Jeypore, Koraput, situated in the remote southernmost corner of the state of Orissa at a distance of more than 500 KM from the state capital and 400 KM from the University Centre is difficult to reach. Bound by high mountainous terrains, the region makes a very difficult communication especially for education. The area is inhabited largely by Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Socio-Economically backward and highly disadvantaged people. The region is a declared Scheduled Plan area ( K B K area declared by Govt. of India) The literacy rate of the area compared to that of the state is very low especially in case of female population.
Special efforts for the spread of education for this disadvantaged population is not only a responsibility of the Govt/ Voluntary organizations, it is essential for the development of these people. Under such circumstances it is needless to say that the concept of Community College is one of the most appropriate one in the region and would surely prove to be a boost to the educational and overall development of the area.
M S S R F: M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) is one of the premier non-profit organizations working in India for several years now with an approach of pro-nature, pro-poor and pro-women orientation. It has a working strategy of harnessing science and technology for the sustainable development and environmental friendly social order. The Foundation is engaged in research and development in rural and remote areas in the sphere of conservation and enhancement of natural resources, promotion of livelihood of the poor and the downtrodden, gender equity and overall development of the rural population. M S S R F has several educational initiatives in different parts of the country for the poor and village people. Its educational programmes aim at bridging the genetic, gender and digital including differently abled divide. At its Jeypore centre it had been engaged in imparting free computer education (Microsoft Unlimited Potential Programme) and training activities for the SC/ ST students, villagers with the help of Microsoft Corporation of India. Besides it also took up research and training in farmers participatory conservation of traditional landraces, livelihood programmes like- mushroom cultivation, vegetable cultivation, food processing and preservation for the village folk, farmers and housewives around the area. The Foundation had several partnership programmes with I G N O U at different times and intended to participate in the IGNOU Community College programme by establishing a Community College at Jeypore.
Our MISSION :
The Foundation works in a region inhabiting 40-45% SC / ST and socially disadvantaged population who are often far away from the facility of formal education due to the distance factor and specific socio- economic factor. There are cases of large scale school dropouts in the area making the living standard very low in spite of many Govt. programmes for their upliftment. The general institutions of education there fore could not address the educational problems of the people in this area.
It is thus essential that an alternative educational system suitable for the varied economic, social and cultural population of this tribal area must be put in to work such that:
- It be affordable to the poor and backward population around.
- It works with a non-profit and service motive.
- It gives the learners liberal option of age, duration and pace of learning.
- It accommodates the school college dropouts, and aged workforce as well.
- It is modular in nature, giving the learners the opt ion of entry and exit at different levels.
- It has a community learning environment conducive to such population.
- It is capable of giving the necessary training / know how to make the village and marginilised work force skilled ones.
- It can accommodate the disadvantaged ones in providing necessary education with provision for upward mobility.
- It educates the people to conserve the natural resources and help support rural livelihood by way of such education.