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College

JUNE 2009 www.digitalLEARNING.in

of, by, and for

The Community

Indira Gandhi National Open University

A Special issue brought in association with IGNOU

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Contents 14

Cover story

7

ignou associate degree programme: for an educated and skilled workforce

IN CONVERSATION

14

Dr Latha Pillai, Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU

perspective

18

Community Colleges in India Dr. Xavier Alphonse, Director, ICRDCE, Chennai

30

empowering women through open and distance education Dr. P Thiyagarajan, TNOU

Research

22

Community College Abundance Model: Improving Organisational Performance in Higher Education

Christopher Shults, Assistant Provost, Mississippi Valley State University

state scan

24

Interview: Ashish Upadhyaya, Commissioner, Higher Education, Govt of Madhya Pradesh

corporate diary

34

Interview: Vikas Singh, Director, crux management services



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45

40

36

case study

36

Inter-mission Industrial Development Association: Holistic Education for The Underprivileged

38

Mitraniketan: Partners in Development Education Dr. Reghu Rama Das, Principal, Mitraniketan People’s College

country perspective

40

American Community Colleges in the Downturn: Can Education Save the Economy? Michelle Van Noy, Matthew Zeidenberg Community College Research Center Teachers College, Columbia University New York, New York, USA

Development Agenda

45

Interview: John Halder, president, CCID

Regular Features

News

43 44 49

India

51

Mark Your Calendar

Asia Corporate


foreword

Community Colleges are an alternative system of education which aims to empower individuals through appropriate skill development leading to gainful employment in collaboration with the local industry and the community. It helps in developing skills for employment and self employability, particularly to the marginalised and under privileged sections of society. Community Colleges offer the advantage of tailoring programmes to local needs and state based requirements by using approaches that will be most acceptable to workers in the given community. Community Colleges generally have a 2 year curriculum that either leads to an Associate degree for transfer to an undergraduate college or lead to the students’ direct entry into any occupation or trade. These colleges are a source of economic growth, because they provide an educated and skilled workforce that improves the quality of life for individual students, communities, and the nation. The Indira Gandhi National Open University has begun an earnest move in providing this innovative alternative model of higher education. Starting this July fall academic session, IGNOU is commencing the scheme of Associate Degree Programmes through community colleges in various parts of India. I am glad that Digital Learning is bringing out a special issue on Community Colleges covering the existing Community College system in India, Community Colleges at the international level, various reports of the National Knowledge Commission, Planning Commission, and comments from experts. I am sure, this issue would be a valuable source for institutionalising the Community Colleges in India.

Prof. V n rajasekharan pillai Vice Chancellor Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

digital LEARNING JUNE 2009




editorial

Ushering Change In The Community An exciting development is unfolding as you read this. It is a change that promises to allow millions access skills to materialise their dreams and be a part of India’s development. They could be unskilled workers in an urban area or a girl in a rural household wanting to get qualification and skills to bring growth to community. This note of optimism emerges from signs of the beginning of a new chapter in India’s non-formal education system by the way of community colleges. Recently, over 250 institutions from across the country came together at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to brainstorm ideas and plans to give a determined push to open community colleges across India. This meeting can easily be called a milestone in this journey. An immediate follow-up of this is visible in the roll out of a plan to introduce the concept of community colleges in the July fall of this academic year through some 200 institutions, under the IGNOU. President Dr. M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ravi Gupta Associate Editor Manjushree Reddy Research Associate Angela S Nath, Sheena Joseph Research Assistant Yukti Pahwa Dy. General Manager - Marketing Siddharth Verma +91-9811561645 siddharth@digitallearning.in Sr. Executive - Business Development Rudra Ghosh +91-9810603696 rudra@digitallearning.in Sales Executives Vasundhra Singh +91-9650347170 vasundhra@digitallearning.in Ankur Agarwal +91-9313998750 ankur@digitallearning.in Subscription & Circulation Lipika Dutta +91-9871481708

A large population constituting diverse levels of social and economic development in India translates into complex challenges for passing on the benefits of education and skill development to people who have not had access to education or dropped out of schools, or simply had to join the job market at whatever level they could. The community colleges are an answer to this. The need for community colleges is undeniable for a nation where, adult literacy rate is as low as 61% and 89% of its students enrolled in schools drop out. By the very nature of this concept of seamless and openly structured education, ICT will be a major pillar in both its management and dissemination. Through this special issue we aim to stimulate research and discuss the issue of Community Colleges as a viable and alternative system of education. We have also attempted to consolidate the performance of similar ventures in helping the community emerge as functional players in the economy. We express our deepest appreciation to IGNOU, especially the Hon Vice Chancellor, for their guidance throughout the entire process of bringing out the special issue.

Dr. Ravi Gupta Editor-in-Chief Ravi.Gupta@digitalLEARNING.in

Manoj Kumar +91-9971404484 Sr Graphic Designer Bishwajeet Kumar Singh Graphic Designers Om Prakash Thakur, Chandrakesh Bihari Lal (James) Web Zia Salahuddin, Amit Pal



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digitalLEARNING is published by Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. in technical collaboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS). Owner, Publisher, Printer - Ravi Gupta Printed at Vinayak Print Media D-320, Sector 10, Noida, U.P. and published from 710, Vasto Mahagun Manor, F-30, Sector - 50, Noida, UP Editor: Ravi Gupta


COVER STORY

IGNOU Community Colleges

For an Educated & Skilled Workforce 

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The community college system as an alternative and supplementary form of education assumes significance in the context of efforts to make education, particularly the entrants into higher education and vocational education in our country, gainfully employable. Indira Gandhi National Open University has taken a big stride in this direction, with the launch of its Associate Degree Programme while framing the IGNOU Community Colleges. digital LEARNING

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ndira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India once said, “Education should inculcate a life-long habit of learning. And today, this is all the more necessary, because the corpus of knowledge is increasing at a tremendous pace.” Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the institute established with the vision of the leader, just follows through the golden rule. Recent Government of India efforts to enhance the Gross Enrollment Ratio in tertiary education has resulted in a number of instituitions, a thrust on vocationalisation, and increased use of technology. In order to have a diversified and multi-channel higher education framework, the experience of other countries shows that there is a need for an innovative educational alternative rooted in the community. A well tested success internationally has been the incorporation of Community Colleges as an integral part of the higher education system. The purpose of Community Colleges is to provide skill based, livelihood enhancing education and eligibility for employment to the disadvantaged and under-privileged like the urban poor, rural poor, and women. Providing appropriate skills development in collaboration with local industries thus leading to gainful employment is the major target of

Community Colleges. Another major contributon of Community Colleges has been to expand access to post secondary studies for millions of students who would otherwise not have an opportunity to participate. Even in countries like the US and Canada, where it started as peripheral to the mainstream higher education system, people’s perception have changed and the social importance of an Associate Degree through a formal mechanism has considerably increased. Approximately, 44% of all

undergraduates in the US study in Community Colleges. Looking into the size and complexity of needs among the Community Colleges, educational policies are being framed to set up a regulatory agency providing governance guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. Recognition of the courses from the universities, by granting appropriate credit transfer/equivalency in the credits is in the pipeline. IGNOU Community Colleges is an attempt to channelise an academic path for the under privileged category

prof. V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU “The government plans to open more ‘Community Colleges’ across the country with focus on skill development during the Eleventh Plan Period, with an aim to generate skilled manpower for the labour market. Such colleges, providing an open-access admission policy, would also fulfill the mandate of the National Skill Mission and bring hopes to drop-outs, besides realising dreams of those who wish to complete higher studies. They would have provisions for vertical mobility and service as a community-based institution of higher education. IGNOU would act as a facilitating agency for such colleges. The varsity proposes to offer ‘Associate Degree’ programmes to these colleges with focus on skill development. On completion of the course, one can seek a lateral entry to the third year undergraduate programme in a regular college. One can even explore different subject areas before committing to a programme. The beneficiaries, would be school drop-outs, late entrants into higher education, and working people who find entry into the formal system rigid. The students would be allowed to pursue continuing education through all meaningful formats – face-to-face, online, full-time and part-time. Through IGNOU system of Community Colleges, the move of empowerment of students would be faster, the students would have options to go for career-oriented qualification in which a three-year degree certificate would not be required.”

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“Instruments of Mobility” Sam Pitroda Chairman, national knowledge commission How do you see the Community Colleges- a peoples’ movement or a parallel system? It is neither a people’s movement nor a parallel system of education. It is just a way of restructuring our education system, so that we provide all opportunities to large number of people with the ability to migrate. I see Community Colleges as instruments of mobility. What is India’s expectation from the Community College movement? From the Indian perspective, what should be the ingredients of such measures? This is a system, which is all flexible. People who want to get in the engineering colleges, people who wish to do well in education, this comes as an opportunity for them. If you study in Community College, you can go back and even do a Ph D programme, which eventually allows you not to stop in the journey of education. So this encourages a lateral mobility in education. Basically, in our system of education, there are too many affiliated policies. We have evolved a system over a period of time, where we have a number of affiliated colleges. But this is just not workable. In this process, we have lost the quality of a good university. Rather, from this, we can create separate samll community colleges, and samll universities. We can create structures that are manageable. In the past, everyone wanted to be affiliated to a best university, whether they are capable or not. Politically too, they were allowed. But by that process, good univeristies end up having too many affiliated colleges. So with the Community College system, we are just trying to make separate affiliated colleges and institutions of focus, stability, and of quality with research orientation. National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has recommended that entrepreneurial/self-employment skills be promoted among students, on and off campus. How do you see IGNOU’s step towards launching Associate Degree programme for Community Colleges? The entire prospect has been laid out clearly in the NKC recommendations. But then now somebody has to really pay attention to the implementation. Implementation is being done at ministry level and state level as well. With such steps like IGNOU Community Colleges, I hope, it gets proper attention now. But the need is to engage the Indian education community, the readers of Digital Learning magazine to study the NKC recommendations, go to the depth, debate, research, and articulate them. I expect, the essence of Community College is well treated with the new programme of IGNOU.

to reach out to formal education by framing the Associate Degree programme. IGNOU Community Colleges: The 11th Plan Prescription As we need a focused agenda to address all concerns in skill education, the government initiated the process of reform by announcing the need and probable procedure for establishing the Community Colleges in the 11th Five Year Plan. The Plan document reads like‘Existing 190 community colleges (largely in southern states of India, some of which offer diploma courses) will be supported for capacity building, training cost (equipment, faculty development, stipend, etc, but not for civil works, and other capital costs). Setting up additional 210 community colleges, mainly in northern, western, and eastern parts of the country will be supported on placement based funding. Funding will be based on a

MoU between Community Colleges, states and Ministry of Human Resources Development.’ The Plan document again identifies and emphasises the role of IGNOU taking a lead in this alternative mode of education for the unreached community. The 11th Five Year Plan document prescribes on this as belowThe Community College is seen now as an innovative educational alternative rooted in the community providing skill based, livelihoodenhancing education and eligibility for employment to the disadvantaged and under-privileged like the urban poor, rural poor, tribal poor, and women. Appropriate skills development leading to gainful employment in collaboration with the local industries and the community is the major target of the Community Colleges. The success achieved by the system encourages the strengthening and consolidation of the existing colleges along with the step-wise expansion of the sytem to all the

states in the country. Lack of recognition has been a major problem by those who passed out from the Community Colleges. All over the world, particularly, in the US, this problem was there in the initial development stages of the Community Collges. This was solved Why Community Colleges in India • •

Largest youth population Only 5% of Indian labour force in the age group of 20-24 have obtained vocational skills through formal means. (Industrialised countries 60-96%) Only 2.5 million vocational training seats are available, where as 12.8 million enter the labour market every year. Largest share of new jobs likely to come from the unorganised sector which employs upto 93% of the national workforce.

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by introducing the Associate Degree Programme in the Community Colleges. This two year Associate Degree (after plus two) in Community Colleges can be upgraded to a degree by undergoing one year regular programme (specially designed for the purpose) in a regular university. Taking cue from this and from the success stories of Community Colleges across the world, the Community Colleges in India can be brought into the formal higher education system. The approaches that can be operational through IGNOU are:

as ‘IGNOU Community Colleges’. These Community Colleges in different regions will be under the administration and academic control of the 39 regional centres of IGNOU. The regional offices with the collaboration of the local industry, local community and credible Self Help Groups (SHGs) will identify and execute regionspecific, job-oriented academic/ vocational programmes of modular nature extending upto a period of two years. •

Establishing one Community College in each of the 600 districts in the country in the next five years

Ensuring vertical mobility for those who opt at a later stage for further education in the respective areas through credit transfer in

“Instrument For ‘Techniracy’ & Skill Empowerment” M S Swaminathan, Chairman, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, member

of rajya sabha What, according to you, are the main challenges facing the Community College system in our country? MSSRF and IGNOU have strong partnership in many areas relating to achieving the goals of literacy for all and techniracy for youth. The Community College system can become a powerful instrument for both ‘techniracy’ and ‘skill empowerment’. The advantage of the Community College is that the curriculum can address the real needs of the people, on the lines advocated by Mahatma Gandhi and Zakir Hussain. The major challenge facing the Community College system is the rigid mindset of those engaged in the field of education. Community Colleges also help to promote life long learning, keeping in view the following quotation from Gurudev Tagore’s Gitanjali, ‘A candle which is not lit cannot light others; a teacher who is also not learning, cannot teach others. Please elaborate on the idea behind setting up of new Community Colleges Inspite of all our efforts since independence, illiteracy is still widespread, particularly among women. The Community Colleges can help us to reach the unreached and voice the voiceless. Thus they become powerful instruments for achieving the goal of inclusiveness in social access to university education. As of now, MSSRF hopes to establish four community colleges - Kalpetta, Wayanad district, Kerala for tribal families, Jeypore, Koraput district, Orissa for tribal families, Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu for fisher families, and Puducherry, for farm families. MSSRF will also assist IGNOU in the ‘Every Block a Community College’ and ‘Every Village a Knowledge Centre Programmes’. Please tell us about the education initiatives carried out by MSSRF? How much does ICT figure in it? MSSRF has several educational initiatives under the overall ‘Every Child a Scientist’ programme. These include the establishment of DNA Clubs in schools for the purpose of promoting genetic literacy and the establishment of Touch and Smell Gardens for the benefit of visually impaired children. The Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy of MSSRF will soon have 2000 grassroot fellows, who are drawn from our villages and who have mastered the digital technologies. MSSRF’s education programmes thus aim to bridge the genetic, gender, digital and differential ability divides.

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the open university and distance education system (IGNOU-DEC) in the country. The larger number of vocational and skill oriented programmes of IGNOU through face to face, mixed convergent mode, and technologyaugmented mode can be provided in the areas of a) technical/occupational programmes, b) remedial education, c) continuing education, d) workforce development contexualised to the requirement of the community in the region. National Knowledge Commission recommendations on Community Colleges: The National Knowledge Commission (the high level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, established with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society), in its note on higher education in November 2006, recommended for the possibility of having affiliated colleges which can be remodeled as Community Colleges. These colleges could provide both vocational education through two year courses and formal education through three year courses. This would serve the needs of a particular segment of the student population better. They could focus on promoting job-oriented, work related, skill based and life-coping education. These Community Colleges could provide a unique opportunity to provide holistic education and eligibility for employment to the disadvantaged. The Programme & Curriculum Design at IGNOU The Associate Degree programme in IGNOU is proposed either as a fulltime or a part-time mode. A two year curriculum may have not less than 450 contact hours per hour. Each programme provider may be given the freedom to come up with their own structure as long as the minimum requirement of 450 contact hours is met. The curriculum is planned to include a substantial amount of generic skills with a major portion to be completed in the first year. First year courses (all foundation courses, 16 credits), second year courses (application oriented, 16 credits) and some of


Dr. Kalyani Anbuchelvan, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Open University The Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) is honoured to associate itself with the world’s largest Open University, the Indira Gandhi National Open University, on the Community College initiative. The Associate Degree programme through the community colleges is the brain-child of Prof Pillai, who always has nurtured robust academic schemes for the poor and under developed communities. Generations to come will remember IGNOU with gratitude for this initiative, which will go a long way in strengthening, among others, the Indian literacy level. My hearty wishes to Dr Latha Pillai, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU, the committed executor of this programme! Tamil Nadu remains the pioneer in the Community College initiative. The initiative was well received by the bureaucracy to the extent that the IAS officers in those initial days have suggested to confer the status of Skill Development Centres to Community Colleges. The Government of India has also sanctioned INR10 lakh during the Tenth Plan period for the development of Community Colleges in Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, the project could not take off due to various socio-political reasons. Today, the young Members of Parliament show great interest in Rural Skill Development. I am happy to share that the present Government at the State not only encouraged the Community College system, but also has in its last budget allocated INR 1 crore as student scholarship for those who study at the TNOU through the Community Colleges. As on date, the Tamil Nadu Open University has 124 Community Colleges, which have enrolled a little more than 40,000 students. Of this, about 70 percent of the students are employed in the relevant industries. The Tamil Nadu Open University itself has employed more than 55 students. I am confident that with the guidance of the IGNOU, the TNOU will be in a better position to translate this project into a successful reality.

the basic electives in the respective subject of study worth of 32 credits to be completed in the first two years of Associate Degree programme of the Community College. A number of existing courses of IGNOU may be appropriately combined for an Associate Degree. Firming up with voices from the community: IGNOU Community Colleges Interface meetings Taking a stride from the concepts to action, the move for setting up community colleges in all parts of the country started gaining momentum when over 250 institutions met at IGNOU on 24 April 2009, for a daylong interface meeting to decide further

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, MSSRF Chairman, M. S. Swaminathan, TNOU Vice-Chancellor, Kalyani Anbuchelvan, and Dr. Latha Pillai, Pro-Vice-Chancellor IGNOU inaugurating a regional meeting organised by IGNOU in Chennai.

Young Men’s Christian Association, etc. attended the conference. Vice Chancellor, Professor VN Rajasekhar Pillai, who presided

over the conference, said that the movement has its seed in the 11th Plan outlay of the nation, in which the Planning Commission had identified

The Community Colleges will empower school dropouts or late entrants into action-plan. Eminent social workers from higher education through appropriate skill development programmes leading NGOs, Vice Chancellors of state to employment with the local industry and the community. level open universities, UGC member Fr. Xavier Alphonse, representatives of leading organisations in the movement like digital LEARNING

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the Community College model to be strong enough to disseminate education to all segments of the society. This meeting conceptualised the Community Colleges model in a way that these are likely to impact the society and the country’s education scenario. The university expert committee for the project is busy at present with finetuning the current plan. The committee comprises of subject experts from states and IGNOU representatives. They would oversee academic planning, develop curricular framework and management of the Community Colleges. The members of the committee will also ensure judicious blend of theory and practice, localespecific needs clearly integrated and industry-community linkages. Community Colleges, which would register with IGNOU, would have to offer Associate Degree on a range of job-oriented industry-trained academic programmes, at affordable costs. The philosophy being, these are colleges of the community, by the community, and for the community. The rationale being, these colleges must be able to offer opportunities to all segments of the disadvantaged people. They would encourage students who may want to attend a 3year degree programme, but cannot get entry to a formal conventional

local representatives of governments or industries, etc. Each of these colleges will also have a College Council, Academic Committee and Examinations Committee. The teachers in these colleges would be practitioners drawn from the communities. FOUR Community Colleges at MSSRF The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) will open four community colleges in different parts of the country by July. These colleges would come up in Koraput (Orissa), Wynad (Kerala), Poompuhar and Puducherry with technical assistance from IGNOU.

These colleges will have a two-year curriculum that will lead the students to an associate degree for transfer to an undergraduate college or lead to a direct entry into any occupation or trade. IGNOU Virtual Resource Counselling Centre at MSSRF

college due to academic, personal or financial reasons. These students would be able to choose from hundreds of academic and technical fields of study, for their Associate Degrees. This would enable them to get a transfer to regular colleges into the third year of the choice degreecourses to become graduates. The Community Colleges would be governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of founders of colleges, representatives from IGNOU and 14

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Girija of Puducherry urged for a Community College and Velvizhi of Nagapattinam requested for setting

Coinciding with the occasion, Prof Pillai, the Vice Chancellor, IGNOU also inaugurated the IGNOU Virtual Resource Counselling Centre at MSSRF, Taramani in Chennai. The centre will help academics connect with the rural population for educational counselling and assess their needs. According to Prof Pillai, IGNOU had received 670 proposals for setting up Community Colleges in the country, of which 71 had already been approved. Around 200 will start functioning from July 2009. Connected through the teleconferencing facility, the Virtual Resource Counselling Centre will provide counselling as well as distance learning for rural folks. While interacting with the community, mostly the fisherman community,

up of community radio station. Foundation chairman, M.S. Swaminathan elaborated that in tsunami-hit Poompuhar area, they were launching the “fish for all” programme that would provide end-to-end solution for the fishing community. It would help the fishermen in many ways by providing adequate information on several matters. Quoting lines from former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who said that ‘Future belongs to science and those who make friendship with science’, and citing a strong case for the use of technology in all forms of education, including the vocational and skill development education, Dr Swaminathan said, “Unless we are able to use technology effectively, we will not be able to progress’. We must run at a speed twice as much since Community College concept actually offers an opportunity in running twice as fast and catching up and ensuring that we reach the educational benchmark.” Community Colleges, the attempt made by IGNOU will be a great contribution not only to the village community, but also contribution to the academic community, as academic community gets an opportunity to understand real issues of the villages. The Associate Degree programme launched by IGNOU serves the purpose, when we talk about extension and when we talk about extension of community driven activities and promotion of community university system. This much needed platform, expectedly will bring about a paradigm shift in our education system with the perspective of enhancing access and employbility.\\


IN CONVERSATION

Institutionalising Community Colleges In India www.ignou.ac.in

Dr Latha Pillai Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU

Community Colleges have been very successful internationally, with atleast 80 big universities of the world running community colleges. Apart from diplomas, these colleges also grant associate degrees as their highest degree, facilitating lateral entry into the regular university system. The Indira Gandhi National Open University, has for the first time, formulated a plan to start such community colleges in India offering its Associate Degree Programme. Dr Latha Pillai, Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, talks about the new scheme.

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Through IGNOU Community Colleges, the effort is to institutionalise the mechanism by offering multiple entry and exit levels with due certification.

nity College students can choose to work towards an Associate Degree (two-year) in hundreds of academic and technical fields which will enable them to transfer to a regular college or university for completion of a degree. Alternatively, students may exit with either a Certificate or a Diploma by completing the required number of credits.

Through Community Colleges, the aim is to enhance the pool of skilled labour force, as the largest share of new jobs is likely to come from the unorganised sector, which employees up to 93% of the national work force.

Could you elaborate on the concept of Community Colleges? Institutions which are run ‘of the community, by the community, and for the community’ offering opportunities to all sections of society particularly the marginalised and disadvantaged is the rationale for the establishment of a Community College. It encourages students who may want to attend a three year degree but are not academically, personally or economically ready to begin study in the formal system. In a Commu16

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How has the evolution of Community Colleges in India been different from that in the West? In India many non-governmental organisations and training institutions have been offering skill based programmes relevant to community needs at the Certificate and Diploma levels. Similarly, ITI’s and polytechnics offer skill-oriented programmes. Through IGNOU Community Colleges, the effort is to institutionalise the mechanism by offering multiple entry and exit levels with due certification. In the West, particularly in the US and European countries, Community Colleges have been in existence for more than 50 years and have very large and diverse programme offerings. In the US for example the total enrolment in Community Colleges is estimated to be around 12 million. These twoyear colleges, the world over are known as ‘technical colleges’, ‘junior colleges’, ‘fachhochschulea’ or folk high schools, ‘workers colleges’ and ‘short-cycle institutions’. Could you elaborate on the IGNOU scheme of Associate Degree Program through Community Colleges? What are the objectives and goals that IGNOU has set for itself, while launching such a niche programme? IGNOU, through its Community Colleges aims to enhance the pool of skilled labour force as the largest share of new jobs is likely to come from the unorganised sector which employ up to 93% of the national work force. Most reports project that only 5% of the Indian labour force in the age group of 20-24 years have obtained vocational skills through formal means. In comparison, industrialised countries have 60%-96%. Community Colleges will help us bridge this large gap. The scheme of Associate Degree will be flexible in terms of programme delivery,

i.e. either exclusively face-to-face or blended learning, full time or part time. The programme will provide for an exit at the Certificate, Diploma and Associate Degree level. All programmes will have compulsory industry/ community linkages for practical and applied components. On completion of the Associate Degree interested students will have the option of moving into the 3rd year of the degree programme. Any new initiative that IGNOU plans to take up in the future? IGNOU plans to create a formal mechanism which provides for certification of prior learning so that the skills available with workforce may be assessed, given due recognition and avenues for life long learning are created. IGNOU also plans to enhance its competencies in providing technology-enabled learning and strengthening student support services through proper monitoring and timely response. What has been the reason for the relatively late entry and recognition of Community Colleges in India? As mentioned earlier, some institutions have in a limited way been performing the functions of a Community College. The emphasis hitherto has been on ‘acquiring degrees’ and now with the emphasis on skills - both life and work skills - the educational system is responding to this need. What do you think is the future of Community Colleges in India? India has the largest share of youth population which need to be channelised into diverse and multi-level occupational areas. The increased emphasis on targeting 2-tier and 3-tier cities for development necessitates tapping the local talent and skill for community specific trades and occupations. A proper blend of theory and practice oriented curriculum will help bring a revolutionary change in job preferences and workforce training. Community Colleges will thus cater to a number of skill based jobs in areas such as agriculture, health, law, computer technologies and nursing. \\


perspective

Community Colleges

The Movement in India

A

Community College aims at the ‘Empowerment of the Disadvantaged’ through appropriate skills development leading to gainful employment, thus making a qualitative difference in the lives of the urban poor, rural poor, tribal poor and women in collaboration with local industrial establishments and potential employers, community leaders after taking into account the opportunities available for employment and self-employment in the local area. The Origin The Community College Movement started in 1996 at Chennai with the establishment of Madras Community College. It was decided to concentrate on one year diploma programme in the community college system. The concept was promoted as an alternative system of education based on inspiration and model of US Community Colleges. The whole concept was evolved after the Indian team, including the author, visited and had an interaction with more than 30 professors and 18 Community Colleges of US in 1995 -96. Conscious efforts were made to create and formulate an Indian Community College system to respond to the needs of the people of India. The Community College system aims at empowering the marginalised and disadvantaged sections of the society. It has become a National phenomenon with the clear articulation of Urban, Rural, Tribal, and Women Community Colleges. It has spread its wings to 18 states of India with 234 Community Colleges 18

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Dr. Xavier Alphonse (mcrdce@vsnl.com), Director, Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education, Egmore, Chennai

The Indian Scenario: State wise list of Community Colleges TamilNadu

147

Pondicherry

03

Andhra Pradesh

11

Karnataka

26

Kerala

11

Maharashtra

06

Madhya Pradesh

05

Gujarat

01

Jharkhand

09

Chhattisgarh

01

Goa

02

Orissa

04

Himachal Pradesh

01

Uttar Pradesh

02

West Bengal

01

Haryana

02

Punjab

01

Assam

01

Grand Total 234 The Curriculum of the Community College: Total Number of Credits Category Programme

Weeks

Hours

Credits

PART I

Life Skills

21 Weeks 630 Hours 21 Credits

PART II

Work Skills

21 Weeks 630 Hours 21 Credits

PART III Internship and Hands on Experience

8 Weeks 390 Hours 13 Credits

PART IV Preparation for Employment and Evaluation 2 Weeks

60 Hours

2 Credits

TOTAL 52 Weeks 1710 Hours 57 Credits

One Credit = 30 Hours of work associating with Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), which is a pioneering institute in developing the concept and helping in the establishment and monitoring of Community Colleges. The Four Levels of the Curriculum Level – I Below 10th standard – 6 months (School Dropouts) certificate programme with 16

credits. • Bridge course to complete equivalent to 10th standard. Eligibility into One Year Diploma programme – Community Colleges. Level – II 10th Standard pass – One Year diploma programme with 32 credits. • Bridge course to complete equivalent to 12th standard. Level – III


A profile of 58,566 students attending 190 Community Colleges from different parts of India shows that 72% women, 10% married, 2% widows have so far benefited from the movement. 88% come from socially backward groups.

Gender Ratio

Students Strength

Year

Total No. of Students

Gender

Total

Per Cent

0,174

Male

16,267

28

1997 – 1998

0,204

Female

42,299

75

1998 – 1999

0,487

Grand Total

58,566

100

1999 – 2000

1,321

2000 – 2001

1,804

2001 – 2002

2,598

2002 – 2003

3,133

2003 – 2004

4,166

2004 – 2005

6,461

1996 – 1997

2005 – 2006

9,562

2006 – 2007

10,482

2007 – 2008

9,725

2008 – 2009

7,782

Grand Total

58,566

Impact of the Community Colleges Target Group Analysis

Marital Status Marital Status

Total

Per Cent

Unmarried

52,329

89

Married

6,125

09

Widows

74

1

Divorced Grand Total 12th pass diploma programme – 32 credits. Entry into second year Undergraduate programme – Second year into Conventional Universities, Open Universities and Distance Education. Level – IV The Community College can also offer associate degree programme of two years (64 Credits) which will lead into the third year degree programme. Level-1, Level-2 and Level-3 may be given to the State Open Universities concerned with the implementation of the Community College scheme. Level-4 may be given to the

National Open / conventional Universities. • The Community Colleges teach 50 trades in Computer, Allied Health, Education, Electronics, Automobile Mechanism, Service Industries and other courses oriented towards the rural Community.

35

1

58,566

100

The unique achievement of the movement is the empowerment of the disadvantaged groups leading to upgradation of their educational standards resulting in alleviation of poverty. A profile of 58,566 students attending 190 Community Colleges from different parts of India shows that women 72%, Married 10%, Widows and Deserted women 2%, have so far benefited from the movement. 88% come from socially backward groups (SC, ST, MBC, BC). 90% are economically poor (whose monthly family income is below INR 3,000/) and 95% educationally weaker sections or cannot go for further education (School dropouts, below 10th, 10th pass, 12th pass). A break-up by way of religion shows that 55% are Hindus, 38% are Christians,

ICRDCE has 2622 industries that have tie up with 152 Community Colleges. After passing through the Community College System, 75% of the students are employed.

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// perspective

6% are Muslims and 1% are other religions (Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains). Two hundred and seventy nine physically challenged students have passed through this system and come out with flying colours. We have 2622 industries that have tie up with 152 Community Colleges. After Passing through the Community College System, 75% of Age Group Age

Total

Per Cent

18-22

44,064

75

23-26

9,374

16

26-30

3,410

06

31-above

1,713

03

Grand Total

58,566

100

Physically Challenged Categories Physically Challenged

Total

Per Cent

192

01

Others

58,374

99

Grand Total

58,566

100

the students are employed. In most cases their family income has been doubled. It has led to poverty alleviation through income generation. The concept has become a secular one, transcending religions, castes, and languages. It is truly a nation building and capacity building exercise. ICRDCE has achieved a significant networking of all groups: Christians, Muslims, Hindus and all other service minded NGOs and organisations. Job Opportunities for Students from 135 Community College Total No. of Students from 135 Community Colleges (1996 - 2008) = 40,057 No. of Students Placed in Job = 31,746 No. of Students yet to be Placed = 04,477 No. of Students gone for Higher Education = 03,816 Job Placement (in Percentage) = 31,746 / 40,057 = 79.25% Yet to be Placed (in Percentage) = 04,477/40,057 = 11.17% Moved to Higher Education (in Percentage) = 03,816 / 40,057 = 09.52% Current Issues related to Community Colleges i. National recognition of Community College system throughout the country. ii. The functional implementation, the largest group served. iii. The financial strength and committment of volunteer organizations to start community colleges iv. Paying the training cost by way of scholarship. v. Salary of the Community College teachers and their service conditions as well as the training of all the teachers and administrators to understand implementation. vi. The challenge is the vertical mobility of the students diploma associates degree and development of resource material for each trade according the local need. vii. Collaboration of Industrial Partners / Employers for internship and for placement. International Collaboration •

20

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Coming to spreading the services to the

global arena, ICRDCE has created ten Community Colleges in East Africa and South Africa. The book on Life-coping skills “We Shall Overcome” written by Fr. Xavier Alphonse has been translated into Afrikan language with the title “ONS SAL OORWIN” Vaardighede om die lewe te hanteer (433 pages) and prescribed as a textbook approved by the Government of South Africa. The ICRDCE has trained 50 teachers from South Africa and East Africa from June 2005. ICRDCE and the Director have been appointed as the Consulting Agency to the Honourable Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) for the creation of 13 Community Colleges in 2008 under the scheme “Inclusiveness in Education for National Development through the Community Colleges”. It has also trained 7 teachers as the first batch from PNG in June 2008.

Voices of the COMMUNITY Mysore Mines C o m m u n i t y College, KGF – Urban Community College I am Rajesh Kumar. I am a 1st batch student of Mysore mines Community College. Before two years, I didn’t know the value of Community College. Those days, I traveled to Bangalore for a painting job. I came to know about Community College through my friend Arun and I joined Mysore Mines Community College. I knew nothing about computer till I joined this College. But now I have learned many things in computer and successfully completed my hardware course. Now I am working in Bangalore in a company named Scan Café Digital Solution, as a Technician. My gratitude goes to Fr. Ruben, Fr. Xavier, Fr. Antony, Geetha madam, Master Sunil and madam Theresa and all others for whose effort, I am now earning INR 4,500/- per month. Vidhyadeep Community College, Bharuch, Gujarat – Tribal Community College Gamit Kalavati Ishwarbhai (27) from


// perspective

Dhamodi village of Surat is from a poor family. Kalavati, the eldest in the family, has one sister and one brother. Parents are so poor that her aunt paid her fees for doing one year Nursing Assistant Course in Vidhyadeep. She was absorbed by one of the hospitals in Bharuch, where they used to go for their internship. Now she is working for the last two and a half years. The doctors find her competent enough to assist them in surgical procedures. Her younger sister also studied in Vidhyadeep for two years. She too is working as an office assistant in Vyara. Their family condition has improved and both the sisters are able to support their parents today.

What the numbers say:

Educational Qualification Education

Total

Per Cent

Below 10th

10,936

19

10th Passed

16,123

28

12th Passed

28,045

48

Degree

03,462

05

Grand Total

58,566

100

Social Status Caste

Total

Per Cent

SC

15,425

26

ST

6,450

11

MBC

8,746

15

BC

21,094

36

OC

6,851

12

Grand Total

58,566

100

Economic Status of the Family Monthly Family Income

Total

Per Cent

Below Rs.1,000

20,150

34

Rs.1,001 – Rs.2,000 21,298

36

Rs.2,001 – Rs.3,000 11,427

20

Rs.3,001 – above

5,691

10

Grand Total

58,566

100

Udhayam Rural Community College, Thuraiyur – Rural Community College I am Sumathi. I have completed my plus two and was married soon after. After sudden death of my husband, I thought that everything just came to an end. I was enveloped in darkness; nobody was there to guide me to overcome the difficulties. I was all alone. But when Madam Selvin came to my house and talked to me, I began to forget my sorrows. Madam asked me to join Udhayam Rural Community College. I never thought that I would pursue my studies after +2. But I joined Diploma in Early Childhood Care Education (DECE) trade in the Community College and did well. Now I am working and taking care of myself with sufficient income. Life Skills taught in the Community College changed my perception and outlook towards life. I have gained a lot of confidence that I can withstand any amount of hardships in my life. I am grateful to my Community College. \\

Dr Xavier alphonse S j

Religious Status Religions

Total

Per Cent

Hindus

32,323

55

Muslims

3,313

06

Christians

22,120

38

Others Grand Total

810

01

58,566

100

Dr Xavier Alphonse S J is the Director of the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), which has been active in the community college movement in India. A member of the University Grants Commission, he also acted as chairman of the National Committee on Community Colleges (2007) to discuss the concepts and methodology for establishment and functioning of Community Colleges.

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Research

Community College Abundance Model

Improving Organisational Performance in Higher Ed Christopher Shults Assistant Provost, Mississippi Valley State University

A

ll organisations are impacted by changing environments and economic conditions across the globe and Bedeian and Armenakis (1998, p. 59) indicate it is the non-profit organisation, especially colleges and universities that are ‘least partially protected from immediate market conditions.’ As a result, higher education institutions are confronted with the need to re-examine operations and strategy to take advantage of potential competitive advantages, provide exceptional value, and effectively contend with a growing number of competitors (Alfred, Shults, Ramirez, Sullivan, Chambers, and Knabjian-Molina, 2005). When looking at the growing interconnectedness of economies and industries, these issues become even more pressing for higher education institutions, especially community colleges. Consider, for example, how the increasing pervasiveness of technology and globalisation of capitalistic practices are impacting community colleges in America. Friedman (2006), in his treatise on the changing and turbulent world, explains that x-rays can be transferred electronically and read in other countries and the results sent back to America and that statuettes of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, an important religious figure in Mexico, are now produced in China and shipped. What does this mean for community colleges in America? It means that academic administrators and faculty need to constantly assess the growth potential of fields and adjust offerings (how many radiology techs will be necessary) and that a low cost strategy will not ensure increased enrollment (students want value and there is decreasing public support). Community colleges have historically 22

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operated from a bureaucratic management model, a model pushed throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s (transactional leadership) and effective within stable environments. As verified by the current global economic crisis and the fact that 47% of the world’s wealth has been lost in the last 18 months (Rueters, 2009), however, economic environments are no longer stable and individuals, organisations, and governments are struggling to operate within globalised knowledge-influenced economies. Management practices and personal dynamics need to be adjusted to deal with the increasingly turbulent environments, especially within community colleges since they are often economic and workforce engines as well as transfer institutions. In an effort to provide a new operational model for community colleges, Alfred, Jacquette, & Strickland (2009) and Shults (2008a, 2008b, 2009) built upon their expertise and conducted studies guided by the field of positive psychology to develop a strength-based approach to operations. Specifically, the Community College Abundance Model (CCAM) reflects information gathered from examinations into Positive Organisational Scholarship (POS) and Positive Organisational Behavior (POB) and represents an operational model premised on appreciating human capital, building on strengths, ensuring adjustment to changing environments, and providing unique value to stakeholders. The model is built on the assumption that the ability to move towards abundance (optimal organisational performance) is premised on the ability to transcendently leverage a college’s tangible, intangible, and leadership resources. While leveraging is a business

tactic that reflects the ability to amplify the impact of resources, transcendent leveraging reflects an organisational mindset guided by hope and resiliency that assumes resources will be leveraged regardless of circumstances (Shults, 2008b). Regarding the resources identified in the CCAM, Tangible resources reflect easily quantifiable and well understood resources (i.e. number of staff, facilities, income, etc.). Intangible resources reflect more difficult to measure resources, but resources which are key in obtaining a competitive advantage (i.e. culture, human capital, reputation, etc.). Leadership resources refer to the prevalence and pervasiveness of leadership throughout the college. Alfred et al. (2009) and Shults (2008a) were able to develop an abundance continuum based on how effectively colleges leverage the aforementioned resources as well as their ability to engage in a series of practices. Generally speaking, colleges of challenge (those on the lesser abundance end of the continuum) are colleges focused exclusively on tangible resources as a result of impending crises and turmoil, colleges of choice (colleges in the middle of the continuum) have the potential to move towards greater abundance, but are unable to fully leverage their available resources, and colleges of abundance (those on the greater abundance end of the continuum) are primarily focused on intangible resources and the development of human capital. Additionally, colleges of abundance typically develop and maintain vast partnerships and networks, abundant staffing patterns, private gifts and grants as a substantial portion of revenue, investments in technology focused on enhancing student success, effective and unparalleled service to


// RESEARCH

Community College Abundance Model represents an operational model premised on appreciating human capital, building on strengths, ensuring adjustment to changing environments, and providing unique value to stakeholders companies, and enrollment and retention of under-served populations. By studying abundant community colleges, as well as those moving towards abundance, the author was able to find two factors essential for reaching or moving towards abundance – abundant leadership and abundant follower-ship. While there have been thousands of studies on leadership and many useful descriptions, abundant leadership reflects a style of leadership that is strong and positive as well as organisationally and individually focused. In examining the presidents of community colleges achieving

Two factors are essential for reaching or moving towards the abundance model – abundant leadership and abundant follower-ship or moving towards abundance, Shults (2008a) was able to characterise four sets of behaviour associated with institutional movement. These include, • Consciously and consistently engaging in positivity • Treating the development of human potential as an organisational priority • Consciously working to ensure congruence between the organisation and the environment • Relishing the opportunity to act as organisational anchor and sensemaker. In a follow-up study looking at perceptions of leadership within abundant colleges (Shults, 2009), the author found, perhaps, an even bigger determinant in whether community colleges can move towards abundance – abundant follower-ship. Follower-ship, in general, is about making a choice to follow an individual or purpose and is not the equivalent of supervisor and subordinate. Although follower-ship exists within bureaucratic organisations, all individuals, regardless of position, actually

spend more time engaging in follower-ship behaviours rather than leadership behaviours. Abundant follower-ship extends this principle and reflects the conscious choice that some individuals make to subordinate pursuit of personal needs, desires, or agendas in order to pursue a higher goal. It is representative of a Maslow’s organisational hierarchy of needs (Maslow, n.d.) in which a person achieves selfactualisation and, as a result, the organisation is able to reach self-actualisation and move towards abundance. The four different forms of abundant follower-ship are the result of a matrix in which one axis reflects locus of understanding and the other reflects locus of scope. Locus of understanding ranges from maintenance to stretching while the locus of scope ranges from operational to strategic. As a result, the four abundant followership behaviour types are: • Grounded (maintenance, operational) – behaviours designed to ensure the current purpose is delivered upon • Challenging (stretching, operational) – behaviours designed to expand the reach of common understandings • Congruent (maintenance, strategic) – behaviours designed to ensure fit between environmental conditions and the commonly understood purpose • Energising (stretching, strategic) – behaviours designed to push the common purpose to meet changing external conditions POB, POS, the CCAM, abundant leadership, and abundant followership all represent the new types of thinking and crossboundary analysis necessary to continue moving community colleges forward. It is the author’s hope that academics, practitioners and college employees will look beyond common understandings and typical

practices to challenge themselves and their colleges – for the sake of all stakeholders. \\

References • Alfred, R., Shults, C., Jaquette, O., & Strickland, S. (2009). Community colleges on the horizon: Challenge, choice, or abundance? American Council on Education / Praeger Publishers. Westport, CT. Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. • Alfred, R.L., Shults, C, Ramirez, M., Sullivan, T., Chambers, E., & MolinaKnabjian, D. (2005). Managing the big picture in colleges and universities: From tactics to strategy. Westport, CT: ACE/Praeger. • Friedman, T.L. (2006). The world is flat [updated and expanded]: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. • Reuters. (2009, March 10). 45 percent of world’s wealth destroyed: Blackstone CEO. • Reuters. Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.reuters.com/article/ ousiv/idUSTRE52966Z20090310. • Shults, C.W. (2008a). Presidential behaviors influencing and preventing institutional movement towards abundance. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan. • Shults, C.W. (2008b). Making the case for a positive approach to improving organizational performance in higher education: The community college abundance model. Community College Review, 36(2), 133-159. • Shults, C.W. (2009). In pursuit of abundant followership: Development of a model. (Manuscript submitted for publication)

Christopher shults

Christopher Shults is the Assistant Provost at Mississippi Valley State University. He also runs a consulting firm, Strategic Initiatives LLC. A PhD in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, he eaarlier worked as a research associate at the American Association of Community Colleges.

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state scan

Providing New Avenues in Higher Education The Government of Madhya Pradesh and IGNOU have entered into the global concept of fast education with skill development. It may be mentioned here that the government of India has entrusted IGNOU to launch Community Colleges in the Country to promote, skill-based, and job oriented education. Recently, Government of Madhya Pradesh entered into an association with IGNOU for commissioning 50 community colleges in the state with programme affiliation from IGNOU. Ashish Upadhyaya, Commissioner, Higher Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh talks to Digital Learning about this association...

Please share your thoughts on the Community Colleges and the Associate Degree programmes? What prompted the Government of Madhya Pradesh to take up this initiative of commissioning 50 community colleges in the State with programme affiliation from IGNOU? The whole thing began around last year in 2008 when the Government of Madhya Pradesh decided to bring about major changes in the college education system. 24

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Earlier, we had the annual examination system, where the students gave exam at the end of the year. In this sytem, the teacher student interaction tended to be less. So in order to increase the interaction between teachers and students, we shifted to semester system. So instead of one examination, we have two examinations in a year. Apart from this, we also have continous evaluation tests and the project work, where the student can develop her homework

through research. The community college initiative is something that we have initiated in the whole state. Earlier initiatives were to help students groom for their roles in the society. Now we are looking forward to find avenues where they can get hands-on training during their internships. One option is that students can get into various vacancies in the government department. Students can get to learn about various roles in the government sector, get familiar about how the sytem works, etc. Second option is to tie up with various private players. ICICI has already consented to provide free training to 50 colleges. Wipro India has also come up with a proposal to provide training to students for jobs and give placements through campus recruitments. With a large number of students enrolling in colleges, we thought of expanding it further by collaborating with IGNOU for community colleges in Madhya Pradesh. One of the advantages of community colleges is that the syllabus is flexible and can be modified as per the needs of the community. Therefore, wherever the student is lacking, adequate attention can be given and training facilities be provided with hands on skills. We recently had a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, following which, they have agreed on accredition of the 50 community colleges in our State, one in each district head-quarter. We will be having subsequent meetings to work out the nitty grities. Based on this, we plan to launch the community colleges by July 1st this year. Could you elaborate on the education scenario in your State and the impact that you think Community Colleges would make? When I joined two years back, we were not even monitoring what we taught. So my first step was to arrange a meeting with the central board of studies. In the first year, I cleared about 38 subjects with of course giving leverage to universities to increase their subjects upto 20% the syllabus, which has been cleared by the central board of studies. Secondly when we went through the syllabus,


we realised that the education being imparted in universities does not give the students

The scaling up of the project is definitely on the agenda. This is the first year. We want

ICICI has already consented to provide free training to 50 colleges. Wipro India has also come up with a proposal to provide training to students for jobs and give placements through campus recruitments enough skills to make them competent in the job market. Therefore, in order to make the students more aware, we started counselling facility for each student when they enter their first year graduation. Based on their aptitude, they can further advance their skills and use the skills imparted to them in the subject to gain a vocation in society. The community college degree will definilty be of help for them. What are the plans of scaling up the project?

to set up colleges in the district headquarters. Gradually we want to improve and expand according to the need and requirements and set up colleges in the block headquarters. Information and Communication Technology is increasingly playing a major role in the education system. What do you think about its reach and role as far as community college programmes are concerned in your State? From 2008 January, I have stopped communicating with my colleges on paper. All my circulars, applications, and clarifications,

Vice Chancellors’ Conclave @ Digital Learning India 2009 Catch the Vice Chancellors in Conversation on A 360° Overview of Higher Eduction The “Best Practices” & “Next Practices” of ICTs in Universities and Higher Education Systems

etc are corresponded through email as it takes lot of time on paper. I have ensured that all colleges have computers, LCD projectors and generators. Now we are fully prepared to use the course material presented by IGNOU through audio-video system. The students can have one to one interaction with subject experts at these centres on Saturdays and Sundays. The teachers can also interact with experts through these centres. Training in ICTs is very important in todays world. Those students who are not familiar with ICTs can be termed as ‘illiterate’ in todays world. IT training makes them fit to be intergrated into the modern society. At the same time, it shouldnot be only a virtual training. It should be related to actual hands-on training, the vocation and future opportunities. This will help them go out in the society and look for good career options. \\

25 - 27 August 2009 Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India

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www.eINDIA.net.in eINDIA 2009 TRACKS

5th

India's Largest ICT Event 25 - 27 August 2009 Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India

Riveting Talks by Charismatic Thought Leaders of the Indian ICT Community and Beyond!

Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai

!! le! lab v ai a s for eat ne t ds nli ite r o 009 a t.in/ e Lim t gis A 2 .ne Re INDI DIA ation e .eIN istr w eg ww 09/r 20

Oleg Petrov Co ordinator, e-

Subash C Khuntia Joint Secretary

Mani Shankar Aiyar Former Minister for Panchayati

Michael Rawding Vice President

Michael Riggs Food and Agriculture Organisation of the

Dato' Halim Man Secretary General Ministry of Energy, Water &

Thiru A Raja Minister for Communications &

Previous Speakers at eINDIA Dr Joya Chatterjee Director Emerging Markets

Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach

Shankar Aggarwal Joint Secretary DIT, Ministry of

D Purandeswari Minister of State for Higher

R Chandrashekhar Secretary

eINDIA 2009, the 5th edition of India's annual ICT conference, brings together the most fascinating thinkers and doers of the ICT community in the country and beyond. eINDIA is a growing ICT community that seeks to welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of ICT and who hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all. The conference encompasses various domains within the ICT framework, creating

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perspective

Empowering Women Through Open and Distance Education www.tnou.ac.in

Dr.P.Thiyagarajan, Reader and Head, School of Continuing Education, Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai

Open and Distance Education (ODE) has emerged as a powerful instrument for augmenting opportunities in the field of vocationl education, especially for women. Set up in 2003, the Tamil Nadu Open University seeks to develop the competency and skills for improving employment opportunities for the disadvantaged, especially women. The popularity of its Vocational Education Programmes can be gauged from its impressive growth in the last five years with a cumulative student strength of about 74,755, of which 33,632 are from the vocational stream.

32

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Each and every learner enrolled for TNOU’s Vocational Education have to study two compulsory Courses, namely, ‘Life coping Skills’ and ‘Communication skills’.

O

pen Universities have the potential to convert Vocational Education in to reality, especially for women learners. Open Universities are, therefore, a boon for the unemployed women in India. The Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) was established by an Act (No.27 of 2002) of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu to benefit those who have been deprived of access to higher education, especially women and those who have dropped out for various reasons. The academic operations of the University began in 2003 with about 20 Academic Programmes, each comprising a number of traditional as well as innovative courses. At present, it offers 81 Academic Programmes, of which Vocational Education Programmes are very popular among the unemployed. Though the University is hardly five years old, it has registered an impressive growth having a cumulative student strength of about 74,755 of which 33,632 are from the Vocational Education Programmes. VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMMES OF TNOU The TNOU Vocational Education Programmes have been designed in such a way to enhance the skills and knowledge of students for immediate employment, particularly in the private sector. These programmes have been developed using innovative technology in print and other multi media. In order to enable the school dropouts to earn their livelihood, the need based programmes launched by TNOU are the following: • Diploma in House Electrician (DHE) • Diploma in Refrigeration and AirConditioning Technician (DRAT) • Diploma in Four Wheeler Mechanism (DFWM) • Diploma in Health Assistant (DHA) • Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (DECE) • Diploma in Fashion Design and Garment

• • • • • • • • • • •

Making (DFGM) Diploma in DTP Operator (DDTP) Diploma in Plumbing Technician (DPT) Diploma in Catering Assistant (DCA) Diploma in Beautician (DIB) Diploma in Applied Music (DAM) Diploma in Medical Lab Technology (DMLT) Diploma in Optometry and Refraction (DIOR) Diploma in Apparel and Fashion Design (DAFD) Advanced Diploma in Apparel and Fashion Design (ADAFD) Bachelor Degree in Apparel and Fashion Design (BAFD) and Certificate Programme in Accounting Software using Tally (CPAS)

DELIVERY SYSTEM TNOU delivers all its Vocational Education Programmes through Vocational Programme Centres (VPCs). Community Colleges, having minimum infrastructure facilities, are the main service providers of these centres and TNOU recognises the Community Colleges as Vocational Programme Study Centres. These VPCs also have collaboration with relevant industries for training and placements. Over the years, there has been a huge demand from the public for starting VPCs. STUDENT ENROLLMENT IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMMES As of August 2007, 33,622 learners have enrolled for the Vocational Education Programmes. These learners mainly comprise dropouts, children from tsunamiaffected families, those who failed at the secondary school level and skilled workers not having any qualification or certification. Most of these students are in the age group of 15-20 years. There is a clear sweep in the enrolment for the TNOU Vocational Education Programmes.

Further, it was found that of the Vocational Programme learners, 25,623 were women. WOMEN IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMMES Women comprise the largest section of the underprivileged group in India and continue to shoulder all domestic responsibilities. Women in India face restrictions in the form of traditional patriarchal attitudes. Therefore, the Vocational Education Programmes through distance mode has been recommended primarily for women learners who had to discontinue their studies for financial or other reasons and also who stay in rural areas. It also paves a way for those who want to continue learning after marriage to improve their social and economic status. At present the number of women students has considerably increased, thanks to the Open and Distance Learning which women find convenient, economical and beneficial. Nearly 90% of the learners, after completion of the vocational education, are employed in relevant industries. STUDY ANALYSIS Competency and Skills of the women learners after completion of VEP at TNOU: The competency and skills of the women learners after completion of TNOU Programmes has increased as per the feedback given by the women learners. Each and every learner enrolled for TNOU’s Vocational Education has to study two compulsory courses, namely, ‘Life coping Skills’ and ‘Communication Skills’. These two courses are specifically designed to develop the competency level of a person and improve their communicative skills. The increase in response for Vocational Education Programme every year clearly states that these programmes are currently required for the mass of people in India for developing skills and gaining financial positions out of their skills and competency. In a feedback given by a women learners digital LEARNING

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// perspective

who completed the DTP Operator Programme in TNOU, she expresses that the training provided by the Community College/VPC for the DTP Operator Programme has given her the confidence to start DTP Operator business. She now earns a minimum of INR 250 per day, having learnt subjects like Page Maker, Internet, E-mail, Photoshop and Corel Draw. Employment opportunities of learners after successful completion of VEP Programme at TNOU: The employment opportunities of TNOU learners in Community Colleges after successful completion of Vocational Education Programmes is 90%. TNOU learners are sent to various industries for internship during the course by the Community Colleges. Observing the competency and skills of these learners during internship, these industries then offer suitable job opportunities. Once the course is completed, the women learners of TNOU have many opportunities on hand, namely: a) Becoming an entrepreneur by opening her own firm with the practical knowledge gained from related programme. b) Grabbing an opportunity in the same firm where she has undergone internship training. c) Getting employed in an organisation, relevant to her study. The feedback collected from the Community Colleges with respect to employment and earnings is given in the table. The figures clearly shows that nearly 50% of male learners and nearly 60% of the female learners are employed in INR 20004000 salary range. Those self-employed include 10% males and 5% females. It has also been observed that employment opportunities of learners are enhanced after successful completion of VEP Programme at TNOU. Community Colleges for providing employment oriented programme and best service provider: The best Community Colleges were contacted to find out about employment oriented prorammes and those providing best services to the women learners. Selection of Employment Oriented Programmes 90% Delivery Method 90% Industrial Partner 95% Nearly 90% of Community Colleges are involved in selecting employment oriented 34

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Employment and Earnings of Women Learners Salary per month in (INR) Learners Category

2000 - 4000

4000 - 6000

6000 - Rs.8000

Self Employed

Male

50%

25%

15%

10%

Female

60%

20%

15%

5%

programmes from TNOU for its women learners and best Delivery Method using innovative technologies. It was also observed that 95% of Community Colleges have partnerships with industrial houses for hands-on training to its women learners, which makes them eligible for employment in relevant industries. FINDINGS OF THE STUDY 1. There is clear sweep in the enrolment for the TNOU Vocational Education Programmes, i.e. 33,632 learners of which 25,623 are women learners. 2. Ninety per cent of women learners are employed and this shows that there are employment opportunities for women learners after successful completion of VEP Programme at Community Colleges of TNOU. 3. Ninety per cent of women learners said

that they commanded more respect within the family, neighbourhood and also at work place after obtaining diploma through the TNOU Programme. 4. Ninety per cent of the Community Colleges provide employment oriented programmes and best training to women learners. At present, Open Education through distance mode has come to be accepted as relevant and necessary for meeting the requirements of the society. One of the main features of the Open Universities is providing access to higher education to all sections of societies, particularly women, who did not have access to it earlier. TNOU is marching towards the goal of stimulating the socioeconomic development of the disadvantaged group through implementing Vocational Education Programmes. \\

Dr.P.Thiyagarajan has served many organisations of repute, before joining in Tamil Nadu Open University. Few among them are, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), Indira Gandhi National Open University. Currently, he serves in Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai as Reader and Head, School of Continuing Education.


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Digital Learning Authors’ Forum

Dear Digital Learning ‘Authors’ & ‘Readers’, It is good to be in touch and at a time when there is a lot happening in the world of education and development. On an occasion such as eINDIA, we thought, it is appropriate to make a launch of our magazine’s ‘Authors’ Forum’, putting the real heroes at the centre stage of knowledge activity in the programme. We hope, this is a welcome news. The forum will recognize and felicitate the contributions of all our estemed authors till date, who have contributed in the magazine either through interviews, articles, case studies, etc. and have been our brand ambassadors in helping us create awareness and dissemination of information on ICT applications in Education in India as well as globally. While we do not expect Authors to sing praises of the programme by launching this exclusive Forum for them- we do expect that they would go out of their way to sing the lines of knowledge sharing, education and development, that we have to share with the world. The idea behind it is to provide our author community with a place to discuss problems, developments and ideas, ask to questions and provide answers. We can then discuss the Digital Learning programmes, articles or just chat amongst the members of the community about anything we want. They are already there and have been here for a while; now they can talk to each other beyond the borders of our magazine. We at Digital Learning wish you well and hope to keep working with you in all time to come. See you at eINDIA 2009- DigitalLEARNING Authors' Forum

Dr Ravi Gupta Editor-in-Chief Digital Learning


corporate diary

Vikas Singh Director, Crux management service

Crux Management Services is an integrated HR, Learning and Development and BPO solutions provider with over 5000 employees nationwide. As part of its Learning and Development solutions, Crux also plans to foray in the field of community colleges benefitting both the student community as well as industry. Vikas Singh, Director, CRUX, discusses the diverse industry needs and need for skills-based education. 36

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Over the last 5 years close to 50,000 people have been trained through us and majority of them have got placement within six months of completing our training

Could you tell us about the journey carried out by Crux Management, since its inception? Crux Management started in 1997 as an HR consultancy company. We were in the staffing and recruitment area and also providing consultancy services in the field of HR. However, in 2000–01, the scenario changed and companies were more interested in recruiting people, who could perform diverse tasks and manage projects. At that point we started our BPO solutions and now we have around 700 BPOs working in Pune. We have a diverse range of clients including Idea Cellular, Accenture, just to name a few. What solutions does Crux Management offer? In the HR field, we offer staffing solutions, recruitment solutions and also consultancy services. For example, our latest project is a survey on ‘Employee Satisfaction’ for the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, where we are interviewing around 2000 employees to ascertain their satisfaction level and the challenges they face. In the BPO sector, we are doing collection management and marketing. We ran a collection desk for Dr Reddy’s Lab and a toll free call service for the Hindustan Lever where a person could call and seek advice on health and related issues. In the last 4-5 years, there has been a substantial change in the requirements of HR solutions, with companies looking for trained workers. This made us venture into learning and development solutions and we started training people for enhancing their employability. Once we ventured into training we also started staffing them. We also started engaging with those already employed by offering training to update their skills. Recognising our efforts, various educational organisations like IGNOU, Indian Institute of Banking and Finance, All India Management Association, etc, have partnered with us for various courses. Over the last 5 years close to 50,000 people have been trained through us and majority of them have got placement within six months of completing our training. Our latest venture is the finishing

those from disadvantaged backgrounds with the necessary skills in tune with their calibre and the job market.

Community Colleges can play a big role in equipping the rural youth and those from disadvantaged backgrounds with the necessary skills in tune with their calibre and the job market schools, which we are setting up in partnership with the Andhra Pradesh government, across the state to equip the graduates with necessary skills to facilitate employment opportunities. In what ways do you think Community Colleges can help in arresting drop-out rates as well as enhance employability? Nowadays, being a degree or diploma holder does not guarantee employment. What is required is certain skill sets. For example, skills in mechanics, plumbing, carpentry, retail, health management, hospitality, etc, can help the youth get jobs. This is where the community colleges step in. They can play a big role in equipping the rural youth and

What scope does public-private partnerships offer for development for community colleges in India? The government and the private sector cannot work in isolation. They need to engage with each other to add value to such an initiative. For example, private partners require affiliation with state or national level universities for recognition of their degrees. Also, such affiliation will also set quality standards for the private education services to follow. The government can help the private players by providing infrastructure in rural and semi-urban areas and they in turn can bring in expertise to deliver top-class programmes. The government can also help the private sector locate those areas where there is a need to set up such colleges on a priority basis. Please tell us about your partnership with the Academy of Learning. We have tied up with Canada based Academy of Learning Career and Business College to float ‘Learning Works’, which will offer the Academy’s internationally acclaimed integrated courses in various parts of the country. This offers Indian students the advantage of getting the best training at home without being burdened by the expenses incurred to go abroad. It will also help enhance the employability of people and prepare them for a vocation of their choice. \\

Complete your dream Academic Programme Under IGNOU. Fill online admission form at

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case study

First public Community College Graduation in July 2007

I

f the statistics given by the National Information Centre are any indications to go by, then what becomes obvious is the huge percentage of dropouts at the high school and higher secondary school stages. This calls for an alternative system of education like the community colleges. B. Bhavani is a case in point. She dropped out of tenth standard owing to severe conditions at home and financial constraint. Her father, an alcoholic, died in an accident. Being the only breadwinner in the family, her mother could earn a pittance of INR 1000, which was way below the subsistence level. It was difficult to make ends meet. With all hopes crushed and her confidence at its lowest ebb, Bhavani was told about a community college that would be able to train and equip her with the skills to enter the job market. She entered IID Community College, (formerly Tabitha Community College) and joined the Diploma in Health Assistant (DHA) course. Heavily bogged down by a deep sense of inferiority and inadequacy, she thought she couldn’t make it. But the life coping skills and other skills training modules taught along with the high quality training in nursing eventually prepared her to face up to 38

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the future. Bhavani is a confident nurse now and a totally transformed one at that. Multiply this into thousands, that’s the scenario of hope, which community colleges can offer. Jochen Tewes, a mechanical engineer from Germany came to India in 1973 with a mission to work for the economically under privileged in India. Tewes observed that the children in the hundreds of orphanages supported by Inter-mission and other India partners were bereft of skills that are required in the job market. A strategy was in order. With like-minded friends he started InterMission Industrial Development Association (IIDA) in 1974 with the focused vision to give relief and rehabilitation to the people below the poverty line. Today IID runs 3 Industrial Training Schools, 7 Community Colleges and few daycare and health care projects for the benefit of its target groups. Unemployment is the root cause of many problems prevalent in India. It developed also because of an imbalance between education and employment. Through the community college system the aim was to provide work and life coping education, enabling the disadvantaged to find employment.

The Inter-Mission Micro Enterprise Development (IMED) Programme was started in 1996 to help women with micro-loans to start their businesses and programmes that help them save money. IMED has been a successful venture by IIDA and has benefited more than 80,000 women. ‘As the IMED work expanded, the women who were being helped brought to the light the problems that their children were facing. The survey study revealed that most of these women had girl children, who had stopped going to school for various reasons,’ says M. R. Christopher, Chief Operating Officer, IID Association. In 2002, the first ‘Tabitha Community College’ was started for girls in Chennai city. Other Community Colleges followed in other parts of Chennai both for boys and girls. Through the tsunami disaster in December 2004 the need in the coastal towns of Karaikal and Mahabalipuram challenged IID to start 2 Community Colleges in the year 2005. The young women and men learn a variety of subjects such as: Computer Applications, Typewriting, Shorthand, Accountancy, Fashion Design, Health Assistants, Medical Lab Technicians, Electricians, and a variety


of other job oriented courses. Not only work skills are taught here, but also subjects such as Life coping Skills, Communication and Interpersonal Skills. Before they complete their one-year training, the students are sent to companies and industries for a one-month internship period. The IID community colleges have so far trained close to 3000 students with around 80% job placement. The remaining have opted for higher education or other walks of life. Surya, a student who passed out from IID is now well placed in a company, MLS. ‘My current role is of a manager for the Corporate Business Services. I also provide consultation for the existing Business Centres in India on how to manage their Infrastructure. I head the Business Centres Projects in India.’ After completing her 10th Standard, Surya couldn’t continue her studies due to personal problems. She adds: ‘I had completed only 10th Standard and I could not pursue a degree in any of the regular colleges, which was one of the reasons for joining IID Community College. This god-given opportunity changed my life completely.’ Students in the Community College are mostly poor and supported by local sponsors. Christine Kirubala is the Dean of Students of the IID community colleges. ‘The students who come here are very poor and most of them are dropouts from Government schools. Several of them have problems coping with anger, depression, self-esteem. The Life coping Skills module is truly transformative as it helps them to come to terms with who they are,’ says Kirubala. The close and active linkage between industry and community college is an important factor in the success of community colleges. On completion of the courses, the students are sent to organisations for Internship, where most of them are absorbed after their exams, for employment. Research study of the students for the period of five years admitted from 20022007, revealed the secular nature of the IID, which has brought about the empowerment of socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged and marginalised women: Female Married Age 19-35 Educationally Un reached <10th to 12th Socially Weaker Section SC, ST, MBC, &BC Economically Weaker Section Rs <3000 Job Placement Higher Education Religion – Non-Christians

79 % 6% 99% 92% 98% 96% 73% 11% 72%

The courses offered by IID follow credit based semester pattern. ‘Much effort has been taken to make the course standardised, innovative and academically oriented. We follow a 50-50% external and internal assessment. The course content has always been upgraded to the quality level that’s best suited for our students,’ says Dr. Leela, IID’s Academic Dean. She states: ‘Our students are exposed to refresher courses, basic computer awareness in all our courses, Spoken English, sports and co-curricular activities so that the whole person, the mind, body and soul - is nurtured.’ IID Community Colleges offers its own certificates to the students in addition to the certificates issued by Tamil Nadu Open University. The Students also have the added advantage of appearing twice for the examinations - IID’s semester exams and the annual exams conducted by TNOU. The parallel methodology adequately prepares the student to develop holistically. A good measure of IID College’s impact is the support and recognition it has received in the society. The German Consulate has sponsored Lab Model equipment worth INR 3 lakh towards the nursing students at lID. There are several other influential stakeholders who want to partner with IID. ‘We’re approaching corporate bodies such as TCS, State Bank of India, for student course sponsorship. With several such organisations having set apart corporate social responsibility funds, we have been given assurances of future support,’ points out Christopher. ‘We are still awaiting the final nod of the Central Government in terms of recognising the role of community colleges in India. The biggest beneficiary will be the students,’ says

Christopher. He laments that the students have had to bear the brunt as they cannot avail study loans or register themselves in the employment exchange. ‘And of course, community colleges will stand to benefit immensely as the Central recognition will help colleges such as ours to receive Government aid,’ he observes. The exemplary work done by over 200 Community Colleges in India has made the officials at the Centre to sit up and take notice. These colleges have given the Government a viable option to strategically plug some of the loopholes in the educational system in the country. Inter-mission Industrial Development Association also has several volunteers offering their services free of charge. Anugraha is a final year B.Com student at Women’s Christian College. Prior to her volunteering for IID, she had heard about their work among the poor in imparting training in skills development. ‘I share with the students what I know and it’s gratifying to see them learn and transform over a period of time. However, I learn from the students as much as I teach them,’ says Anugraha, who now teaches Spoken English in one of IID’s community colleges. With IID having established its credibility, other agencies have shown keen interest to partner with lID as its franchisee. Prasanna Kumari Community College is one such church agency which is supported by the Women’s Centre of the Gurukul Lutheran Theological Seminary. ‘We wanted to use the community college concept modeled by IID to continue the work done by the late Dr. Prasanna Kumari, who was known for her work in empowering women,’ says Dr. Samuel Meshach. \\ digital LEARNING

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case study

Mitraniketan

Partners in Development Education

Dr. Reghu Rama Das Principal, Mitraniketan People’s College

M

itraniketan is a Gandhian based non profit organisation founded by K. Viswanathan in 1956 after his studies from Santiniketan and exposure to Folk high schools of Denmark. He visualised encouraging community based education with holistic development of people and society. Progress of society through the total development of individuals is the avowed mission of Mitraniketan. In today’s world of transition, we must examine how we approach the concept of development and reorient our approach and methods in such a way as to put humaneness back into the equation. Our primary task in this re-orientation is the enablement of people; development will come about only when individuals as part of the family and community are of their own power in determining the circumstances of their own lives. Mitraniketan houses a variety of development and rural higher education activities in its 65 acre campus located 25 km north east of Thiruvananthapuram city. It also houses a community of 500 members including children, youth, farmers, women, social workers, and visiting students and volunteers from India and abroad. The projects include a residential school for tribal children, people’s college for rural youth, research centre for action research studies and teacher education, Rural Technology Centre for technology transfer and skill development, Farm Science Centre (KVK) for technology dissemination, and extension programmes for women empowerment, to mention some important ones. The Mitraniketan People’s College was established in 1996 with the technical collaboration of Association of the Folk High Schools in Denmark (FFD) and with the financial support of Danish International 40

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Development Assistance (DANIDA). People’s College is one of the innovative development education projects of Mitraniketan based on the ideas of Danish Folk High Schools and Indian Gurukula system of education along with necessary inputs considering the local needs. It follows the concept of education for life rather than education for degrees and diplomas. The difference between People’s College and a Community College is that People’s College follows residential form of education to promote informal learning and community living along with life and livelihood skill development. The college aims to empower rural youth through well integrated liberal education which keeps a focus on need based curriculum. The content of the courses put an emphasis on the development of life and livelihood skills. This has a direct impact on leadership, communication, and income generating skills while also strengthening a solid knowledge base. Facilitators of the college are trained in participatory teaching learning method, which helps to involve the heterogeneous group of participants in the training sessions. The students are given the opportunity to unfold their potential in a non formal environment, supporting their respective field of interest. As far as the target group of Mitraniketan People’s College is concerned it mainly concentrates on empowering the rural youth and women belonging to the disadvantaged sections of the society. Having one of the highest literacy rates in India, Kerala also has the highest percentage of educated but unemployed people in the country. While the urban and elite youth in the state have the opportunity and capacity to afford formal higher education, a large number of youth in remote parts and villages don’t have access

to appropriate education. Due to poverty, illiteracy of parents, and lack of information, many of these students become school and university dropouts. These rural youth living below the poverty line are one of the main target groups for People’s College. Similarly, rural women and housewives are another important group that People’s College is trying to educate. Often these women have productive skills that have never been realised or utilised. Normally housewives in the village spend majority of their time cooking and rearing children and are not given the opportunity for education or skill training. People’s College works to change some of these traditional routines, so that women can make choices for themselves. Potential can be developed through creating awareness, developing their functional capability, and organising them in Self Help Groups. Over the last five years, Mitraniketan People’s College has trained approximately 500 housewives and organised them into 50 Self Help Groups in neighbouring villages. The


organisation of women’s groups has exposed them to the outside world, given them confidence, given them support and a voice. Now, these women are working to improve their skills and supplement the family income. Additionally, Peoples College welcomes the participation of small NGOs that are engaged in development and education activities. When working together, all participants develop a better understanding of techniques and training which strengthens and benefits the entire programme. Technical/vocational training is an essential part of the People’s College education programme as it helps students from the target group find employment within their villages. Since most students come from economically poor background, developing livelihood skills is one of their important aims for survival. People’s College provides various vocational skill courses for the students to choose from, based on their preference and viability of employment in their respective villages. The following courses available at People’s College, are identified based on the potential for generating income or self employment: Automobile Electrical Agriculture Fruit Processing Carpentry Plumbing

Computer Tailoring Metal Fabrication

These skills are readily employable in rural areas, and village communities need such service based jobs to reduce their dependency on urban technicians. People’s

College training concentrates more on practices; that is ‘learning by doing’ which helps youth to work with master craftsmen in the villages immediately after the training. Upon completion of the technical courses, students receive certification from the National Institute of Open Schooling. The students learning carpentry, plumbing, and tailoring pay less tuition fees as they also contribute to production and service on the Mitraniketan campus. The value of their service is considered in-return for the cost of training. This in fact becomes, ‘earning while learning.’ Some of the trained youth remain for an additional year on Apprenticeship to gain more work experience and bring the self sustaining support Mitraniketan needs to operate. They are provided free boarding and lodging, and a stipend. This option has proved to be a practical living and working experience that reward both partners while continuing to offer a safe and stable environment for rural youth Mitraniketan operates on the concept of non-formal education, focusing on community based life and livelihood skills. The idea behind this form of education is that learning only becomes a significant part of our lives if we are actively involved and share responsibility for it. In order to realise this principle, the educational methods emphasise student participation, manual labour and democracy. There are no exams. Teaching is done in cooperation and on an equal footing between teachers and students. The focus at Mitraniketan People’s College is on the development of rural youth above

the age of 18, irrespective of their educational background. The double objective is to combine general and vocational education that will enable students to improve their own lives, at the same time motivating them to work actively for development in their local community. The common goal at Mitraniketan, is to develop humanistic leaders, citizens, who as activists ensure the vitality and democratic nature of the village. This kind of leadership is the basic building block of Indian democracy as envisaged in the Constitution. Innovative knowledge is necessary in today’s changing world. Mitraniketan offers volunteer work opportunities to interested students, social workers and persons committed to development. Volunteer work in the fields of education, agriculture, women empowerment, health, development, appropriate technology and research are needed. Foreign connections help bridge the gap between countries and convey a global awareness that everyone benefits from. The uniqueness of a foreign, exchanged knowledge base brings about abundant opportunities for both volunteer educators and local citizens. Each year, a number of volunteers from India and abroad, work together to bring additional teaching, workshops, research, sports training, health care and directing of arts and theatre. Staff and students at Mitraniketan embrace the opportunity to share cultures. As Mitraniketan is a residential campus, volunteers work, live, and enjoy recreation within the community, offering complete immersion to Indian culture and experience. Volunteers can engage in various activities throughout the week on campus and visit nearby attractions over the weekends as well. Giving the gift of time and information comes with rewards that can change a persons life and open doors to a new understanding of oneself and responsibility to society. The founder K. Viswanathan believes that, ‘we have a social responsibility to take care of the poor’. He demonstrates it by working for equal opportunity and improving the quality of lives starting within the Mitraniketan community and joining hands across the globe.\\ digital LEARNING

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COUNTRY perspective

American Community Colleges in the Downturn

Can Education Save the Economy?

Michelle Van Noy Matthew Zeidenberg Community College Research Center Teachers College, Columbia University New York, New York, USA

The recent global economic downturn is causing U.S. workers and employers to look to the educational system for skills that will allow them to thrive when the economy recovers. The Community College Research Center’s (CCRC) mission is to conduct research on major issues affecting community colleges in the United States and to contribute to the development of practice and policy that expands access to higher education and promotes success for all students.

A

boom in demand for education typically occurs in downturns, and this one is no exception, although the magnitude of the downturn is greater than has been experienced in many years. Workers are being dislocated from industries that often won’t return, and need to retrain. However, education alone cannot save the economy. Much larger forces are at work, such as international equity and debt markets, the banking crisis, and the deflation of consumer confidence. The Obama administration, in concert with other governments, is taking a many-faceted approach to attacking the economic crisis, including an economic stimulus unprecedented in its scale, reduction of interest rates, and bailouts of large 42

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institutions. It is also taking a longer-term approach, attempting to decrease national energy and health-care costs, and placing a new emphasis on education. U.S. policymakers are focusing on education because a modern economy cannot function without an educated workforce. Increased attention is being given to the over 1,000 community colleges in the United States that enroll almost 12 million credit and non-credit students, and 44% of all undergraduates. Community colleges typically offer programmes of up to two years, including many types of vocational and technical programmes. Unlike many four-year institutions, these colleges are typically open-access and much lower-cost.

Thus, community colleges have been for some time now trying to cope with the large influx of dislocated workers. Community Colleges, Economic Development, and Job Training The current economic crisis highlights an increased need for community colleges to perform careful ongoing market analysis to determine local demand for labour, particularly skilled labour. They need to align their efforts with economic development efforts. It is difficult to predict demand, which means that community colleges need to operate with a continual “ear to the ground” to detect changes in labour market demand.


There continues to be high demand for mid-level skill jobs. If the labour market is divided, roughly, into three parts; low-skill, middle-skill, and high-skill; which correspond, again roughly, to educational levels of high school or less, some college or vocational training, and four-year college, the mid-skill segment continues to be the largest of the three, at about half (Holzer and Lerman, 2009). Community colleges play the major role in training workers for these jobs. The challenges for community colleges are greatest in areas with dramatic changes in the industrial composition, such as in the so-called “rust belt” of the industrial Midwest, where old jobs are gone and are probably not coming back after the downturn. The challenges are also particularly difficult in high-unemployment states, like California. In these parts of the country, community colleges need to have an even greater link with economic development efforts. These economic development and concomitant training efforts need to be focused on those areas of the economy in which there is likely to be growth in the future, for example, in health, in education, in construction, and in “green jobs,” which are jobs linked to safeguarding the environment.. Health care, in particular, is expected to grow rapidly because of the aging of the “baby-boom” generation. These are the areas that have been targeted by the federal stimulus package, so there is a synergy here between the strengths of community college programmes and the goals of the package. Federal job training monies can also be accessed by workers attending community colleges, with a special focus on workers adversely affected by international trade. Community colleges also play a role in training workers in information technology; demand for such workers will likely be robust when the recovery hits. Community colleges will continue to play a prominent role in training first-responders and protective-service workers. While some politicians spend much time bemoaning the growth of government, the public has been continually increasing its demand for government services. Community colleges play a major role in training police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics in many jurisdictions. Many

health care workers work for government agencies, and community colleges train many of them as well. Thus, this will be a source of opportunities for dislocated workers, especially as the recovery gets underway. “Green” Jobs The new emphasis on the green economy and green jobs could have a “win-win” effect of both improving the economy by making it more efficient, and providing much needed high-wage employment. Green jobs will be found in a range of areas: in building the infrastructure for expanded mass transit, in developing batteries for the next generation of hybrid and electric cars, in developing wind turbines for windmills, and in developing solar panels for heat and hot water. Waste management and recycling, source reduction, resource management, food processing, and organic farming are also potential sources of such jobs. The green economy will require workers at both intermediate and high levels of skill, both skilled craft workers like electricians and carpenters, as well as engineers and scientists. Community colleges can play a major role in training the former workers.

Because green jobs are focused on improving energy efficiency in the U.S., they are less vulnerable to international competition, and they tend to pay higher wages than average. The ascendancy of the green jobs concept is a shift from the earlier view, in which environmentalism was seen simply as a cost to the economy, rather than a potential savings. Entrepreneurship Community colleges can help foster entrepreneurship. They provide a great deal of training in business-related skills, such as information technology and accounting. They often offer programmes on how to start small businesses and can support such efforts as business incubators. These small businesses can be targeted at industries that will be initially supported through the stimulus package. For instance, small engineering and construction businesses can be created that specialise in retrofitting houses, apartments, or commercial buildings so that they use energy more efficiently (through better insulation and controls, and the like) and installing equipment, such as solar panels or digital LEARNING

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// COUNTRY PERSPECTIVE

Some community colleges have developed innovative programmes for training these workers, such as the Washington State system’s Integrated Basic Education Skills Training Programme (I-BEST). This programme couples basic education with vocational training using a team-teaching approach

windmills, that can actually generate energy locally. Or, the incubator could help start small businesses that specialise in software and business processes for medical offices and hospitals, to take advantage of the Obama administration’s focus on increasing quality and efficiency in the health care sector through improved use of information technology. Increasing the Stock of Human Capital Raising higher education completion rates is a longer term investment in workforce development in which community colleges play an important role. These rates are beginning to plateau and the U.S. is beginning to lose its historical edge in educational attainment. This trend needs to be reversed for the sake of international competitiveness and preserving the American standard of living, which, in terms of purchasing power parity, remains the highest in the world among the large economies. Many economists have estimated that the relatively high educational level of workers in the U.S. has been a factor essential to its past success.

programs for training these workers, such as the Washington State system’s Integrated Basic Education Skills Training Programme (I-BEST). This programme couples basic education with vocational training using a team-teaching approach and has a good track record in placing students in areas such as allied health, child care, or in entry-level administrative positions requiring some IT skills. Helping this population upgrade its skills is a “win-win;” they earn higher wages, the economy benefits from their increased productivity, and they are less likely to rely on government assistance. In addition, firms may adjust their production strategies to make more use of higher-skilled workers as the composition of the labour force changes. Looking Beyond the Crisis In the current economic climate, community colleges need to be aware of students’ long term career interests. Many displaced workers who go to community colleges seeking retraining will be concerned

with their immediate employment needs. They will be grappling with the psychological impact of job loss; some may be angry and still dealing with issues related to losing their jobs; many will be desperate to find work. Employers are skeptical of workers simply seeking a paycheck, particularly in this environment where they can be very choosy in hiring workers. They will be looking for a genuine interest in a career from workers applying for a job. Community colleges will play an important role in helping displaced workers readjust to their new reality and plan ahead for their future careers while also addressing issues from their recent displacement. Colleges need to be aware of their students’ longer-term goals to make sure they select appropriate careers, and to encourage them, when appropriate, to pursue pathways with both short- and long-term opportunities. Overall, it is critical that we not take a quick-fix perspective but understand and draw on the important role community colleges can play in training, retraining, and providing higher education for a large part of our population on an ongoing basis. \\

Disadvantaged Workers Disadvantaged workers are, in aggregate, most severely hurt by an economic downturn; community colleges can play a role in helping these workers upgrade their skills so that they are ready to move up in the labour market. There are many workers labouring at the bottom of the market, for relatively low wages. There has been a small increase in this segment of the labour force. Most of these workers have low levels of skills and education. Some are immigrants, and some are native-born workers who have managed to fall through the cracks of the education and training system. Some community colleges have developed innovative 44

www.digitalLEARNING.in

Matthew Zeidenberg

Matthew Zeidenberg is a Senior Research Associate at CCRC. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Sociology, both from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is working on contributing to CCRC’s research mission of helping community colleges better track milestones and outcomes for students, and investigating what programmes may be effective in producing positive outcomes for students, such as earning degrees or other valuable credentials.

Michelle Van Noy

Michelle Van Noy is a Research Associate at the Community College Research Center. She is conducting research on community college noncredit workforce programmes. She is also conducting research to assess employer perceptions of associate’s degrees in the information technology field across labour markets. She is also conducting research to assess employer perceptions of associate’s degrees in the information technology field across labour markets.


NEWS

INDIA

India to provide training to Afghan school teachers The National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) has been directed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to prepare a specific curriculum to train Afghan school teachers on student-friendly methods of teaching to strengthen the education system in Afghanistan. ‘Teachers coming from Afghanistan will be

here for two years and will be imparted with the modern and student-friendly methods of teaching,’ a senior HRD ministry official said. At the end of the training, teachers will be awarded diploma certificates.

NIIT initiative for 1,870 schools in Gujarat The NIIT has entered into a contract with the state Education Department to introduce Computer Aided Learning in 1,870 government schools for classes 9-12 in Gujarat.

The five-year contract valued at INR 84.38 crore, would impact around 9,00,000 school students across Gujarat. Based on its track record of providing quality ICT education solutions in schools NIIT bagged the majority share of the contract awarded by the state government, L. Balasubramanian, President, School Learning Solutions, NIIT Ltd, said.

IGNOU to launch BA programme for hearing impaired students Over 40 lakh students with hearing impairment can now dream of attending college, graduating with degrees and jobs in their hand with the Indira Gandhi National Open University launching first of its kind Bachelor in Arts (BA) programme for them in India. The programme, done in collaboration with University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), UK, will kickstart with 40 seats from this academic year at IGNOU’s Delhi campus offering full-time BA in Applied Sign Language Studies and BA honours in Applied Sign Language Studies. Students will have to undergo selection process after which they would be enrolled for the course. Post graduation, students will also be assisted in getting jobs.

Indian professor gets Leontief Award

Delhi University to conduct its first online exam

The Leontief Award 2009 has been conferred on Bina Agarwal, Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economic Growth. The award has been instituted in honour of Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief, given by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, US.

Delhi University (DU) will become one of the first central universities in the country to conduct an online examination for its undergraduate science students. A K Bakshi, Director of the Institute of Life Long Learning (ILLL) under DU which formulated the online examination paper,

The Leontief Award is conferred to recognise outstanding contribution to economic theory that addresses contemporary realities and supports just and sustainable societies. The presentation ceremony will be held later this year. Distinguished winners of the award in previous years include John K. Galbraith, Amartya Sen, Paul Streeten, Herman Daly, Dani Rodrik and Robert Wade.

Six varsities, 150 colleges to be netlinked in Kerala Six universities and 150 colleges in Kerala will be netlinked soon, making it easier for educational institutions to exchange information and share activities. The Cochin University of Science & Technology (CUSAT) will be the nodal agency and will coordinate the networking of information. A proposal has been sent by the state government to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for clearance. Meanwhile, the CUSAT is all set to launch a knowledge repository which will link all the state and central institutions situated in Kochi. ‘We are negotiating with the scientific institutions in Kochi and we will provide a platform for the common public as well as industries who are on the lookout for information,’ said Registrar N Chandramohankumar.

said that for the first time students of the B.Sc course will be taking their environmental science paper online. ‘It’s just a starter. Students of the B.Sc course will take one of their qualifying papers, of environmental science, online. If a success, it should set a trend for more university exams to go the same way,’ he added. A total of 2,500 students from 27 colleges will take the exam, scheduled in the first week of June. The examination will however be held in just three centres and that too in three shifts. The online exam is a part of DU’s larger plan to go the e-learning way. ILL has been working on making the entire teaching process, and now even the assessment process, more tech-savvy for a number of subjects. digital LEARNING

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NEWS

ASIA

Online hope for high school dropouts in Philippines

students from China, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore in the current economic scenario, he said after a meeting with local private institutions of higher learning.

In an alternative learning setup that seeks to maximise new information and communication technologies (ICTs), students no longer need to bring lots of pens and papers when taking quizzes. In fact, they do not even have to go to class five times a week to finish high school. Participants of eSkwela just sit in front of a computer for about three hours a week and learn according to their need and speed.

Center opened in Taipei to promote exchanges with EU The first European Union Center (EU Center) has been set up in Taiwan as part of a collaborative effort by the country’s top academic institutions to promote exchanges and mutual understanding between Taiwan and the European economic bloc. The aim of the programme in Taiwan is to help create a foothold for EU studies in Taiwan’s higher education circles and serve as an information resource for a broad Taiwan audience. The EU Center network in the Asia Pacific region spans South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Taiwan is the third East Asian country to join the network.

EU to help modernise Madrasa education The programme which integrates ICTs into the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education, aims to provide ICT-enhanced educational opportunities for Filipino out-of-school youth and adults.

Malaysia to attract 80,000 foreign students Malaysia’s Higher Education Ministry is confident of meeting the target of enrolling 80,000 foreign students next year, said its deputy minister, Dr Hou Kok Chung. He said at present, about 70,000 foreign students were pursuing higher education in the country.

The target can be met as Malaysia offers a more affordable and quality education for 46

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The European Commission has pledged support to Bangladesh to modernise madrasa education system many see as a breeding ground for Islamic militancy so that the madrasa students get jobs after studies. ‘We spoke as well about education, we spoke about madrasa education, we spoke about the necessity to streamline Madrasa education and make sure that it respects the national curriculum that produces results in the field of writing, reading, and understanding, European Commission envoy Stefan Frowein said after a meeting with state minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud.

from the nine campuses of the Philippine Science High School System (PSHSS), science high schools in the National Capital Region (NCR), and other high schools in Metro Manila that implement a special science curriculum. Each school is represented by one teacher and eight students. The camp is divided into 10 topics, ranging from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology, information and communications technology (ICT), marine science, energy and materials engineering, embedded instrumentation, and mobile robotics. Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro said this would help the students make the right choice on what course to take when they go to college. “(The SME camp) is the first of its kind as we have set a groundbreaking move to expose our high school students to the exciting realm of S&T. We hope to embark S&T careers and beef up our human resources,” Alabastro said, adding that it is so far, the agency’s biggest collaboration with research and development (R&D) institutes, professional organizations and other government institutions.

India internship plan launched in Singapore A youth focus initiative has been launched to enhance the prospects of Singapore’s entrepreneurial ties with India. Six students of the Singapore Management University (SMU) were chosen for the 8 to 12-week courses under the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry-India Internship Programme.

31 high school students chosen for science camp in Philippines Senior students from 31 science high schools, mostly from Metro Manila, are undergoing an intensive nine-day training camp in science, mathematics and engineering (SME), which the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) launched Monday at the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman as a tool to beef up human resources in science and technology (S&T). The SME camp is participated in by 288 teachers and students

SICCI Chairman Vijay Iyengar described this initiative as an investment that could enhance the strong Singapore-India relationship. The chamber was also engaging the Singaporebased Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for a tie-up over its ‘Global Immersion Programme.’


DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

Globalising Community College Experience www.ccid.kirkwood.cc.ia.us

John Halder president, Community Colleges for International Development

Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) was established in 1976 to strengthen the community college system worldwide by partnering with education ministries and higher education organisations in various countries. It also conducts professional development and special training programmes to member colleges. At present it has the membership of 170 colleges, of which 31 are located outside the US. CCID President John Halder in conversation with the Digital Learning. digital LEARNING

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In India, the community college movement needs to be integrated more fully into the higher education structure, rather than being stand-alone. Any efforts in that direction would greatly benefit students

Please tell us about the mission behind the establishment of Community Colleges for International Development (CCID). CCID was established 33 years ago by a group of visionary community college presidents. In 1976, when most community colleges in the United States were less than ten years old, to have a global vision and reach was extremely unusual. Dr. Maxwell King, President of Brevard Community College, Florida understood the potential for community colleges in this regard, and established CCID. In the early days CCID undertook some development work in Suriname and Taiwan. Over the years a conference was added, and then a summer meeting and the board of directors was expanded. Today CCID comprises almost 170 colleges of which 31 are located outside the United States. It is governed by a board of 25, who are college presidents. ‘The mission of CCID is to provide opportunities for building global relationships that strengthen educational programmes, and promote economic development.’ We undertake this by continuing to work with Ministries of Education and Higher Education organisations world-wide. CCID also manages study abroad programmes, professional development activities, special training programmes on international topics, conferences and meetings, all with the goal of globalising the member colleges and their students, teachers and staff. What kind of involvement has CCID had in the Asian region, particularly India? CCID has been engaged with India since our earliest days. A Brevard Community College teacher, Dr. Seymour Fersh had been the Director of the Asia Society prior to going to India as a Fulbright Scholar in the 1970’s. Following this CCID hosted Indian education delegations sponsored by the World Bank, the University Grants Commission and the Archbishop of Madras. The latter led to a longer relationship with Tamil Nadu and a number of colleges and organisations there. CCID colleges such as Eastern Iowa Community College District and Sinclair 48

www.digitalLEARNING.in

Community College, Ohio, have engaged in long and fulfilling projects, and through CCID have linked those projects to other CCID colleges. Through these initiatives Sinclair assisted with establishing the Center for Vocational Education in Madras, which later became the Madras Community College – inaugurated in August 1996. Today, Father Xavier Alphonse is the Director of the Madras Center for Research and Development of Community Education, and carries these earlier initiatives forward. In addition to India, CCID is engaged in activities in other parts of Asia including China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

A recent study indicates that between Fall 2006 and Fall 2007 (the latest data available) US campuses in the survey indicated an 11.3% increase in enrollment for distance learning, compared to regular enrollments increasing less than 2% What are the major differences between the US and Indian Community College models? Community Colleges in the United States are designed to allow students to undertake the first two years of their Baccalaureate degree, prior to transferring to the University. In addition they also offer full programmes of vocational and professional training. I believe that the Indian Community Colleges, on the other hand, are focused on the vocational and professional programmes as terminal qualifications. What partnership areas do you perceive between the US and Indian Community College systems? As I mentioned earlier, Eastern Iowa and Sinclair have had many decades of working with Indian colleges. Another CCID member college, Broward Community College, has

established a campus in India, and undertakes comprehensive linkages with both students and teachers traveling multi-laterally. Other initiatives are underway, and due to the long and close relationship between Indian and US Community Colleges I see this expanding in the future. Please comment on the Community College movement in India. What, according to you, are the major challenges? From my earlier visits years back, I gathered that the movement needs to be integrated more fully into the higher education structure, rather than being standalone. Any efforts in that direction would greatly benefit students. I believe that there are a number of separate college initiatives in India, many of them private or sponsored by industry, to meet the demand for trained technicians. Finding a way to integrate all of this would be helpful. Trained technicians are the mechanics who run the industry of a country, and developing a national strategy to address this would be prudent. Information & Communication Technology is increasingly playing a major role in the higher education systems world over. What do you think about its reach as far as Community Colleges are concerned? Over the past 20 years, Community Colleges in the United States have invested heavily in IT infrastructure. The concept of studying ‘anytime, anywhere’ is well established and a large percentage of US students take classes in this way. A recent study indicates that between Fall 2006 and Fall 2007 (the latest data available) US campuses in the survey indicated an 11.3% increase in enrollment for distance learning, compared to regular enrollments increasing less than 2%. Creating the platforms that allow this to take place is essential to meeting the needs of students. It presupposes however, that students have access to computers and are literate with their use. It also presupposes that the colleges have the infrastructure and teachers trained in the skills of this technology, and with using these methodologies. \\


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eINDIA is proud to recognise the work of some remarkable ICT thinkers and social leaders who have shown a deep commitment towards ICT and development work in different domains. Through their innovative vision and endeavours in their chosen field of work, they have sought to transform this world for us. Their lives and their contributions ignite powerful inspiration in the ICT community and beyond.

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NEWS

corporate

Educomp reports 73% jump in consolidated net profit

requirements of the corporate world to the existing curriculum.

‘Today, students not only face competition from their contemporaries but also from professionals who are being given the pink slip. Being in sync with industry demands becomes critical to make yourself employable. EduWorks improves the student’s employability becoming their ‘hope’ during recession,’ said Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Director, e2e People Practices. Backed by strong performance of its education solutions software Smart Class which is targeted at schools, Educomp Ltd has registered 73% jump in consolidated net profit to INR 54.5 crore for quarter ended March over last year. Its total revenues grew more than 50% to close the quarter at INR 184.3 crore. The education solutions provider attributed the performance to its two major products, Smart Class and instructional & computing technologies (ICT in education). Revenues as well as profits from Smart Class more than doubled for the quarter as it expanded its reach to 1.98 million students across more than 1,700 schools in the country. Similarly, the ICT business of Educomp has now reached more than 12,000 schools.

e2e People Practices launches EduWorks to embed educational governess e2e People Practices, India, has launched ‘EduWorks’ solutions to address critical aspects of managing the education system efficiently, hereby, bridging the gap between

skill requirements of the corporate world and knowledge imparted by academic institutions. ‘EduWorks’ offers a three-point programme to align the skills and knowledge

LearnHub.com launches Delhi University Admissions 2009 community LearnHub.com has launched Delhi University Admissions community, which would act as one-stop online destination for all DU admission related queries and also as a platform to connect DU colleges with thousands of students from Delhi and other states who aspire to get admission to Delhi University in 2009. ‘Every year, the majority of applicants struggle to get the DU admission information. Students have to run from college to college for every small piece of information. Access to information becomes even more difficult for those who reside outside Delhi,’ says Abhishek Singla, Director of Marketing, LearnHub.com.

MoU signed between NIT and TCS A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the National Institute of Technology, Warangal and the Tata Consultancy Services, to envisage building technical knowledge pool and development of skilled human resources. As per the MoU, training facilities will be provided to students and faculties of the computer science and engineering departments of NIT. There would be two-way transfer of technology information and knowledge through collaborative programme such as internships, guest lectures, seminar and symposia. Exchange of visits of technical people of the industry to institute and viceversa, access to knowledge resources of the institute to the industry and vice versa will be a part of it.

FTIL, IGNOU seal MoU for programme on financial markets MCX promoter Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) has signed an MoU with the IGNOU, under which the open university will offer a one-year post-graduate diploma course in financial market practices. Financial Technologies Knowledge Management Co (FTKMC), a knowledge hub of the Financial Technologies Group, will be the content provider for the course on financial markets. The programme will commence in July 2009 and will spread over five disciplines - equity markets, derivative markets, commodity markets, currency and bond markets, and professional practice in financial markets.

ViewSonic launches super short-throw portable projector ViewSonic Corp., a global provider of visual display products, has launched a

new versatile super short throw projector – PJD5351, which delivers bright crisp images even in spaces with ambient light and guarantees presentations to be vibrant even in the brightest office environment. Equipped with an extreme-short-throw projection technology, PJD5351 is capable of producing a 60” image from a distance of only 0.9 meter with a throw ratio of 0.9:1. This technology allows users to save space by enabling them to place the projector in front of their table and still display large and crisp images. Gautam Ghosh, Country Manager, ViewSonic Technologies India Pvt. Ltd said, ‘Delivering on our commitment of providing efficient projection solutions for India, this new lightweight projector, PJD5351 has been specially launched to combine ease-of-use with optimal performance across a variety of applications.’ digital LEARNING

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23rd ICDE World Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education including the 2009 EADTU Annual Conference 7 to 10 June 2009 Maastricht, Netherlands http://www.ou.nl/icde2009

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25-27 August, Hyderabad International Convention Centre India Fifth annual eIndia 2009, the largest event in India on Information and Communication Technologies, will be held on 25 - 27th August at Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, India. This three-day international conference and exhibition is a unique platform for knowledge sharing in different domains of ICT for development and facilitates multi-stakeholder partnerships and networking among governments, industry, academia and civil society organisations of various countries, including India. The objective is to bring together ICT experts, practitioners, business leaders and stakeholders of the region onto one platform, through keynote addresses, paper presentations, thematic workshops and exhibitions. eINDIA 2009, through its four seminal conferences, will focus on four emerging application domains of ICT for Development: e-Governance, Education, Rural Development, and Health services. The four tracks of eINDIA are: • eGov India • Digital Learning India • eHealth India • Indian Telecentre Forum Call For Papers eINDIA 2009 seeks abstracts/ proposal(s) for speakers who illustrate innovation in using information and communication technologies for development, by 15 April 2009. Abstract Submission: 15th April 2009 Notification of Acceptance of Abstract: 15th May 2009 Full Paper Submission: 30th June 2009 Submit your abstracts/proposals at papers@ eINDIA.net.in Exhibition eINDIA 2009 will also host an exhibition featuring the best in cutting edge technology across India and beyond. The list of exhibitors will be made available online and will be updated regularly in the run up to the event in August. For more details on the event, log on to www.eINDIA.net.in

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RNI No. UPENG/2008/25311

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College-of, by, and for-The Community : June 2009 Issue  

[www.digitallearning.in] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...

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