Goa Khabar : As the pandemic hits education hard, a seed has been planted to
promote an online, informal centre for career, life-long learning and hobby courses in

Called the Collaborative Learning Cafe, this is an initiative of friends of Jesuits of the Goa
Province and is being launched this weekend, on Saturday, June 5, at 6.30. pm.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Anthony (Tino) de Sa, retired from the IAS, will
deliver the inaugural speech titled A Career in the IAS: Prospects and Challenges.  This is
meant to also guide and inspire youth who might be thinking of a career in the Civil
Services. Dr Rita Paes, Director of Nirmala Institute of Education, will chair the session.

Initially being launched through the online mode, the plan is to also have real-world
classes when needed, and the situation permits.  The classes will be focused on imparting
useful knowledge and skills rather than formal qualifications.

It aims to encourage life-long learning, build job-oriented and careers skills, upgrade
skills regardless of age barriers, promote short-term courses, and build role-models for
the youth of Goa.

The route to attain this would be to tap skills of veterans willing to share their knowledge,
and encourage networking people with similar interests or hobbies, according to
Frederick Noronha, noted journalist and founder of the Alternate Publishing House, Goa
1556. The Provincial of the Goa Jesuits has lent full support to this initiative, stressing the
role of education to grow "productive, caring, and sharing citizens" and also to foster peace and harmony among all people. Content generated will be available for free download.

This goal was on the planning board of the Jesuits — who have run community colleges in Chennai, Belgaum, and elsewhere.  Oddly enough, the pandemic made the online mode
more accessible, allowing for the plans to materialise.

Offers for assistance have come in, said Merwin D'Souza SJ, who is the Goa Jesuit
Province Development Director and has been overseeing the implementation of the
project with Program Coordinator, Savio Dias.

Plans for the immediate future include technical trainings, home science, a talk on
astronomy, soft skills (personality development, communication, languages), teacher-
focused programmes, theology and scripture.

To connect with this weekend's programme, visit collaborativelearningcafe.org or
WhatsApp +91 76193 99507