills. Better web-based learning for teachers will mean better classroom learning for the students.

Teaching will focus on building fluency and writing skills in business English. Teaching/learning materials will also be translated into Hindi so that all students and the wider community can benefit


The Katha IT&E Curriculum for IT builds three key elements built into every session:

  • Fun

  • Technology made relevant and as something for  everyday life

  • Personal achievement and growth for every learner

These elements will go on tandem with three other elements which reiterate Katha’s philosophy of education:

  • Scholastic learning towards a formal school leaving certificate.

  • Lifelong learning skills, entrepreneurship and overall development that come from Katha’s 9Cs –  creativity, critical thinking, cooperative learning, competence – and LIFE skills

  • Citizenship – the ability to put service above self, to be passionate about work and to have an inner imperative to excel.