From Trodden paths to humble intervention in Tertiary and Higher Education- May 2018

Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka envisions a society educated, empowered and transformed though it might be a challenging task. To educate a child in a classroom is relatively easy and it does not take much effort and time. But to conceptualise an education that combines both the inculcation of fundamental skill-sets in students that will make them more relevant and transform them into agents of change and justice will be quite an uphill task.

IMG_4476.JPGNevertheless, Loyola Campus together with its partner Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) hopes to realise this dream. From a humble beginning in June 2017, for the almost last year, the Institute strengthened its capacity in journeying with the youth who are at times most vulnerable in our societies today. Although Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka has not been able to develop the Centres in terms of the infrastructure, a community of learners bound by a common learning experience and journey has come alive. It is not merely a Loyola Campus community or a group but a group of individuals who are in search of something greater and much more challenging.

During this short span of operation Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka has been able to obtain the institutional registration for its Centre in Vavuniya and Mannar from the Tertiary Vocation Education Commission of Sri Lanka. While Vavuniya Centre received its Centre registration in 2017, Mannar Centre was registered in May 2018. They are currently registered as TVEC Training Centres and are authorized to issue a number of certificate courses. The next step in this line would be to obtain the course accreditation under the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) scheme.

Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka hopes to break into new pathways with the community of learners who are passionate about contributing and changing their own lives and the world.

 

Facilitator Training- May 2018

Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka organized a three-day training programme for the Facilitators across seven Loyola Campus from 4-7 May 2018. The Facilitator Training programme was in Fatima Retreat House, Kandy. Twenty-Four Facilitators who are involved in English and Computer classes, two Directors from Vavuniya and Hatton as well as two more staff from the Centre for Social Concern, Hatton took part in the training programme.

The training programme had three main sessions. The first session was entirely dedicated for a more introspective look at the current state of our engagement as teachers in three main dimensions. They are namely Personal Perspective, Group Perspective and the Institutional Perspective. The main area of discussion was in becoming affective teachers through the engagement of Loyola Campus. The first session was conducted by Thiranjala Weerasinghe, the Manager for Academic and Financial Operations of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka. The second session conducted by Dr Susanna Ablewhite, the Manager of Global English Language (GEL) programme of JWL provided an introduction into the engagement of JWL and specially about the GEL programme. Rev Fr Peter Ballais SJ, the Executive President of JWL also addressed the Facilitators. The third session which lasted for a comlete two-days was on mastering the skill of non-violent communication, an art of human communication that sustains and strengthens relationships and better forms of communication. The session was conducted by Rev Fr Anthony Pillai SJ.

The training programme has provided the teachers who refresh themselves and learn new skills and techniques that will help them personally and in their classroom engagements. The bond between facilitators coming from different Centre also was strengthened providing a way forward to work together.

 

Teacher Training in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka organized a three-day training programme for the Facilitators across seven Loyola Campus from 4-7 May 2018. The Facilitator Training programme was in Fatima Retreat House, Kandy. Twenty-Four Facilitators who are involved in English and Computer classes, two Directors from Vavuniya and Hatton as well as two more staff from the Centre for Social Concern, Hatton took part in the training programme.

The training programme had three main sessions. The first session was entirely dedicated for a more introspective look at the current state of our engagement as teachers in three main dimensions. They are namely Personal Perspective, Group Perspective and the Institutional Perspective. The main area of discussion was in becoming affective teachers through the engagement of Loyola Campus. The first session was conducted by Thiranjala Weerasinghe, the Manager for Academic and Financial Operations of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka. The second session conducted by Dr Susanna Ablewhite, the Manager of Global English Language (GEL) programme of JWL provided an introduction into the engagement of JWL and specially about the GEL programme. Rev Fr Peter Ballais SJ, the Executive President of JWL also addressed the Facilitators. The third session which lasted for a comlete two-days was on mastering the skill of non-violent communication, an art of human communication that sustains and strengthens relationships and better forms of communication. The session was conducted by Rev Fr Anthony Pillai SJ.

The training programme has provided the teachers who refresh themselves and learn new skills and techniques that will help them personally and in their classroom engagements. The bond between facilitators coming from different Centre also was strengthened providing a way forward to work together.

Fr Daniel Hendrickson’s Visit

Rev Fr Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, the 25th president of Creighton University was on his visit to Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka to meet students, faculty, staff and senior administration. During his short visit, Fr Hendrickson visit three Loyola Campus Centres situated in Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Mannar including the Country Office in Mannar. He congratulated the staff for the successful establishment of 5 Community Learning Centres – the Loyola Campus. He noted that the collaboration of JWL-Loyola Campus will serve many young people. The campus is a shared community of learners without WALLS and attempts to reach out to the youth to bring the best of Universities to youth affected by war – who are at the margins. He further noted that this collaboration with the Sri Lanka Province is very exemplary. INTERNATIONALLY – Sri Lanka is setting some model and good standards on how to work together and keep one another informed. Thank you, Fr Hendrickson, for your visit to bring the BEST to the LEAST and for making us known internationally.

 

Fr Peter Ballais SJ’s Visit

Rev Fr Peter Ballais SJ, the Executive President of Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL), and Mr Armado Borja, Director for JWL Internal Operations visited Sri Lanka during 17-18 October 2017. The visit was a part of an annual visit of JWL in assessing the progress of the Learning Centres in Sri Lanka and planning ahead for the future. The Director of Loyola Campuses briefed Fr Peter Ballais SJ on the developments form different Centres and the desire of students for education. A number of important decisions were made during the meeting. Fr Peter Ballais SJ accepted to academically support the new learning Centres proposed by Rev Fr Milroy Fernando SJ, the Country Director of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka. Fr Peter Ballais SJ and Mr Armando Borja also briefed the team of Directors from Loyola Campus about the new courses that would be offered by JWL: Diploma in Humanities (Regis University) and English Teacher Training Programme (Creighton University).

 

QUEST 2017

 

QUEST 2017, the English Day of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka was held on 18 November 2017 at Loyola Campus- Mannar. Hon. Dr. Gnanaseelan Gunaseelan, the Minister of Health, Indigenous Medicine and Probation and Childcare Services was the Chief Guest of the Function. Rev Fr Anton Pieris SJ, the Executive Secretary and Admonitor to the Provincial of Sri Lanka Jesuit Province was the Guest of Honour. A number of guests and dignitaries attended the function.

‘QUEST 2017’, the English Day was also attended by the current students who follow English courses at Loyola Campus centres in Sri Lanka and the students of Jesuit Academies and students from different schools in Mannar. It provided the students an opportunity to meet others from various parts of Sri Lanka. The event was also instrumental in promoting peace and reconciliation among students of different ethnicities and religions.

This was the first ever effort on the part of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka to bring together students of diverse backgrounds such as Mannar, Vavuniya, Puthukkudiyiruppu, Trincomallee, Batticaloa and Hatton to one place. Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka had two-fold aims in organizing ‘QUEST 2017’:

  1. To provide the students a platform to showcase their talents and to provide an encouragement to master the English language through a process of hardwork and dedication.
  2. Provide the students a space which is not polarized by divisions of geography, ethnicity, nationality, language and social differences. QUEST 2017 was itself a process towards reconciliation.

Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka hopes to organize such events regularly through the assistance and support of its Centres located in five different places in Sri Lanka.