Loyola Extension Services (LES)
The Social Lab of Loyola College of Social Sciences 

Building a Character, Identity and Future

Loyola Extension Services (LES) is the Resource cum Outreach Centre of Loyola College of Social Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram. It was established in 1986 and registered under the Charitable Societies Registration Act in the same year.

 

LES was started in alignment with the UGC guidelines that envisaged teaching, research and extension as the triple functions of the University system. The aims and objectives of LES are to integrate outreach and academics and avoid the pitfalls of academic isolation and detachment of the conventional university system from active public engagement. 

In spirit, LES actively 'functions' as the social lab associated with the College. It promotes incubation and innovation in relevant and needed areas. It therefore also functions as a social and incubation centre.

In its 36 years of existence, LES has evolved into a multi-dimensional resource, research, social consultancy and public services centre. It is engaged in various public, outreach and academic programmes and initiatives such as; Community Development, Counselling Services, Child Protection, Childline and Kerala Child Rights Observatory, Action Research, Documentation, and Publications.

In growing its institutional identity as a social lab, LES is at present poised to embark on a critical step to address the social complexity and social challenges this throws up. It is working towards a new integrative initiative called the LES Multiversity Platform (LES MP). The platform which will be developed over the next ten years is the operating feature of the proposed LES Multiversity. LES Multiversity will be a fuller expression of the social lab identity of LES. It is possible that generations in the future may take this engagement even further towards an 'LES Transversity'.

Organisational Strengthening and Consolidation

LES has grown in many ways since its formation in 1986. Its comprehensive objectives have closely guided us. While keeping close to the objectives, our response to the needs of society has grown in the following ways.  

  • Active inter-link with the students, teachers and the alumni of the Loyola College of Social Sciences.

  • Collaborative and partnership platforms (local, national and international) with like-minded organisations in all fields serving the well being of people. 

  • Publicly available in-house multimedia publications ( research articles, monographs, newsletters, trend reports, alternative policy papers, inspiring case studies, manuals, thematic book series, issues-related books, videos, audio and issues-related websites).

  • n-house formation and training for staff, associates and partners in selected areas (e.g. counselling, research, documentation, communication skills, etc).

  • Reviews and social audit of governance processes, guiding frameworks and activities to improve relevance and response to social needs. 

  • Engagement through transdisciplinarity, transformative learning and critical civic engagement.

  • Active community-supported organisation through various bonafide funding efforts (including crowd-sourcing) for its eco-social initiatives.

  • Comprehensive integration of activities through the ‘multiversity platform’. 

Education/Learning/Formation Activities

  • Encouraging young people to serve their ‘calling’ (not just a career).

  • Conducting adult and non-formal education to impart basic life skills and address ‘regenerative deschooling’.

  • Providing competencies-based training for those seeking self-employment that encourages sustainable lifestyle and livelihood.

  • Conducting job-oriented educational programmes as well as upgrading the competencies of labourers in the lower rung of the labour market (‘workers at risk’).

  • Organising programmes for critical social analysis that encourages conscientisation, deschooling and decolonisation.

  • Conducting special development programmes focusing on building the dignity and well-being of women, children and communities at the lower rungs of the community social structure (including ‘Harijans’).

  • Conducting family welfare, counselling and development programmes.

  • Conducting symposia to explain as well as to popularise various discoveries in science to society.

  • Organising conferences and unconferences to encourage new conversations and thinking on development and eco-socio well-being.

 

Consolidation and Strengthening Grassroots Community Action

  • Imparting extension and outreach services to the society, particularly with the ‘communities at risk’ (children, women, the physically-mentally challenged, marginalised labour, indigenous people, eco-migrants, among others).

  • Supporting social/civil society organisations to formulate, implement and follow up on economic development programmes that also respect ethical practices, eco-socio-sustainability and global labour standards.

  • Helping build social enterprises (through social entrepreneurship efforts) that promote ‘nature-and-community-nurturing’ value creation.

  • Imparting extension and outreach services to young people of all schools and colleges

  • Conducting developmental programmes for students to find and develop their talents while emphasising empathy and compassion.

  • Providing relevant value-based and learner-centred in-service training for teachers.

  • Organising R & D (Research and Development) programmes for helping the learning processes and public engagement of civil society organisations.

  • Organising resource programmes in the field of social sciences and humanities

  • Supporting grass-roots groups organise such critical initiatives as documentation centres, libraries, audio-visual centres, communication skills, etc

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