A West Bengal college is partnering educational institutes in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to conduct research on higher education for disadvantaged youth. Salesian College, Siliguri, has joined hands with four other colleges and universities — including two in the neighbouring countries — as part of a three-year project initiated by International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) themed on “Continuing Education of Disadvantaged Adolescents”.
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The research partners are Notre Dame University, Dhaka; Salesian College, Siliguri; Stella Maris College, Chennai; Christ University, Bengaluru; and Aquinas University, Colombo.
“We need to study how to bridge the gap of continuing education for the drop outs,” said George Thadathil, Principal of Salesian College.
The city of Siliguri, with a 36.08 per cent slum population having many drop-outs, is the target area where the social commitment of the college can be materialised, according to Aju Kurian, Vice Principal of the college and the project’s associate team leader.
The research team aims to rope in the services of state and local administration and NGOs for sustainability after three years.
“There is a great need to make the college relevant by catering to the less privileged sections of society and contribute its academic strength for influencing and helping decision-making polices of the government,” said Kurian.
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