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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Setting up a 'knowledge highway'

Article Collected by AndhraColleges.com - Education is My Passion

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About an innovative educational partnership between Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies and McDaniel College in Maryland, U.S.

This is nothing but the dawn of a new era in the Indo-U.S. educational partnership with active private participation,'' says Fr Abraham Mulamoottil, principal of Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies, Thiruvalla, (MACFAST) who is the brain behind the innovative educational partnership programme launched by MACFAST and McDaniel College in Maryland near Washington DC.

The MACFAST-McDaniel partnership offers opportunity to qualified science and mathematics graduates aspiring for teaching profession in the United States to pursue their higher studies there and get suitable placements there at the various U.S. public schools.

The very mission of our partnership programme is establishing a new `knowledge highway' linking the Central Travancore town of Thiruvalla with Maryland in the U.S., thereby throwing the doors open into the world of opportunities abroad for the State's unemployed educated youths, says Fr Mulamoottil.

It is officially known that the U.S. has severe shortage of qualified school teachers in mathematics and science subjects. Last year, there  were 350 unfilled teaching positions at various public schools in the State of Maryland alone and the partnership programme is aimed at  effectively tapping this employment opportunity in favour of the scores of well qualified youths in India, he said.

Fr Mulamoottil said a total of 25 candidates in the age group of 20-40 years with ability to communicate and positively interact with young children would be selected for the first batch. The selected students will have to undergo a three-month resident preparatory course at MACFAST Santhinilayam campus. Dr Lynn McClintock, a post-graduate teacher from McDaniel College, is now in Thiruvalla to teach them the language skills, American accent and way of life. Four candidates have joined the training programme that has already started at MACFAST Santhinilayam campus in Thiruvalla. Talking to The Hindu, Dr. Lynn said the selected students will have to undergo a one-year post-graduate degree course in education at McDaniel College which will enable the successful candidates to obtain the Master of Science (MS) degree as well as the U.S. teaching license from Maryland State Department of education under an accelerated and intensive course, including structured class room teaching in regular secondary schools.

With this, they can work at any public school in the U.S., she adds. "It is true that the U.S. is facing shortage of school teachers in mathematics and science subjects. President Barak Obama has set apart $ 5 billion to improve the quality of science and mathematics teaching at school-level, besides making financial resources available to the school system on a competitive basis,'' Dr Lynn said. Dr. Lynn said Indians have proved themselves excellent teachers in the U.S. as well as various other parts of the globe. America would only be happy to accept more Indians as teachers and the MACFAST-McDaniel venture has opened a new chapter in the Indo-US educational partnership, she added.

The McDaniel College offers 12-month accelerated graduate programme for selected students from India, based on its BEST (Better Educators for Students of Tomorrow) programme, emphasising on areas such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Successful participants will receive the MS degree along with MSDE (Maryland State Department Education Certification in their respective areas of concentration, which in turn make the license holders eligible to teach in Higher Secondary Schools in Maryland (Grade 7–12) and 30 other States in the U.S.

Employment

McDaniel and MACFAST will act only as facilitators for employment and not participate in the actual job offers. MACFAST selects well-qualified graduates in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, preferably those with Masters or those who have obtained high marks at degree-level. Candidates with teaching experience will be given due consideration.

Those with B.Tech. or post-graduation in science subjects and mathematics will also beconsidered, says Fr Mulamoottil. The estimated total cost of the programme is approximately Rs.15 lakh, including the tuition fee, food and accommodation, says Pradeep Vazhatharamalayil, college manager. The college will also arrange education loans from banks, if needed, Fr Pradeep said. Candidates may apply with supporting documents showing their educational qualification and job experience, if any, to Coordinator, MACFAST-McDaniel 

Source : The Hindu
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