The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented fall in economic activity and a sharp rise in unemployment and underemployment among youth. The pandemic has disrupted vocational education and training at all levels in India. Soft skills training programs have been particularly affected, given their unique focus on work-based learning and the acquisition of practical skills.
The Adi Dravidar students in Tamil Nadu are affected the most, as they are from the disadvantaged sections of the society. Lack of access or no access to spoken English and other soft skills, makes it that much more of a challenge for them to get employment.
Project Kana, the Vocational and Soft Skills Training Program for students of Adi Dravidar hostels is a project conducted by Aram Porul Foundation to empower students from the Dalit communities with Spoken English and Soft skills to make them more employable.
Students were pre-assessed to identify their communicative needs. Based on the pre- assessments, a structured 60 hours curriculum was developed with focus on English Speaking skills (45 hours) & Soft Skills (15 hours). The Program commenced with an inauguration ceremony by Rotary Club of Guindy, along with officers from the Adi Dravidar Foundation. A continuous 45 hours schedule was planned over 52 calendar working days and classes were planned to be conducted everyday in both blocks consisting of 60-65 students in each batch. The Schedule was planned to enable the 4 batches of students to undergo 4 hours of English communication in a week.
Samatvam Trust has contributed Rs 50,000 towards this project.