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WHO Features Research by Salesian Higher Education Institutes


By C.M. Paul
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Kolkata, Aug. 15. A collaborative research study conducted by Salesian College Siliguri and Salesian University Bolivia on education in pandemic times and published in the Scopus platform has featured on the World Health Organisation website. Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.
The 2020 study cited on the WHO website is joint research by Prof George Thadathil and Assistant Professor Yadhika Prasad from Salesian College Siliguri and Professor Willy Chambi and Assistant Professor EGR Silva of Salesian University Bolivia.

''When the call for research project and presentations at the International Seminar of the Ecuador Salesian University came up, Chambi suggested we collaborate,'' recalls Principal of Salesian College Siliguri and Sonada Fr George Thadathil. Early in 2020, Salesian College had already done the pandemic research in Siliguri and Sonada campuses, with Sociology and Psychology Departments taking the lead.

The Indian partner shared the data and the questionnaire with the Bolivian team, who replicated the study. The result was jointly presented and later published in collaboration with Assistant Professor Yadika Prasad of Salesian College Siliguri.

The collaboration was possible as both institutions are members of Internationale Universita' Salesiana (IUS). The IUS and Don Bosco Higher Education in India network of some 50 colleges and one university offer higher visibility of Salesian Higher Education.

Although Salesian College Sonada and Universidad Salesianos de Bolivia are geographically on two continents, they have both been affected by the pandemic and faced similar challenges in ensuring the continuity of higher education.

The pandemic caused by Covid-19 forced educational institutions to close doors to contain the spread of the infection. However, education did not stop. Instead, they found the opportunity to change face-to-face classes to virtual format and enter into a new paradigm in education.

At the same time, this migration from face-to-face to virtual has brought challenges to higher education institutions around the world, among them, the Salesian institutions of higher learning. The Salesian mission in the world promotes open access to higher education especially, for young people with economic and social disadvantages.

Salesian College provided video conferencing tools and faculty development programs to equip faculty to teach online mode, make tutorial videos, conduct online tests and exams.

Radio Salesian and Salesian TV got together professors from 64 colleges of North Bengal University to prepare Radio lessons and broadcast on radio and Salesian TV. College Management also helped 100 female students with laptops for online education. The global pandemic has intrigued academicians and compelled researchers to measure the impact of the new situation in the educational community.
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