This project is placed at the heart of two widespread phenomenons in India:
- Huge aspiration towards learning English and Digital Skills
- Systematic devaluation and diminishing trajectory of various local languages, cultures, and ways of being
More than 200 languages have vanished in India over the last 50 years and 600 languages from India were listed as potentially endangered by UNESCO. It is in this complex dynamics that project Kurumutu is placed. Project Kuru Mutu is a free online learning space that attempts to bring into dialogue young people from ‘rural’ spaces with young people from ‘urban’ spaces. This dialogue is generated around cross-cultural and skill exchange. Currently we are looking at how learning English and computers can be mediated by socio-cultural perspectives and a Freirian approach to pedagogy. This entails creating a pedagogy that generates multilingual and multicultural capacities.
A curriculum framework is designed that mediates the learning of speaking, listening, writing and reading English through critical perspectives and community contexts. This leverage multimodal, digital and social media interactions of youth and makes the engagement between urban and rural folks more democratic. This is transacted in a learning triad, where two rural youth work as buddies with one urban youth.
As part of this we co-design learning tools suited for this purpose and iteratively understand its efficacy. We are currently doing this work with a youth collective, Lahanti Club in South Bihar. The inception of this youth club is a result of 5 years of research and ground work of Sinchan, which puts community youth at the centre of social change. By now we have a network of volunteers who work closely with us team members and collaborators from both rural and urban spaces. Our volunteers are located not just in different parts of the country but in other parts of the world.
Objectives of Kurmutu
• Learners develop functional skills in English and Digital navigation
• Learners develop an understanding and exchange socio-cultural knowledge
• Learners develops multilingual and multimodal literacy