INDIA: Don Bosco College provides university education to more than 1,000 youth
(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco College in Yellagiri, located on a plateau over 1,100 meters high between Bangalore and Chennai in India, offers university education to more than 1,000 youth. Almost 500 of them live at boarding houses. The boys house is operated by Salesian missionaries while the girls house is operated by Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
Youth are able to take courses in a range of subjects including English language, computer science, economics and commerce, management, engineering and mathematics. The college also offers postgraduate degrees in computer science and English. Within the campus, there is an internal company specializing in the study of new programs and patents in the field of IT. The money made from this company goes in part to help fund operations at the college.
The majority of students at the college are from areas that have the lowest economic and socioeconomic cultural development in this region in India. Most of the students’ parents have had no chance to attend school. Almost half of the students receive a scholarship and some receive scholarship funding to cover the costs of food and lodging.
At Don Bosco College, students have the opportunity to obtain high-level training that they would not otherwise be able to access. The goal of the college is to provide the best education possible for youth so they can find and retain stable employment and give back to the development of their own communities. Students have many challenges coming from the communities in which they live. Teachers must fill several roles in addition to education.
“Educators must have strong inter-personal skills and build solid educational relationships with the student population to help them both with their studies but also help them into adulthood,” says Father Rosario, a Salesian missionary at Don Bosco College. “The college also has a team for psychological support. This integral education allows us to obtain good and long-lasting results.”
Access to professional training and workforce development services like what is offered at Don Bosco College is highly valued by youth in India given the current state of the country’s economy. With more than 1.2 billion people, India has the world’s fourth largest economy and, according to UNICEF, is home to one-third of the world’s poor. Close to 217 million of India’s poor are children. Although more than 53 million people escaped poverty between 2005 and 2010, most remain vulnerable to falling back below the poverty line.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
UNICEF – India