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ROLE OF ICRDCE

 
 
Inauguration of ICRDCE
Inauguration of MCRDCE

The Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), Chennai is an initiative of Madurai Jesuit Province and a unit of Chengai Jesuit Society of Chennai Mission. It was started in January 1999. It is a facilitating and coordinating agency for Community Colleges in India. It has been involved in the preparation, establishment, monitoring and evaluation of 232 Community Colleges in 18 States of India. It has also trained 2,247 teachers. The Centre has conducted 140 Workshops & Consultations involving 2,406 Organisations, 6,123 participants and has also organised 11 important National Consultations/Conferences with 1,415 participants. It has also prepared the basic curriculum material and supplied to all these Community Colleges. It has published 43 books and 75 articles in the leading educational journals of India and abroad on the concept and implementation of the system. The Centre also has an up-to-date documentation on the movement by way of newspaper clippings, video, audiotapes, CDs, photographs, etc. The Tamilnadu Open University (TNOU) has recognized 118 Community Colleges as Vocational Programme Centres all over the country. The Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nashik is going to recognize the Community Colleges in the States of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. The State Government of Tamilnadu has issued a Government Order (GO) recognizing the system in May 2008. It has also sanctioned Rs.10 million Indian Rupees by way of scholarship to 10,000 students of Community Colleges in Tamilnadu for the current year. The Government of India is considering the proposal for national recognition and funding to Community Colleges all over India. It is also discussing the vertical mobility of these students to the mainstream of higher education through credit transfer.

The Community College movement has drawn the attention of the Government of India from the year 1999. Dr. Xavier Alphonse has made a few presentations to the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The system has been mentioned in the Union Planning Commission (2007-2012) Tenth Five Year Plan document. It has been included in the Eleventh Five Year Plan for establishment and funding recommended by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the University Grants Commission (UGC). Dr. Xavier Alphonse has been appointed as the Chairman of National Committee on Community Colleges to discuss the concept and methodology for establishment and functioning of Community Colleges, appointed by UGC in January 2007. The document has been submitted to the UGC. The State Government of Haryana also has come forward to recognize the system.

10th Anniversary of ICRDCE

ICRDCE, which has been involved in the preparation, establishment, monitoring, training and evaluation of 244 community colleges in 19 states of India, celebrated its tenth anniversary on the 07th of March 2009 at Francis Hall, Stella Maris College, Chennai. Five hundred people including the staff and the students from the Community colleges attended the celebration. His Highness, Prince of Arcot, who was the Chief Guest of the function, said the Christian community that had done so much in the field of education has to be applauded instead of being targeted by the communal forces. Dr. T.A.K. Tareen, who presided over the function, challenged the mainstream education of Higher Education sector to reduce the dropout rate in order to decrease the intake of Community Colleges. Mr. N. Ram, who delivered the key note address, appealed to ICRDCE to bring Community Colleges into election manifestos of different political parties and he also expressed his admiration for the crystal clear focus of Community colleges in facilitating skill development leading to employment. Dr. Palanichamy, the former vice chancellor of TNOU praised the Community Colleges that they were able to transform underprivileged youth into employable persons. Dr. Kalyani Annie, the present vice chancellor of TNOU said that the Community Colleges need to train and retrain the students towards employability.

Dr. Selvaraj, one of the industrial partners of the movement, stressed the importance of the industrial tie ups and appealed to the industrialists to absorb community college students into their industries. To mark the tenth anniversary celebrations, three books Beyond Margins edited by Fr. Xavier Alphonse, Believing in Miracles (two volumes) and Change is Certain edited by Frs. Xavier Alphonse, S.J., and M.S. Jacob, S.J., were released. A scintillating and mind boggling cultural programmes depicting the rural and folk art, were given by our Community college students. It won the hearts of all the participants. Fr. Jacob welcomed the gathering and honoured the dignitaries and Fr. Xavier Alphonse shared his experience of founding the Community College movement in India and bringing it to sky high. Mr. Johnson proposed the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries and all the participants for joining the movement of Community colleges in the service of the marginalized and downtrodden.

 
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