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Community Colleges to boost Non Formal Education
In response to the call made by Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy in June that Tamil Nadu State – run universities should start at least 10 community colleges, the universities in Coimbatore region have been on their toes in implementing the same.
Short – term, diploma and certificate courses varying from six months to a year will be offered to school dropouts, self – help group women and industry workers who have no professional qualification. The courses will focus on life skills, work skills, internship and preparation for employment.
Such courses are already offered by community colleges being run under the aegis of the Tamil Nadu Open University and Indira Gandhi National Open University. Now, the State universities have been roped into this to give an impetus to non – formal education.
Bharathiar University has so far entered into Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with six colleges. It is looking to extend the concept to include at least 40 colleges.
According to Registrar of the university P. Thirumalvalavan, “the minimum stipulated number by the government is 10. But, we are planning to grant permission to 35 to 40 colleges because it is a good concept and will benefit a large number of deserving people.”
Once, the permission is granted, the colleges choose from the list of courses given by the Directorate of Technical Education (DoTE) to offer to their candidates.
Anna University of Technology (AUT), Coimbatore, has already registered 11 colleges. Unlike Bharathiar University, AUT has on its own identified 11 colleges in various districts.
The general understanding is that the universities will give permission and the stand – alone / affiliated colleges will provide the infrastructure and faculty support, while the course content and certification will be from DoTE.
A co-ordinators’ meeting with DoTE representatives was held in Chennai on 23rd November, 2010 to discuss the modalities involving number of courses, fee structure and other administrative formalities.
“The outcome of the meeting will be communicated to the universities and then a final shape will be given to the whole thing.
There is also a discussion as to whether the courses will be offered at a concessional rate or totally free of cost. All this will be known in a week’s time,” Mr. Thirumalvalavan said.