JSW Group is giving a lot of impetus to primary education and skill driven value education in rural areas.
The aim is to ensure every child must have access to school, better teachers and effective learning in a healthy environment and ambience. JSW Foundation is facilitating the start of the intervention from government’s anganwadi centres which caters to children in 0-6 age group. JSW is also running its own balwadi centres in rural areas with an aim to provide best pre-schooling learning aids and ambience to the children, such as thematic wall paintings. So far, the Group is supporting 54 anganwadis and running 21 balwadis and till date benefitted approximately 5000 children.
The next focus is on children in age group 6-14 years; a crucial time for intervention to strengthen their schooling through various concerted activities. JSW Steel is providing computer aided learning in primary schools to supplement the regular teaching in the schools. The intervention has further improved after the technical collaboration with institutions like Azim Premji Foundation and Pearson Education Services. The ongoing effort is to provide necessary training inputs and stipends to teachers towards enabling better utilization of the education aids by them. The Company is running 54 computer aided leaning centres and till date benefited approximately 17000 children.
To further strengthen the learning, the Group is also helping to increase the outreach of books to rural children in schools through rural libraries. Over 5500 children have access to more than 2500 books through 39 rural libraries. On one hand the efforts are on to enhance the learning among school going children, on the other JSW Group companies are providing scholarships to meritorious students; so far more than 200 students received the scholarships.
In a mission against school drop outs, the Group is providing remedial classes to slow learners from rural areas to prevent them from dropping outs from schools. The special classes help students to catch up with the learning and eventually join the mainstream batches. Many of these students are from first generation school going families who do not get any study guidance at their homes. So far approximately 3500 such students benefitted from these remedial classes.
JSW Steel Vijayanagar Works is running ‘Tamanna’, a school for specially abled children, to provide basic leaning and vocational skill. The aim is to help them lead a life of dignity with maximum self-dependence. At present, there are 43 regular children enrolled in the school. These children undergo vocational training in making paper products, tailoring, book binding, screen printing, etc. The children have earned 1.8 lakh rupees by making paper bags.
JSW Steel Coated Products Vasind Works is conducting life skill workshops for adolescents to impart vital knowledge related to puberty and physical growth. The major thrust in the workshop is given to equip the students with self-awareness, both physical and physiological, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, effective communication, interpersonal skills, coping with stress and dealing with emotions. These sessions are conducted by trained professionals. So far approximately 1500 adolescent girls and boys have attended more than 25 workshops.
JSW Group is giving a lot of thrust to the necessity of skill development in youths and consider it a crucial part in nation building. It is providing guidelines to further strengthen the government run industrial training institutes and also running O.P.Jindal Vocational Training Centres in Vasind, Vijayanagar and Ratnagiri. The Group companies have adopted 29 ITIs under the public private partnership opportunity provided by the central government. The companies are instrumental in developing the infrastructure of the institute, either independently or as a member of Institute Management Committee (IMC). As IMC members, they also play a role of catalyst towards training of faculty members and students, ultimately turning each institute to a Centre for Excellence. Shahpur ITI (Near Vasind) is ranked 22nd while Mettur ITI adopted by our Salem operations is ranked 23rd among approximately 1400 ITI in India (as per a detailed assessment conducted by CII in 2012).
The Group’s first OPJC was started in 2003 at Vasind and currently offers various skill development courses in association with Father Agnel Technical Institute, Mumbai. The students here are pursuing diverse technical and non-technical courses ranging from tailoring to welding, from computer hardware to electrical maintenance. The Ministry of Labour has allotted “Vocational Training Provider” status to OPJC Vasind under its Modular Employability Scheme (MES); OPJC Vasind has so far trained 1690 students. JSW Foundation has facilitated to conduct a survey in 2013 to assess the impact of OPJC Vasind, and the findings were quite satisfying. So far, 81% of the students covered by the survey are gainfully employed and interestingly 67% are using skill sets learnt to earn their livelihood. 24% of the respondents are self-employed using the skill set and 9% of them are pursuing further studies through apprenticeship. The income range of these pass out students are between INR 2400 to INR 19000. The women folk are also benefitted immensely from the vocational courses. They are mainly trained in tailoring and beautician courses. Although their income range is INR 3000 to INR 5000 but these humble contributions make a lot of difference in a low income family.
Similarly, OPJC Vijayanagar has collaboration with Nettur Technical Training Foundation (one of the best vocational training providers in the country) since 2008. So far 665 students have passed out in one year Certificate Programme in Plant Operation & Maintenance. So far 100 percent students have received their placements. Further, in order to improve the market value of trained youth, in addition to NTTF-OPJC Certificate, trainees also get MES Certificates under the scheme of Govt. of India. OPJC Vijayanagar is recognized as Vocational Training Provider by Govt. of India. The institute also trains them in spoken English and basic computer skills. So far, 321 students have been trained.
OPJC Vijayanagar is also a centre for Indira Gandhi National Open University. The centre is helping candidates in the age group of 18-70 years, to pursue higher education in Bachelor Preparatory Programme, Bachelor Degree Programmes and MBA. So far 287 students took benefit of the centre. JSW also has a tie-up with India’s premier engineering institute – BITS Pilani for BS in Process Engineering. 268 JSWites have availed the benefit of upgrading their education so far.
It is also running Rajeev Gandhi Institute for Steel Technology (RGIST), jointly promoted by Govt. of Karnataka for creating qualified manpower for steel sector. The institute is an excellent example of Public Private Partnership in higher education. RGIST runs two programmes, Post Diploma in Industrial Safety and Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering, so far 463 students have benefitted from the institute.