As part of the faulty development, one day Staff Empowerment Training was organized on Oct 5, 2017 for all the staff of Loyola Campus Vavuniya. The Staff was introduced to an in-depth reflection on the right understanding and the special nature of the concepts Teacher and Teaching. It was aimed at generating interaction among the participants which did happen in a small way. The Staff must grow in articulation capacity. However, the staff had a separate discussion session and the participation was quite achieve. The training which started at 9.00 am continued until lunch at 2.00 p.m. It was coincided with International Teachers day and therefore the staff was well treated with a sumptuous dinner. During the feedback session, the Staff felt quite happy about the training and they had something new to learn. They felt that it was very useful to them in their teaching profession.
As part of the overall academic plan for the current September batch, all the students had “One-Day Training on Life Skill” on Sept 30, 2017. During the forenoon sessions, the students were exposed to different types of skills with their distinctiveness, and then focused their attention on Life Skill. In the afternoon sessions, students had an in-depth treatment of one selected life skill with four exercises. It was on Self-awareness.
During the feedback session at the end of the training, students shared that it was the first time they discovered them in-depth and they felt great after going through the process of self-discovery. The self-exploration process was aided by several statements and pertinent questions. The One-day Training was given by Fr. M. Elias SJ.
Fr. David SJ, CEO & Director, Cardoner Project visited our Campus along with four young volunteers on Sep 28, 2017. The main purpose was to make on the spot study and gather relevant information about the proposed volunteering Mission. Earlier Mr. Campion Fernando who is working with Fr. David SJ in the project visited the Campus and proposed the possible collaboration with us in future. The four young men who accompanied Fr. David SJ have been working as volunteers in the Two Wolves community canteen enterprise. They interacted with our students in a common meeting along with the staff. It was cordial in which they shared the nature of their canteen project and how the young people, while pursuing their studies in the University are able to work as volunteers in the canteen project. While our staff members shared their experience, the students had raised interesting questions to the young volunteers. It was a good exposes and a time for learning to our students.
Here there is a group of children being a part of the learning process at Loyola Campus- Vavuniya. Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka Considers its involvement with children to be crucial in moulding the future of this country. Through a solid foundation in education, these youngsters will be able to transform their lives and their societies in bringing peace and reconciliation, dignity and freedom, economic opportunities and a better life for the people in Sri Lanka.
This month was a busy month with exams, paper corrections and preparations for the new batch. Students were found busy studying for their course-end exams. Facilitators took extra efforts to make them ready to face the exams successfully. Essay writing and grammar lessons were conducted as revision classes to help them for this purpose. The students faced the exams well and for the much delight of all the facilitators, all of them got through the exams.
Thereafter, the preparations for the new batch began. Systematic planning and the introduction of the calendar system were focal points of these preparations. Banners and posters were displayed at public places to attract students for the new batch. Photography and Pooverasankulam practical site were the other new initiatives of the month.
Identity Cards were prepared for all the facilitators, children and the students. This initiative brought clarity to the functioning of the Campus. Pooverasankulam practical site started functioning from the beginning of the month. Every Saturday a senior facilitator and a diploma student conducted classes at the site. With the help of the students, the Campus was made attractive by planting saplings. These activities definitely would bring eco-awareness to the students. Classes at Ganeshapuram Practical Site are also conducted as usual.
The Microsoft Office Package title was renamed as Computer Application Assistant in order to receive the government approval for the NVQ Level 3. Computer Graphic Designing Course was temporally suspended due to lack of applicants. The facilitator in charge of the course, Mr Danstan has expressed his decision to leave the staff due to a personal reason. Thus, the number of the external staff has gone down to six.
Public Speaking Classes were conducted to all the students as common sessions to improve in their speaking abilities. Students courageously came forward to face the challenges of stage fear. Campus and the students are ever ready to plunge into deep study in the days to come.
This was the final month before the course is completed for the May- August batch. The students and the facilitators worked hard towards finalizing the course content. Special sessions were taken to prepare the students to face the exams successfully. Speaking and writing skills were taught in order to sharpen those skills of the students. The attendance list was finalized and necessary measures were taken against those students who lacked 75% of attendance.
During this month, the students exhibited more seriousness in their studies and involvement in skill development. They all await the exam days to put into test, their newly acquired knowledge and skills. The request of Pooverasankulam Good Shepherd Convent for facilitators was taken into consideration. English Literature Classes were conducted for two students with a view on continuing the same course during the upcoming batch. Sinhala classes and Diploma Preparatory classes were conducted regularly. Classes held at Ganeshapuram were also conducted regularly and these students have improved a lot in their conversing abilities.
Several measures were taken to keep the campus clean against the Dengue threat. The local authorities, to make sure that the campus is a safe zone for the students and the children, regularly inspected the campus. The students actively participated in cleaning the drainage system in the area in the view of preventing Dengue breeding places. That was an eye opening for the surrounding neighbours. Some neighbours joined the efforts after seeing the exemplary actions of the students.
Rev Fr Benny SJ gave a talk on Ignatian Pedagogy to the students on 31st July. They were given awareness about the methods of studies from the Ignatian perspective. Rev Fr Milroy further elaborated the topic in his guest speech at the inaugural session of the synergy forum “IDEA”. Though the topic was advanced, Fr Milroy took efforts to make it adaptable to the context.
A Leanring Centre was lauched in Vavuniya on 14 September 2015. Thanks to the contributions made by Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) now know as Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL), and the Jesuit Province of Sri Lanka, Loyola Campus has been to provide higher education to those in need. Keeping with the broader spirit of the Jesuit community, Loyola Campus hopes to instigate a ‘ripple effect’ whereby our students pass on their knowledge to the broader community.
The building was redesigned to provide two classrooms, each equipped with 20 computers. A number of certificate courses are offered at Loyola Campus, Vavuniya: certificate courses in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) a certificate course in Computer Applications: Graphic Design for Desktop Publishing, Introduction to Photography, Sinhala, Web Designing and English classes for children. .
Loyola Campus aims to help students discover and improve different skillsets through a number of exercises. The pedagogy moves away from traditional techniques of memorizing and cogitation, which is often the case in mainstream education. Through a number of activities–speech practices, reading, writing, group work, online presentations, film reviews, peer discussion, community-based teaching and projects–the center expects to improve the level of confidence in students while helping them approach education and learning as a joyful activity. While theoretical aspects receive important attention, Loyola Campus challenges its students to bring the knowledge they have learned from the classroom out into the community, by teaching classes of their own. Loyola Campus has also commenced a training programs in which selected students– who have completed learning any of the above mentioned courses–are taught the skills and given the on-site practical experience to become future facilitators. After a sufficient amount of professional training and evaluation, these individuals are provided not only employment, but also an opportunity to serve the very community they live in.