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UN Partners with KISS for Innovative Project

KISS Organises Media Advocacy Programme on LSE & ARSH
Workshop on Life Skill Education for Teachers at KISS

UN Partners KISS for Innovative Project

United Nations has partnered with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), the biggest residential tribal institute in the South Asia, for an innovative project to overcome knowledge and skills deficit for life skills education in the state. To be administered by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the project has a high potential of replicability across the country. 

This is the first project of its type of UNFPA in South East Asia and the biggest project of UNFPA for Odisha state. The project will address tribal adolescents who are highly vulnerable and have fewer opportunities to access information.

Under the project, Life Skills Education (LSE) Programme will be taken up among the students of KISS through co-curricular activities with the help of youth friendly counseling and health services. Efforts will be made to enhance research capabilities on issues related to Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) and LSE. Under the partnership, UNFPA will have an office in the premises of KISS.

The learning and experiences at KISS would be used to steer the process for initiating LSE in the tribal schools of the state through the SC & ST Development Department and School and Mass Education Department of Government of Odisha.

The projects will be helpful for KISS to do a bit more for the deprived tribal population of the country, said Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KISS and KIIT. It will definitely contribute to make it an institute, which will have relevance not only in India, but whole of world as a model for development of deprived and poor, he added. 
KISS Organises Media Advocacy Programme on LSE & ARSH

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) organized a media advocacy workshop for the correspondents of both print and electronic media on 24th December 2010 at Hotel New Marion, Bhubaneswar. The workshop aimed at sensitizing correspondents so that they would advocate for bringing appropriate changes in the policy framework for inclusion of Life Skills Education (LSE) in the existing educational system.

With the support of UNFPA, KISS has been honing the abilities of its tribal students through LSE and Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) for enabling them to deal with the demands and challenges in their quotidian life effectively. In Odisha, many tribal adolescents and their family members have little access to information pertaining to health provisions, government schemes and facilities, and hence are deprived of those benefits.

LSE and ARSH initiative of KISS, which is a pioneer educational institute providing free education with residential facilities to 12,000 tribal students, has created a sustainable and enabling environment for the students. The project also aims at building the capacity of KISS as a resource center to support and expand LSE and broaden research base in areas of ARSH.

Interventions undertaken during one year of LSE project in KISS include development of course based curriculum, empanelling resource persons, strengthening counseling services and liaisoning with government officials for state-wide implementation of the project. In addition, the research activities on adolescent issues have been undertaken with the support Utkal University, Fakir Mohan University, Sambalpur University and North Odisha University. Total 19 research papers are now available with KISS reflecting health, life skills and social issues of adolescents in Odisha. Resource and communication materials are being developed and disseminated for the smooth spread of LSE and ARSH. Young people have been enrolled as trained peer educators and counselors.

Under the LSE project an Adolescent Resource Centre has been established which serves the needs of its adolescent students. Exposure visits to Public Utility places are also organized for the students to develop their skill in accessing the systems. In addition, outreach programmes have been carried out for slum adolescents in nearby slums on ARSH. Co-curricular activities like street theatres, puppetry, Pala, Daskathia are performed by the peer educators for the promotion of LSE and ARSH. Shri Hemanta Dwibedy, State Programme Coordinator, UNFPA, said media should come forward to help those unprivileged, while Dr. Prashanta Routray brief about the programme. Achyuta Samanta also commented on the role of media for advice and proper publicity. The media advocacy programme highlighted different facets and significance of LSE in KISS.
Workshop on Life Skill Education for Teachers at KIIT

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) organized a Workshop for Teachers on Life Skill Education (LSE) at KIIT on 17th September 2010. The workshop was inaugurated by Shri Pratap Jena, Hon’ble Minister of State (Ind.), Department of School & Mass Education, Govt. of Odisha in the presence of Mr. Vinod Kumar, IFS, Special Secretary, SC & ST Development Department, Govt. of Odisha, Mr. Hemant Dwivedi, State Head, UNFPA and Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KISS & KIIT.

Inaugurating the workshop, Shri Jena informed that LSE is a part of primary and secondary curriculum for several years. It aims to impart decision-making skills, communication skills and skills to handle emotions, he elaborated, adding that these would help students to choose a healthy lifestyle. The Hon’ble Minister stressed that such workshop is needed in every part of the state, while commending Dr. Samanta for taking the initiative.

More than 250 delegates from different schools of Odisha attended the one-day workshop. Participants included teachers of different schools, educationists and officials of various Government departments. There was meaningful experience sharing among the delegates, who also interacted with the students of KISS undergoing Life Skill Education. Impressed with the success of LSE programme in KISS, they requested resource persons from KISS to visit and guide this programme in their respective schools.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vinod Kumar said that the workshop will play an important role in enhancing the confidence and skill of the participants, and will help achieve the objectives of the Life Skills Education program. Mr. Hemant Dwivedi said that the workshop would enhance knowledge and life skills among students in school and college and create an enabling environment to improve reproductive and sexual health.

Dr. Samanta expressed his gratitude to Shri Jena and other eminent guests for sparing their valuable time for the workshop. Dr. P. K. Routray, CEO, KISS and Dr. Kanhu Charan Swain, Principal also spoke on the occasion.