Earn and learn at open school
Swaha Sahoo, Hindustan Times June 13,2008
Open and distance learning is no more restricted to learning from textbooks and study material. With Delhi University becoming more active in giving its students opportunities to seek work experience and upgrade their skills, SOL students can now earn while they learn.
Apart from earning some pocket money, they can also brush up their skills and qualifications with professional training and career-oriented add on courses.
“A lot of our students are from economically weaker sections of society and the university wants to give them an opportunity to earn while they are studying,” said Dinesh Gupta, deputy director, South Study Centre.
“Since BPOs require a lot of young talent, DU signed an MoU with GENPACT, wherein BA (H) English and Bcom (Pass) students of SOL would be given employment by GENPACT for three years,” Gupta said. “The selection is done by the company and students get to earn and learn,” he said.
Add on courses
DU has also introduced short-term courses to update students’ skills and prepare them for jobs in the industry and for self-employment. Some of them are medical transcription (six months, including two month internship), voice and accent training (two months) and soft skills (two months).
“Usually SOL students lack confidence and self esteem. Soft skills are important components of corporate life,” said Gupta. “The short-term courses are taught by professionals and will help our students in honing their soft skills,” Gupta said.
For instance, medical transcription involves catering to documentation requirements mainly for American Healthcare Industry, though it also caters to the healthcare sectors in the UK and Canada. The course prepares students for entry-level positions in the Physicians’ offices, clinics and hospitals.
“You don’t need any prior knowledge of biology and also get a stipend for the duration of the course,” Gupta said.
Under the professional skills project, Delhi University, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is offering six months certificate programmes in information technology, automotives and retail. Although the courses are open to all students, SOL students will get priority.
“All high growth segments of the industry — be it automobiles, retail, software development, desktop deployment and troubleshooting, media, healthcare, hospitality, and even the general services industry — are facing the skill gap challenge and the need for skilled workforce,” said HC Pokhriyal. To cater to the growing needs of these industry segments, DU has tied up with CII to enable the students to acquire usable/job-oriented skills, he said.
DU-CII is offering courses in five areas at present — software application development, desktop deployment and trouble shooting, general services skills, retail management and automobile service and management.