Supporting Education in North East India
The Ireland India Education Foundation (IIEF) was founded in 2008 to support the work of Providence School in Shillong, North East India. Providence is a dual academic and vocational school, aiming to equip its graduates with the education and skills needed in today's workplace. In 2009 we were tasked with creating the International Certificate in Applied Secondary Education. With the help and support of Dundalk Institute of Technology the first exams were run in June 2012.
Where is Shillong?
Shillong is a city in the North Eastern State of Meghalaya (meaning the Home of the Clouds). It's home to many tribal groups, mainly the Khasi an Jaintia. Shillong is on average 4,900 feet above sea level, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Due to this Shillong is a very beautiful city with green hillsides all around. It is also a reason for the lack of development in the area. India's famous rail system does not stretch to the North Eastern corner of the country.
Providence was started in 1999 by Br. Steve d'Souza. Br. d'Souza saw that there was a need for an alternative mode of eductation for the poor of Shillong and so we went about setting up Providence School. Since then the school has grown from a population of four to almost three hundred. There are now nine classes, all of which learn trades each morning until 10.30 and then take lessons in Maths, English and Home Science. The first group graduated from Providence School in 2008 and are now all working locally.
Irish schools have been involved with Providence since 2000 when a group from the Abbey in Tipperary and St. Joseph's in Drogheda travelled to India to work in the school. Since then the schools have been returning to India annually. In 2012, Coláiste an Phiarsaigh from Cork travelled to Shillong to visit the school. While they were there they oversaw the first IIEF - DkIT exams that were taken in June 2012.
International Certificate in Applied Secondary Education
In 2011 Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) came on board to support the creation of the International Certificate in Applied Secondary Education. They lent the weight and expertise of an internationally recognized educational institution to the ongoing efforts of the Ireland India Educational Foundation. They have also created a scholarship fund for Providence School, which will help its students progress onto higher education. A committee has been set up within DkIT to assess other ways in which the Intitute of Technology can be of assistance to the students of Providence School.
Providence School Shillong
The best way to stay in touch is via Facebook. The director of the school, Br. Steve d'Souza updates regularly from Shillong. To contact us here in Ireland you may also use the email friendsofprovidence 'at' gmail 'dot' com.