Education is the foundation to a good life. Mr. P.G. Varghese, Managing Director of Kuwait Educational Center and MEI for University Services is a person who not only believes in this statement but also visualized it and is now doing a yeoman service to the Indian community living in Kuwait. IIK met him in his office and gathered more details about this wonderful gentleman and his institute. His son Mr. Jomy Varghese who is co-managing the institute along with his father also joined us and shared his thoughts on education.
IIK: When & How did you come to Kuwait?
Mr. PG: I came to Kuwait in 1970 on a work visa to work in the Shuiaba Industrial Authority. Actually my line of interest is in education and I had already established myself in the education field in India. But I needed to start the same on foreign soil and for obvious reasons I chose Kuwait. So after working for one year in Shuiaba Authority I started Kuwait Educational Center.
IIK: What was the purpose of establishing Kuwait Educational Center?
Mr. P.G. We started Kuwait Educational Center to impart corporate training to major companies like Kuwait Oil Company, Kuwait National Petroleum Company, Telecommunication Center in Shuwaikh, and also to Banking studies center. The training was tailor made for the Kuwaitis and was focused on developing their communication skills and knowledge in English language. Hence the course was given the name English as a Specific Purpose (ESP). We had 75 teachers brought in especially from England to do the course for one year. We taught here in our institute and also we had made arrangements to send out teachers to the training centers in the respective companies to impart the training. This helped the Kuwaitis to go to UK, USA to do their further studies, in different fields.
IIK: Can you tell us the history of the institute?
Mr. P.G.: The institute started in 1972. It flourished due to the practical training we had imparted. But then after invasion we lost all the business. I came back in 1993 and had to restart it all over again. But this time my target was mainly the Indian community because by that time the Indian population had increased and I thought I should do something for my countrymen. I found that many of our countrymen have come here for work and are not even having a secondary school certificate. There is no means by which they can get themselves educated. So I started the institute for such people. I went to Delhi and I tied up with the National Institute of Open Schooling (Govt. Of India), which is meant for adults and also for slow learners. Also it helped some of them to immigrate to Canada and US after completing the Sr. Secondary education. Our institute has three branches MEI for University Services, Kuwait Educational Center and Shaheen Training Institute. They are located strategically in Farwaniya, Salmiya and Hawally.
IIK: What are all the various programs offered by the institute?
Mr. P.G. For the twelfth standard students and professionals holding a bachelor degree, I tied up with Sikkim Manipal University and University of Madras offering courses in IT, Business Administration, Commerce, Journalism Mass Communication and Telecom Technology which helps these professionals get their degree. Apart from this we have job oriented courses, IT certification programs and Language development courses which has benefitted a lot of students for job prospects in the local market. We also do University placement services, in affiliation with US Consultation Services Inc. (USCS), a New York based company providing quality professional counseling services and guidance to students seeking to study in UK, US, Canada, Malaysia and India. We believe that all students deserve professional guidance to make the right choice when selecting to study overseas.
IIK: Can housewives who do not have any education background also pursue any education program in your institute? What are they?
Mr. P.G. Yes we have such programs for housewives. We first help them complete their tenth grade and then after two years their twelfth grade through NIOS (the only eligibility to enroll for the tenth grade through NIOS is that the student should be at least 15 years of age). Then they come in the main stream and join any courses of their interest that exist in our curriculum. We also conduct a free IT awareness program for housewives in the mornings free of cost twice in a year.
IIK: Do you plan to start even higher education programs in your institute?
Mr. P.G. Now there is a proposal to start the M.Phil and Ph.D programs for the students who have completed their Post Graduation program. This plan is proposed because many students have approached me to start these programs. I am actually searching for an institute with whom I can tie up and hopefully I can find one in the near future for our students.
IIK: Do you offer counseling to students who completed their twelfth grade? Their parents may need such counseling.
Mr. P.G. Yes we do offer such counseling for those who are interested. They can walk in at any time into our institute and ask for an appointment and we will be glad to offer counseling to the students.
IIK: A specific thought you wish to share with students?
Mr. P.G. Yes. There is no alternative to hard work. It is the basis for laying a solid foundation.
The institute’s web site is www.stieducation.com from where all details on courses, teaching faculty, location and other details can be obtained.