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How Odisha’s university paves the way for higher education expansion

Education plays a pivotal role in the nation’s development, and governments have consistently strived to extend its reach, even to the remotest corners of the country. One of the key initiatives in this direction is the mission to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in schools and universities. GER is a critical metric that measures the total enrollment at a specific level of education as a percentage of the eligible age group.

Sukanta Parida, Director-Admissions & Marketing at Centurion University, Odisha, shares insights on how the university is contributing to this mission. He emphasises that enhancing access to quality education requires a multifaceted approach.

GEOGRAPHICAL EXPANSIO N FOR REDUCED BARRIERS

Centurion University has established 6 out of its 7 campuses in difficult geographies, where skill-based education is in high demand. This strategy helps reduce geographical barriers, making education more accessible to underserved areas.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND SCHOLARSHIPS

To address the financial constraints that often hinder enrollment, Centurion University provides scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans to students. Specialised scholarships like “CHANDRIKA” for females, merit scholarships, and “BHOOMIPUTRA” for children of defense personnel are offered to promote inclusivity.

INCLUSIVE POLICIES TO REDUCE DISPARITIES

The university actively promotes inclusive policies that aim to reduce gender, socio-economic, and ethnic disparities in education. Ensuring equal opportunities for all groups to enroll and complete their education is a crucial step.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

It recognises the importance of infrastructure and facilities. Upgrading educational institutions, providing essential resources like libraries, laboratories, and computers, and creating a conducive learning environment are top priorities.

TEACHER, TRAINING AND MOTIVATION

Well-trained and motivated teachers play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining students. The university invests in teacher training programmes and provides incentives to attract qualified educators, particularly in underserved areas.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Investing in early childhood education is emphasised, as it significantly influences GER in later years. Focusing on early childhood development can improve learning readiness and encourage higher enrollment rates.

ADDRESSING SOCIETAL NORMS AND CULTURAL PRACTICES

To overcome cultural and societal barriers to education, Centurion University raises awareness and engages communities to support and value education. Leveraging technology is also crucial in this regard.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY FOR ACCESSIBILITY

Technology, particularly online courses and virtual classrooms, can bridge gaps in educational access, especially in remote areas. It extends the reach of education and makes learning more accessible.

Continuous monitoring of enrollment rates, identification of barriers, and assessment of strategies’ effectiveness are essential. Regular evaluation enables adjustments and improvements in the approach to enhance GER.

COLLABORATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Collaboration with non-governmental organisations and international bodies dedicated to promoting education can bring in additional resources, expertise, and support for educational initiatives.

Enhancing GER is a multifaceted challenge that requires efforts from all directions. When universities, government bodies, and communities collaborate, the goal of increasing GER and preparing students for the professional world, whether in renowned organizations or as entrepreneurs, can be achieved.

Published By:

Megha Chaturvedi

Published On:

Nov 2, 2023

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