vocational training

The Vocational Training Course offered to the students at Swabodhini, is derived from the experience gained through practical research and observation of the children. It is offered to the students after a complete assessment has been carried out of the student’s potential and capabilities. Part of the vetting comprises of observing the student’s skills in independently executing each task in its entirety. The assessment by itself involves a detailed process, wherein a voluminous questionnaire is used for every part of the task / activity.

The following are the main focus areas for vocational training in Swabodhini:

  • Retail skills Training
  • Computer and Office Administration
  • Culinary
  • Making Of Paper Cups

Retail skills Training

Retail skills Training

Ideology

Swabodhini’s dream project and brainchild is Swayam Shoppe, a retail grocery outlet. As pioneers to have introduced retail skill training for special children this outlet, a vocational training unit of Swabodhini Charitable Trust, is funded and managed by the Trust, to train the students in the activities of managing a retail shop.

We have adopted a unique style of teaching, enabling each and every child a chance to acquire and apply knowledge and skills in an immediate and relevant real time setting. This idea of extending the classroom from conventional borders to a real life setting helps our children to develop their communication and socialisation skills.

It is in this context we have set up a small retail outlet within easy reach for the school staff, parents and students. This shop is an initiative to expose our children to real public interactive activities and impart basic knowledge for daily needs.

Methodology

The above idea will be translated into training which will be imparted based on student cognition levels in the following areas:

  • Identify different products
  • Weigh and measure items
  • Stack, sort, store products
  • Keep the surroundings neat and tidy
  • Prepare cash bills
  • Interact with customers
  • Handle and maintain cash through use of calculators
  • Taking orders over phone
  • Use computers for billing
  • Interact with customers for their needs at the counters
  • Delivering the items ordered to the customers, with guidance from trainers. This helps them not only to socialise, but also to read the door numbers, cross roads observing safety rules etc.
  • Reading MRP and expiry dates.
  • Stock taking and maintaining stock records.

Apart from the “Over the Counter” sales our students also are trained in selling groceries through mobile vans. This project is termed as “Swayam Retail on Wheels”. Three mobile shops will be conducted every month in various apartments and condominiums to facilitate social interaction of students and also experience live shopping skills. Students perform the sales with lot of enthusiasm.

No of students to be trained and benefitted: 12 students every batch over a period of 18 months as a certificate course.

End goal:

Through this out-of-the-classroom experience, we could see our special children growing confident in understanding and handling money concepts and also interacting with public. And slowly, they will be able to equip themselves to become a part of the society and move into open employment. Opportunities for Internships and placements in small departmental stores and convenience stores are constantly pursued


Computer and Office Administration

Computer and Office Administration Skills

Ideology

Swabodhini believes in training students aged 14 years and above in the field of administrative assistants as part of its vocational training curriculum.

Administrative assistants are primarily responsible for coordinating the operational tasks of any office. The specific duties and required skills of an administrative assistant change based on their place of employment and level of expertise, but generally include a combination of clerical and managerial tasks.

The advent of technology in the modern office has greatly expanded the role of the administrative assistant, and many employers now expect job applicants to possess good computer skills along with basic administrative training. Their main responsibility is to keep their place of employment running smoothly, thus all of their duties relate back to the operational proceedings of an office.

Methodology

The above idea will be translated into training which will be imparted based on student cognition levels in the following areas:

  • Using the phone, fax, scanner etc
  • Data entry and managing databases,
  • Preparing and printing documents on a computer
  • Disseminating information (through email and internal memos),
  • Photocopying
  • Scanning and saving of documents on a computer
  • Browsing and effective use of worldwide web (www)
  • Recording ,storing and supplying of information using a paper- based filing system
  • Maintenance of visitors log and feedback

No of students to be trained and benefitted: 10 students every batch over a period of 18 months as a certificate course.

End goal

The above vocational training are designed to run over a period of 18 months after completion of which students will be issued certificates which will enable them to be placed in employment. Internship in offices and open employment opportunities are constantly looked out for.


Culinary

Culinary Skills

Ideology

Swabodhini has introduced culinary skill training as part of vocational training activity. Different food items are prepared everyday by this batch of students as per the time table laid out at the beginning of each month. These food items are consumed by the students, staff and the parents of children who wait at the school to drop and pick up their children.

There has been very good response to this skill set both from the parents and the children

Methodology

The above idea will be translated into training which will be imparted in basic cooking activities based on student cognition levels in the following areas:

  • Identification of fruits/vegetables/pulses/cereals etc
  • Cutting chopping of vegetables and fruits
  • Peeling of onions, pea pods, garlic etc
  • Measurements, weighing etc of items needed for cooking
  • Operating basic kitchen gadgets like microwave, cooker, mixer, juicer etc
  • Preparation of tea/coffee and mixing of drinks, juices etc
  • Preparation of sandwiches, salads, chaat items and other dry foods

No of students to be trained and benefitted: 10 students every batch over a period of 18 months as a certificate course.

End goal

The students develop home science skills and are trained to lead a lesser dependent and more meaningful life in society. Also internships and employable opportunities in bakeries, restaurants,cafes and kitchen units are considered.


Making of Paper Cups

Paper cup making

Swabodhini’s first project in the Vocational Training Unit, was making paper cups. There are 3 stages to making the paper cups, which are:

  • Preparing the body of the cup
  • Then the base of the cup
  • Finally the Lipping process

Even though machines are used to manufacture these paper cups, it still requires manual skills.

Those students whose motor skills are very good, are trained on all 3 machines. Each stage of the paper making process is broken up into smaller tasks and the entire process is taught in sequence. This activity helps improve their motor functions, eye-hand coordination, helps them to concentrate and improves their grip/ grasping powers.

Some of the students who were trained in the art of manufacturing paper cups, have since been placed on the Assembly Line of a multinational manufacturing company that manufactures motor pumps.

The paper cups are made based on specific orders.


Milestone Success

Placing 5 of our students in open employment and in a multinational company, has been an achievement and a milestone crossed, for Swabodhini. These 5 students joined the company as “Junior Technicians” and they now draw a handsome salary. Swabodhini applauds these 5 students and is very proud to have been a part of their achievement!