Dear Colleagues and friends:
I am very happy to write this annual newsletter for 2011-12 remembering all our accomplishments this year. The Centre has steadily grown during this year, and has succeed in getting prestigious opportunities - an assignment from USIEF and a documentary project from University of Wisconsin Centre for South Asia. There have been also many enquiries from renowned institutions and Universities to have CM Centre as their affiliates. At this juncture, I would like to thank you all for your tremendous contribution, and support. I am sharing some of my thoughts and ideas for 2012-13 and request you to give your suggestions and plans. Since the Centre has to budget for the financial year 2012-13, this exercise has to be completed by March 17th, 2012. The following ideas relate to all the enquiries we have been receiving regarding accreditation of grades and transcripts.
Vision of CM Centre:
I have to share my personal experiences from 1996 and my passion for educational research, betterment of teaching and learning processes and higher educational opportunities for the underprivileged. When I started my PH.D research, the first thing I realized was the obvious - improving equal educational opportunities will eventually result in social justice. More than handing out benefit packages, empowering people to think for themselves will work in the long run. In order to move in this direction of social work action, I had been preparing to start some thing like this. But in 1996 it was a far fetched dream, and it even sounded like euphoria. But now with all your support and contribution, we are on the road to achieving this. If we wanted to make a one line statement about the vision of CM Centre : It is "power to people through knowledge" Every thing CM Centre undertakes alone or under the auspices of AJ Trust will be for education, bringing educators and learners from all over the world together and making access to quality education available to all.
Academic Programmes and goals to be accomplished during 2012-13:
#1. Complete the work related to the documentary, and write the film notes and suitable script for it. Complete all the background research for it.
#2. Complete the ETA programme successfully by designing our own Tamil language programme and Teacher r education programme for English teaching
#3. Complete the text materials for Elementary and intermediate level Tamil reader. This can be improved next year.
#4. Train at least a group of 6 Tamil teachers and 6 Tamil teaching assistants who can teach Tamil as a second language, by using a standard teaching methodology.
#5. Develop sound teacher education programmes for interns from study abroad programmes, who want to teach in the local schools
#6. Bring out one to two research papers during this year, like our first research paper The Tales of the Temple Towers and the Visual Art
#7. Publish two to three small coffee table articles and pamphlets such as Thayam CD or Sheetal's work on Fashion in Madurai. These can be given to our visitors as complements.
Marketing the programmes:
Marketing our programmes should happen simultaneously as we do the capacity building mentioned above and also below. During 2012-13, we can be cautious, and systematic, going through the known contacts and imparting quality services. If we are able to document all our accomplishments, and challenges, we can go for more extensive marketing in the year 2013-14. By then all of us should be ready with passports, train ourselves in communicating with study abroad clients, and presenting our potentials in a good way. If you can all suggest how we could do this, I will appreciate it.
Professional capacity building:
Each time we hire a field assistant, lecturer, or teacher of any kind, we have to prepare them to work in our centre. The training manuals and course contents have to be developed for the administrative, accounting and field staff. Communicating expectations is of utmost importance for the capacity building.
The most important part of the capacity building is to hire professors on sabbatical to come over to Madurai and lead our programmes for six months or one year. While they are here they will also train our staff in understanding study abroad academic content and administration. Possibilities for January to June 2013 Dr.Sally A.Noble. July to December 2013, Dr.David B.Wills. Ms.Mika Willis
Field staff, and coordination:
With the field staff, whether one time or regular, we have to prepare them before sending them with any of our clients. The job simply does not end with translation services, or explaining about the culture. They are also cultural ambassadors of CM Centre, and public relations personnel of the CM Centre. In that capacity, they all have to get thorough orientation about the Centre's expectations, dos and don ts.
Research and Publications:
#1. Develop sound teacher education programmes for interns from study abroad programmes, who want to teach in the local schools
#2. Bring out one to two research papers during this year, like our first research paper The Tales of the Temple Towers and the Visual Art
#3. Publish two to three small coffee table articles and pamphlets such as Thayam CD or Sheetal's work on Fashion in Madurai. These can be given to our visitors as complements.
Research teams and service providers:
Build a good data base for research assistants, outsourcing personnel connected to our researches, and also all the service providers related to research work. If needed we also have to develop some guidelines for training them or communicating our expectations.
Infrastructure and Resources:
#1. Minimum 500 books a year through purchase and donations
#2. Most important. A very simple additional meeting space that can be partly open air, and will have provisions for a class room facility, multi media session. Expected expenses is just Rs.40,000/- I will discuss this more in a separate mail. This meeting space is very important to administer all the training programmes and implement other capacity building plans.
Human Resources and Administration:
#1. Empower the staff with more decision making powers, and teaching them to handle small every day and weekly routines promptly, creatively, and responsibly.
#2. Meeting schedules for all levels of staff, and proper plan to conduct these meetings
#3. e-mail communication. Exploit the advantages of technology to the fullest extent. Each one at each level of employment should update with the details every week, and respond with out delay.
#4. Periodical HR exercises and other professional capacity building exercises for the centre. This will include some History classes, and documentary watching etc. to make our staff understand the nature of our business.
#1. Periodical HR exercises and other professional capacity building exercises for the centre. This will include some History classes, and documentary watching etc. to make our staff understand the nature of our business.
#2. Life insurance, medical insurance and accident insurance for all the staff who travel on the Centre's business.
#3. Annual picnics and monthly activity sessions that brings the group together through some educational game programmes.
#4. Children's educational sponsorships and scholarships.
Relationship with AJ Trust and the goals:
#1. All the visions of CM Centre is also the goals and vision of AJ Trust. having said that, the rule of AJ Trust is to design more outreach programmes for the underprivileged.
#2. The research activities and publications undertaken by the CM Centre will be donated to the AJ Trust.
#.3. The funds for the AJ trust will partly come from the CM Centre's income and the percentage will be periodically reviewed and changed.
#4. The scholarship students identified by the the AJ Trust will get part time or ful time employment, depending on their credentials and availability.
If all of you can go through each aspect of this mail carefully and send your responses I will be grateful. Then we can plan the budget for 2012-13 and present it as soon as possible.