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Students to teach Indian pupils life-changing skills

2010年7月20日

Eleven students from the University of Bath have travelled to rural India to teach basic engineering skills to young people, to help them find technical solutions to practical problems in their communities.

The Bath students will spend three months in voluntary teaching posts at six education centres across the Maharashtra region.

They will teach Indian pupils who have dropped out of school skills that include engineering drawing, how to select motors and pumps, as well as how to build simple technologies such as solar water heaters and water filters. The goal of the programme is for the Indian students to learn skills that can help their communities, and improve their employment prospects.

The volunteers from the University’s Departments of Architecture & Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering will be part of a scheme run by the Bath branch of the international development organisation, Engineers Without Borders UK.

The charity aims to remove barriers to development through engineering and give university students the opportunity to learn about technology’s role in tackling poverty.

The Bath group is being coordinated by Hayley Weston, a postgraduate student at the University, who was a volunteer herself last year and taught Indian pupils how to build and maintain a biodiesel plant to provide fuel for small-scale electricity generation.

Hayley said: “It’s a great opportunity for the students to take what they have learnt and see what it can actually achieve, and how people in need can benefit. If you’re working for a big company in the UK you tend to be part of a big team designing a niche part, but with this project you get a holistic engineering experience as well as the chance to immerse yourself in another culture.”

Simon Joe Portal, a mechanical engineering student who is one of the volunteer teachers said: “I have aspirations to work in a developing country in the future and this project is a wonderful chance to get out there as an engineer for the first time. Teaching students what I am learning myself will be hugely beneficial to me and my studies and will be a great way to take my interest in engineering and in the developing world and give them both some purpose.”

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