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Mon 31 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Indian construction workers to be offered secondary education

NIOS and CEI to give Indian labourers the chance to sit secondary examinations after meetings at Malayee Samajam

Indian labourers working in the UAE are set to be given the opportunity to train for and sit their secondary examinations under the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) system with the Cosmos Educational Institute (CEI). The scheme was finalised after a series of meetings held at the Malayalee Samajam in Abu Dhabi and the CEI in Dubai.

According to Student Support Services & Vocational Education and the CEI the course will act as an effective tool for Indian construction workers to upgrade their education and help find better jobs.

“The introduction of the Malayalam medium at the secondary level by the National Institute of Open Schooling will enable a sizable population of Indians, and in particular Malayalees of the labour category, to qualify for their class X examination while continuing with their jobs,” said Shibu Nair, managing director, CEI, Karama.

The move comes on the back of recent amendments to UAE government regulations that stipulate that certain categories of semi-skilled workers now require a secondary certification to process their employment visas in the country.

“Since UAE rules have changed regarding the level of education labourers need to get work there, this idea is good,” said Sandeep Garg, recruitment consultant, Overseas Careers Recruiting, New Delhi, India. “Now Indian construction workers can get an education and better themselves. This initiative will probably make the UAE a more attractive place to work,” he added.

Those who participated in the meetings that culminated in the launch of the new secondary Malayalam medium course were the co-ordinators of National Institute of Open Schooling, officials from the Indian Embassy, Indian Social Centre, Kerala Social Centre, Malayalee Samajam, Indian Islamic Centre, Dubai Priyadarshini, Bhavana Arts Society Dubai Art Lovers Association, Dubai Kairali Kala Kendram, Emirates Art Centre, Indian Arts Society, Indian Cultural Association, Indian Relief Committee and others.

NIOS has also announced a 50% concession in admission fees for labourers in the UAE, meaning construction workers will only have to pay US$300 instead of the mandatory $600.

The course will last for one year and students will be given study materials as well as personal coaching, while books, audio-visual aids and teaching orientation will also be provided. Students can take five subjects and two languages and examinations will be held twice a year.

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