I had a long and informative talk with Sujatha last weekend. Sujatha’s a blogger and radio jockey who’s involved with volunteer activity for Akshara, a foundation that works with children. I am posting the information about what needs to be done, but do also go over and check out her post and leave comments there if you want to be involved.
This is from Sujatha:
The work that needs to be completed over the next 3 and 1/2 months can be divided into two discrete steps:
1. Data Collection: There are three kinds of data that need to be collected – School data, Teacher data and Student data. To begin with, the Karnataka State Department of Education will provide Teacher and Student data to Akshara which Akshara is accepting for the time-being.
School data, on the other hand, will be primarily collected by Akshara. This is where we, the voluteers, come in. Starting December 15, 2005, Akshara will need voluteers to go to each of the schools (addresses and directions will be provided by Akshara), stand there at the location with a GPS receiver (which will also be provided by Akshara) and figure out the exact GPS location (latitudes and longitudes) of that school so the location of every single school under the project can be pin-pointed on a map.
The city is divided into 9 education blocks (with 77 clusters), so it would be possible for voluteers to pick an area and go to all the schools in a couple of clusters, for example, rather than criss-crossing the city and going all over the place.
All this work can be done on weekends and holidays (the schools need not be open for this purpose). The deadline for this step of the project is January 31, 2006.
2. Data Entry: All the data that comes in (School, Teacher and Student) will need to be keyed into computers. A couple of you had asked me if data entry can be done at home on personal computers and I confirmed today that that is possible. Data entry can be done at home and the spreadsheets can be e-mailed to Akshara. Alternatively, data entry can also be done at any of the 9 block offices of Akshara where they have dedicated computers for this purpose.
Akshara anticipates that this phase of the project will begin February 1, 2006 and the deadline is 31, March 2006.
What we need to do now is to let Akshara know which of these two phases each of the voluteers is interested in. Please leave a comment on this post with your preferance and I’ll tabulate it so Akshara has a clear idea of where they have help and where they need more.