Thursday, February 22, 2024

Bellefonte to provide special education for school drop-outs

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Archbishop of Shillong Archdiocese, Most Rev Dominic Jala inaugurates the computer centre at the Bellefonte Community College at Lumsyiap on Friday. (ST)

By Our Reporter

 Shillong: With the aim of providing quality education to high school drop-outs the Bellefonte Community College (BCC) has set up a Computer Centre and Intensive English Training System which was inaugurated by the Archbishop of Shillong Archdiocese, Dominic Jala at the College premises at Lumsyiap here on Friday.

The BCC College at Lumshyiap, is the first ever community college in Meghalaya run by the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco which focuses on imparting knowledge and skills to high school drop-outs. This College has been operating since last December and at present there are around 180 students in this institute.

The college which follows a United States model of community college emphasizes not on earning a degree, but stresses on skill building and vocational training.

Delivering the inaugural address, Archbishop Dominic Jala lamented the lack of opportunities for youth in the rural areas, citing that there have been many incidents in the city where young people have taken their own lives in frustration.

“Unlike in towns and cities, there are many young people in rural areas who find that doors of opportunities for them are closed,” said Jala.

Meanwhile, Rotary District Governor, Prabhat Kedia highlighted the prevalence of drop-outs in the country despite the introduction of various programmes including the

Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). The drop-out rate is almost 40 percent which is indeed a disturbing phenomenon. “The number is high in the rural areas due to various reasons, one being the financial problems besides others”, said Kedia.

It is learnt that this Institute would be replicated in Tura and Nongstoin where the number of drop-outs is comparatively high as well as in other North Eastern States like Mizoram, Tripura and the two districts of Assam.

President of BCC, Sr Helen Puwein, informed that the BCC and Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) had on May this year, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for certificate course and transfer education. The MoU was also signed with Green River Community College USA only for transfer of education.

Meanwhile, highlighting on the aim of BCC, Sr. Bernadette said the main focus of BCC and the programmes being offered was to educate both women and men to bring about social equity “We are taking high school dropouts to accommodate potential militants who might turn to violence out of frustration. This way we are educating and promoting peace and will make a difference,” Sr Bernadette said. The programme known as “The Shillong India Project Grant,” sponsored by Bellefonte Community College is taken up in collaboration with Rotary International, Rotary Club of Parkland-Spanaway Rotary USA, Rotary Club Shillong, Pacific Lutheran University and Green River Community College. These organizations are providing funds to improve BCC college facilities, including benches, whiteboards, textbooks, cabinets and better healthcare for students.

The function was attended by Mawkhar MDC JB Basaiawmoit, Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank Chairperson, Roshan Warjri, ManagingDirector Daryl War, functionaries of Rotary Club Shillong, Salesian Sisters, students and staff of BCC.

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