Satyasundar Barik

BHUBANESWAR: Are you a newspaper literate and able to express yourself through writing? If yes, you are eligible to pursue a course in journalism or economics as well in Orissa.

Samadrusti Open School (SOS), promoted by Bhubaneswar-based fortnightly Oriya news magazine ‘Samadrusti’, has come out with two innovative education programmes for putting the theories into practice.

For getting admission into the programme, one does not necessarily come from a school or college. Even people of any age could seek an entry into the schools.

Although the SOS is planning to issue a certificate to every student after completion of the course, those running the institutions claim that they want the students practice the “wisdom” they will be acquiring through the programmes.

To begin with SOS has founded two schools, Ashok Babu Centre for Culture and Communication and Rajendra Centre for Indigenous Economy. “We are targeting people who at some point of time could not get a scope to attend schools. However, they should have self-belief and enthusiasm to do something,” said Swayamprabha Padhi, principal of SOS. Indigenous economy programme has been interestingly conceptualised.

While students will go through theories based on Orissa’s economy and current finances for 12 months, they will have to spend six months either in paddy fields, vegetable markets or near forest areas to observe as to how village economy is functioning.

The training will help students pick up profession such as fishery, marketing of non-timber forest produces, forming cooperatives and indigenous agriculture on their own. “We are encouraging 10-student units from a cluster of villages for indigenous economy classes,” Sudhir Patnaik, Chairman of SOS, said.