'We produce many first graduates'

Interview with Bishop Rev. M. Joseph.

Published : Mar 02, 2020 07:00 IST

Bishop Rev. Dr M. Joseph, Church of South India, Diocese of Madurai and Ramanathapuram.

Bishop Rev. Dr M. Joseph, Church of South India, Diocese of Madurai and Ramanathapuram.

Bishop Rev. Dr M. Joseph, president, governing council of The American College, is the spiritual force behind the institution. The Principal, Vice Principal and Bursar are ex-offico members of the 14-member governing council. There are representatives of all sections, including staff, a university nominee and a syndicate nominee. Rev. Joseph helps set the direction for the college and keeps a firm focus on delivering education for the poor and the downtrodden.

What is your role in the college

as president of the governing council ?

The governing council is a democratic set-up. Under the bylaws, the Bishop is the president of the governing council. So far we have set right many problems. And we made use of the new campus, the satellite campus. We have developed many courses and created the necessary infrastructure. Now the self-financing section is improving and seems to be preferred more than the aided courses.

The vision of the college is to be a Christian higher educational institution of global standard and reputation. The mission is to train students to be responsible global citizens, to impart knowledge in every discipline, to inculcate in students the highest ideals of service to the poor and the marginalised, to develop vibrant campus subcultures of pluralism, Christian inclusiveness and aesthetic self-expression, and to develop in students individual competencies to relate meaningfully with the emerging global space. The governing council makes sure that the college stays focussed on this vision and mission.

How do you ensure the pro-poor tilt in your institution? To serve the poor is a professed aim of your diocese.

As far as the fee is concerned, this college offers among the lowest monthly fee in the city. We give priority to rural and backward children in admission. We take merit into account, too, but we do not neglect children from the rural areas. We produce many “first graduates”, that is, the first ones in their families to graduate. Chathrapatti satellite campus has more students from rural areas than from cities. We arrange buses for them. There are many schemes for those who are not able to afford the tuition fee. We make sure that if a student deserves a spot in the college, he will get it regardless of whether he can pay for his tuition, books or anything else.

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