Tvs Community College | digitalLEARNING Magazine
August 2009

Tvs Community College

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The temple town of Madurai, one of the oldest and largest centres of Tamil Nadu, which once housed the famous Tamil Sangam, today remains a shadow of the past. Unemployment, brain drain and laggard industrial development are some of the issues present day Madurai is facing.

To counter these and  provide the rural youth with necessary education to help acquire a variety of skills and knowledge crucial in earning a livelihood, the TVS Community College, under the TVS led Lakshmi Vidya Sangham (LVS), was set up in 2003.

Says Selvi Santosham, Senior Manager Projects, ‘The LVS is a 45-year-old institution with a vision to educate the masses. Through our regular schools we are able to reach out to 10,000 students in a year. But we wanted to extend the  education services to the school dropout segment of society, as surveys in various corporation and panchayat schools indicated a high percentage of school drop outs (70%) owing to various socio-economic reasons.  Setting up of a Community College enabled us to reach out to people across various social segments regardless of their educational background and age.’

The college imparts employment-oriented courses that are designed incorporating a need-based curriculum to help the rural youth find employment in the highly competitive job market. This enables technology to play its role with greater relevance in the changed socio-economic scenario. Social values and life skills integrated in the syllabus also helps develop their personality in all dimensions.

‘The TVS conducts periodical surveys to find out the type of manpower requirement in the local market. Based on the requirements, students are trained and equipped in various skills to enable them to gain decent employment. A survey was conducted at the industry level and amongst social service segments and the health care industry to study their requirements before deciding on the courses,’ says Selvi.
‘The TVS conducts periodical surveys to find out the type of manpower requirement in the local market. Based on the requirements, students are trained and equipped in various skills to enable them to gain decent employment. A survey was conducted at the industry level and amongst social service segments and the health care industry to study their requirements before deciding on the courses,’ says Selvi.

Courses offered at the college include diploma in health assistance, driving, mecha-nic, electrical works, plumbing, AC repair, masonry, home management, child care, home nursing, secretarial skills, computer skills, security, office despatch, office house-keeping, retail sales, Tally, hospital keeping, etc.

The course content ensures a lot of learning with practical applications. The tech-nical courses allot 60% for practical work and  40% for theory, while the non–technical courses like Construction Skills follow 80% practical work and 20% theory, adds Selvi.

Recognising the fact that the students who come to the college are at a disadvantage due to their socio–economic background and the type of schooling they have received, certain core skills have been incorporated as part of the curriculum in all the courses. For example, to build the self confidence of these youth, unique core skills have been introduced like the life skills module involving communication , etiquette, grooming, team-building, decision making, interpersonal relationship, time management and money management, etc. These classes are 90% activity oriented ensuring participation of every student.

‘Specially trained teachers have been appointed to conduct these classes. Students enjoy these classes and we are able to see a visible change in them by the time they finish their courses,’ says a faculty.

Mrs Jeyaruba, another faculty, says: The TVS Community College provides a chance for self knowledge, self improvement, self study and self help and makes students more self conscious. In short, it makes a person ‘fit for life and fit for job’.

TVS believes that the basic values and attitudes that are sensitised among its students are the distinctive features defining them once they leave the campus. An individual with a healthy attitude is an asset to society, hence emphasis is laid on incorporating basic human values and industrial expectations through case studies, simulation activities and group discussions.

Besides soft skills, training is also provided to make the students aware of technology and computers. Confidence building exercises are also conducted like dramatics, compulsory games, self-defence classes, etc. for girl students.

The TVS students also involve themselves in part–time jobs after school hours and take part in community activities during temple festivals, tourist management, etc.

In the words of Gopalakrishnan (Automechanic student), ‘I am proud to be a product  of TVS Community College. Prior to TVS, I was merely shifting jobs and felt insecure and unsettled. TVS gave me an opening. Now I am working in TVS Sundaram Brake Linings and earning INR 4,500 per month. I have now gained my standing in the society and family and feel self-confident.’

Jayaseelan (Electricals student) says, ‘I am a father of two children and have done schooling only till class IX. Poverty stricken, depressed and frustrated, I entered TVS Community College with a faint ray of hope. TVS gave me a second chance and now I have a job in Firestone TVS  P Ltd. My communication skills and self-esteem have improved.’

A total number of 1300 students have so far graduated from the training centre and are gainfully employed. Apart from the nearby rural community, the college gets students who are sponsored under the Vazhunthukattuvom Scheme and Mahalir Thittam Scheme of the  Tamil Nadu Government and the District Rural Development Agency.

Starting with 25 students on board, the TVS college has grown in the last five years to enrol on an average 700 students in a year. ‘Our dream is to expand the college so that it can cater to 10,000 students in a year,’ says Selvi.

A step in this direction is a massive enrollment drive started by the TVS in 40 corporation and panchayat schools to directly reach out to the drop outs. A scholarship fund has also been provided subsidising 50% of the fees for the students. ‘There is a proposal to start self-sustaining projects to hone the entrepreneurial skills of the students, like automobile service centres, electrical/electronic repair centres and village first aid centers. All these are a step towards the greater goal of of helping the disadvantaged youth integrate into an industrial society  by providing scope for employment,’ says Selvi.

Highlights of the programme

  •  Placement opportunity provided to students on the basis of his/her merit. The organisation ensures that the students earning capacity is enhanced because of the training he/she undergoes.
  • Post placement follow-up done by the college for atleast a year to bridge the gap between the course content and the industry requirements. Steps  taken to upgrade the curriculum so that students are industry ready.

Distinguishing features of the college

  • Market driven courses
  • Caters to all age groups from all strata with varying educational background
  • Course content is certified.
  • Courses aim at equipping students with various skills
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