Derozio Memorial College, a Government aided college of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal not only pursues academic excellence but also motivates and empowers its students to be life-long learners, critical thinkers and productive members of an ever changing global society. In the year 2015, the college was selected for UGC sponsored Community College Scheme and B. Voc degree programme. Through the Community College Scheme, we are trying to develop our students in all possible dimensions – intellectual, physical, social, moral and economical. The need for giving emphasis on the Skill Development, especially for the less educated, poor youth has been highlighted in various forums. The skill level and educational attainment of the work force determines the productivity, income levels as well as the adaptability of the working class in changing environment. Large percentage of population in India is living below poverty line. One of the important causes is lower percentage of skilled persons in the workforce.
The skill development at present is taking place mostly in the informal way, i.e. persons acquire skill at the work-place when they help their parents, relatives and employers etc. Such persons do not have a formal certificate and thus earn lower wages and are exploited by employers. They have come through informal system due to socio-economic circumstances of the family and the compulsions of earning a livelihood rather than attending a formal course. While their productivity is low, their contribution to the national GDP cannot be ignored. If the country can create a system of certification which not only recognizes their skills but also provides education and training in a mode that suits their economic compulsions, it will not only benefit the workforce to earn a decent living but also contribute to the national economy by better productivity of this workforce. To fulfill this target, as a Community College, we have now proposed several courses for the betterment of local community of Rajarhat-Gopalpur and its surrounding areas.
- i) Photography & Video Production
- ii) Web Designing & Development
The motto of Derozio Memorial Community College is “Education for Employment through Skills Formation”. The educational activities are designed in line with the needs and demands of the local community. More specifically, the main objective of this College is “to offer job-oriented courses based on the perceived community demand for specific manpower”.
In short, Community College is “for” the Community and “of” the Community. The College performs four major functions namely, teaching, training, research and extension. It attempts to create a model of employment oriented education with adequate mutual collaboration and cooperation of members from various commercial, government and academic institutions and organizations like Nikon, SONY, RVC Production, Numerico Industries, IdeamWebz, India Blooms News Service etc.
We are also trying to improve the living standards of the community of Rajarhat Gopalpur and its surroundings. B.Voc degree program is a programme which combines practical training in two streams with a solid academic base and i.e.-
- i) Broadcast Journalism (B.Voc in Broadcast Journalism)
- ii) Printing and Book Publishing (B.Voc in Printing and Book Publishing)
- iii) Public Relations (B.Voc in Public Relations)
Students are imparted the skills needed to work in a broadcast newsroom, along with media law, politics, and an understanding of the role of media in a democratic country like India. We are trying our best to inculcate in the students a degree of sensitivity and empathy that will enable them to reach out to the world and provide effectual service by generating resources without overtly depending on financial inputs from the Government.
Initially, we faced various kinds of problems. But gradually after receiving funds we started working hard to increase the number of students. We have campaigned in local schools, villages and thereafter through write-ups in various reputed newspapers. We now have classrooms full of students. We strive to provide the best faculty for the students. Different media persons and academicians come to deliver lecture and share their practical experience with the students. In the meanwhile, many students were able to secure employment in various sectors. We are much privileged to see that the students are working professionals and we are giving them full support from our end. We have developed a media laboratory and an audio studio for the betterment of the students. Our faculties provide hands on training so that the budding journalist can gather knowledge about the practical field. We have organized seminars, photography competitions, photo walk, silent movie making, documentary production and exhibitions regularly as part of their practical projects. It is one of many ways we can empower, embolden, and enlighten our students.
We have introduced “Earn while you learn” scheme exclusively for the students of Community College and B.Voc Degree programme. The initiative is having a three-pronged impact. On the one hand, students are earning some extra pocket money while on the other, they are getting work experience and hands-on training while studying, something that is missing in our education system. There are very similar picture in almost every colleges in the city and are severely short-staffed. Our college is not an exception. So students pitch in with tasks such as I-Card making, data entry, maintaining of records, library management etc. Each working students are paid Rs 05/- each for every Identity Card production.
Now it is the time for advancement and the time for a new dream. It has been a long cherished dream of Journalism and Mass Communication Department of Derozio Memorial College to conceive and bring forth, a Communication Resource centre, which, through vocational education and training, will pave the way for sustainable economic development in the rural sector of Rajarhat-Gopalpur area in the state of West Bengal and create the resources for an archive of digital India. Sustainable economic development, along with the culture and norms which nurtured the rural population so far is being destroyed severely by the onslaught of modern development. More and more peasants and artisans are losing their right to livelihood. On one hand, human resources are being wasted by keeping the unemployment problem pegged at a higher level and on the other hand, natural resources are being dribbled away to serve the wants of the privileged few. The value of the current education system is used only to strengthen the elite who neither belong to the local culture nor believe in the self-sufficient, sustainable pro-environment economic development. In the current educational system students, parents, teachers and members of the community are alienated from the local culture and also from the society. So, it is a great opportunity for us to hold vocational skill based education system in our institution- like the Community College Scheme and B.Voc Degree Programmes. We are now stepping towards a new goal of implementation of vocational education system in the practical field where the educated students will be able to use their skill and expertise for the betterment of the livelihoods of the local inhabitants and in return they will also get an opportunity to identify their source of income for a better living. The Communication Resource Centre will certainly secure a bond between the common man and the educational/scientific institution by implementing research findings in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, apiculture and fisheries. Documentaries in local language on the process of cultivation, fisheries, bio-diversity preservation, water treatment, solid waste management, energy efficiency, tree plantations, marketing their products, Governmental support for agriculture and fisheries etc., everyday communication with local common people, arranging discussions, seminar and workshops for demonstrating the solution of their problems will surely enable them to join in the process of sustainable development and better living. As a result our farmers and entrepreneurs will get the necessary help from the University experts. It will create a developmental atmosphere in the entire arena of vocational education system and the local community. Additionally, establishing of a community radio station or community Television channel will definitely foster the whole process of sustainable development of vocational education, society development and community rehabilitation.
In this regard, after setting up primary infrastructure (Smart Class Room with ICT facility, Studio for Video shooting and Dubbing, Editing Console, Cameras, Still Digital Cameras, Web streaming Facility etc.) we are looking for fund generation from different sources. To make our dreams true in reality, we are all together trying to achieve the excellence in the concerned area and we are determined to serve the nation as well as for the humanity better.