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ASSUMPTION EXTENSION AND SOCIAL OUTREACH PROGRAMME (AESOP)
Since 1950, the time of its inception, Assumption College has a reputation of being one of the leading colleges for women in Kerala, imparting value based education. In tune with the vision and mission of the college, the management has developed appropriate infrastructure, effective policies, mechanisms and support systems for the holistic development of the students. All initiatives are designed to equip students with skills to make them globally competent and socially committed, with deep spiritual insights. After becoming an autonomous institution in 2016, the College made extension and social outreach programme a compulsory component for the successful completion of the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Assumption Extension and Social Outreach Programme (AESOP) is a compulsory 18 hours social involvement programme for instilling social commitment in the minds of students and to equip them to understand and respond to the socio- economic realities of the society.
The core objective of the programme is to sensitize and educate the students about the problems and practices of the local community and to inculcate in them the spirit of social responsibility.
The AESOP programme starts in the second year of the undergraduate programmes. The college selected following five rural areas in and around Changanacherry for the AESOP programme during 2018-2019: Paral, Vettithuruthu, Puzhavatha, Kumaramkary and Kidangara. The thrust areas were Health and Fitness, Waste Management, Energy Conservation, E-waste management, Amma Vayana, Human Welfare and Public Health, Civic Responsibility and Community Service, Communication Skills, Nutrition and Meal Planning, Organic Farming, Photoshop and Cyber Crime, Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), Family Budget and Financial Literacy etc. The activities in each locality under AESOP include educational modules, recreational activities, interactive and participatory programmes, exhibitions and demonstrations. Students were trained before sending them to the field. Each department will have their own specific programmes of community building at each locality. Students are given a handbook to write down their experiences and learning.
Evidence of success
Evaluation of AESOP and the feedback obtained revealed that the students got a chance to understand the social reality in close quarters and their perception to life and society has changed. Students and teachers had a fulfilling experience after the programme. 700 students and 50 faculty members participated in the programme.
Giving training to 700 students was the major problem. Finding a local common hall for the conduct of the community programmes was difficult. Another problem experienced in the field was to cater to the needs of the diverse group in the community.