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INDIA: Salesian College Sonada reduces tuition and provides new scholarships to make college education more accessible

(MissionNewswire) In an effort to attract students of academic merit and lighten the burden of admission fees on parents, Salesian College Sonada has slashed its current admission fees by 50 percent. The goal is to make college more accessible to students who might not otherwise be able to afford it yet have the academic goals and qualfications to attend.

The Salesian College Sonada, located in Darjeeling, India, is affiliated with the North Bengal University in Siliguri and provides 1,400 students opportunities for advanced studies and the completion of bachelor’s degrees. The college offers eight general degree courses in English, education, history, political science, sociology, management studies, business administration and computer science.

“It is our continued effort to make higher education affordable for students whose parents can ill afford to send children for higher studies. Over the past 19 years, it has been our endeavor to provide world class facilities at the Salesian College,” says Dr. George Thadathil, principal of the college for over 19 years.

Salesian College Sonada is the only college in all of northeast India with a radio station and television studio offering students the opportunity for hands-on training. It officially launched its radio station on Dec. 8, 2016 featuring 20 programs produced in the Nepali language.

The radio station (90.8 FM) provides an opportunity for students and listeners to tell their stories and share their experiences, broadcasts information on important topics and news affecting the local area and allows students to be media contributors. A team of six radio hosts produce the 20 programs a week which take place seven days a week for 12 hours each day. The programs, which run from 1-3 hours, are scheduled as daily, bi-weekly and weekly shows.

In addition to slashing the admission fee, the college has launched an ambitious Tuition Waiver Scholarship program offering 166 students financial support through scholarships. Of the scholarships awarded, 40 seats are reserved for meritorious students and 30 seats are reserved for students with media skills who will be required to produce eight hours of radio or four television programs each month. A full tuition fee waiver is also offered to 30 students who secure over 90 percent on their class XII examinations and a 50 percent fee reduction is given to 30 students who secure over 80 percent.

”It is great news for students, especially meritorious students who come from families that are not able to afford tuition,” says Student Council Vice-President, Ashwini Tamang.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

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.



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