EMPOWERING WITH SKILLS The proud recipient of the ‘Women Leaders Award in India 2010’ awarded by iGroup and NDTV Profit in the category of ‘Leading Woman Chief Operating Officer’, Kamini Prasad, COO-Urban Skills, Centum Learning Limited in an interview with Sana Husain provides insights about her initiatives that are aimed at helping thousands of youth lead successful lives and empowering underserved communities, while reforming the higher education scenario. Please elaborate on the var ious sk i l l en hancement and t ra i n i ng opportunities provided by Centum Learning Limited to schools and colleges for both students and teachers. How will these help in reforming the higher education scenario? We, at Centum, endeavour to do our bit in improving the education scenario in the country and to further contribute towards skill development amongst the youth. To enable rounded growth, we have initiated measures across schools and colleges, catering to both students and teachers. Starting with schools that form the basis of education, we have taken initiatives for skill enhancement of students and teachers at schools. Measures including capacit y development of teachers; providing leadership training for heads of schools, organising student workshops
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on life skills, career management and facilitating vocational training under NSQF and CBSE for school students have been resumed by us. Moving on to the next level and stepping into the higher education scenario, we have initiated cer tain measures to ensure skill enhancement for both college students and teachers. These include providing a ‘campus to corporate employability skills’ program for college students, faculty development programs for teachers of engineering and management colleges and universities and providing vocational training with NSDC for college students. Continuous faculty development is an integral step and the program aims to provide resources, which will help the faculty in developing as scholars, to publish, to share insights both within the community and at professional conferences, and to improve their work in the classroom and enhance their effectiveness. The effects of the program will be seen, ultimately, in the quality of the instruction students receive and in the quality of scholarly activity and collegial involvement on campus. Centum Lear ning has been conduct i ng capa cit y developme nt programs for school stakeholders and has impacted more than 600 heads of schools and more than 5000 teachers by imparting training on leadership, school quality and culture along with programs for students, support staff and parents. The objective of a School Leadership I nter vent ion is to i mpact the key stakeholder, the head of the school and to equip them with the right knowledge, skills and attitude to transform their schools into centers of excellence and effectively lead and integrate change.