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The Challenges

 

The Negative and Positive signs as we see today – the Challenges !!!

Today we live in a context that is vastly different from what it was when the School was started in 1930s or even the one when the management was taken over by Madurai Jesuits in1999. The new context is marked by the following features both positive and negative:

Negative signs:

1. There is a drastic decrease in the enrollment of students in privately run ITIs. This has led to the closure of couple of ITIs in Ooty and many in Tamil Nadu. Our own story is not much different. Our Enrollment too has come down these years very drastically for many reasons. So far we were making up the lack of local students by bringing students from the plains, especially from Chengelpet and other mission areas of ours.

The reasons for this trend seem to be following:

a. Availability of Govt. ITIs which provide scholarships and practically free training,
b. Fewer school drop outs due to the changes in the education policy of the government.
c. Impact of globalization and consumerist society on modern youth and the consequent revolution in their aspirations, hence their attraction for white collar jobs and aversion for blue collar jobs.
d. The different addictive habits of the boys that they had learnt in the present uncontrolled and non-regulated policies of the government regarding the alcoholic and other addictive substances.
Because of the reason stated above the trainees are not mentally and emotionally attuned to long duration of technical training.
e. Availability of short term vocational skill training.
f. Availability unskilled jobs with a daily wage of Rs. 250/ upward due to the mushrooming exporting industries.

1. We also face a lack of competent and committed Instructors both Jesuits and lay people who can understand the students and train them.
2. Financial Constraints. When we shift our accent from production to training and keep to our original target group of socially and economically challenged youth weaker sections, we need to find financial resources to pay decent salaries to our staff and to take care of the boarding and lodging of our students.
3. The difficulties we might face in putting up new constructions that might be required for more relevant training package.

 

Positive Signs:

1. The Central Government has a huge plan of vocational skill training in the next five year plan.
2. We have fairly good infra-structure and modern machinery.
3. We have a rich experience in production and marketing.
4. We have also a dependable clientele.
5. It should be possible to have a mutually supportive tie-up and net working with LICET, LIBA and other institutions of technical and management training.

Plan of Action for next year:

1. We decided that we should renovate the campus especially the CCM – carpentry section by the end of December 2013 before we plan to start any newer courses.
2. We decided that by the end of this academic year we would find out the possibilities of conducting the central government sponsored Modular Employment Skills (MES) courses in our institute for which we could make use of the existing facilities and infrastructures.
3. We would also continue to run courses like Driving and Crash courses in Carpentry in collaboration with the HADP.
4. We decided that before we start any course we need to do a scientific in-depth need- analysis to find out the kind of vocational training / course that our local youth want.
5. We also decided to have consultations with the local Diocese, its social work and youth net works and other NGOs working in Nilgiri hills to elicit their inputs on the local situation and their suggestions for evolving relevant training modules.
6. Based on the results of the need analysis and inputs and suggestions we feel that it would need to revamp our training modules and introduce new relevant courses and training packages.
7. The training modules should have not only the imparting of technical know-how and facilitation of hands-on and production experience, it should also have package of computer and soft skills, spoken English and entrepreneurial skills.
8. To have a plan for active recruiting of prospective students with the help of NGOs. Diocesan self help women\’s groups, youth commissions.
9. We decided to study the possibility of starting a purely production unit like in Ranipet where our students can have hands on experience.