‘Nana Shakthi’ program for Universities, Schools | Daily News

‘Nana Shakthi’ program for Universities, Schools

Minister of Industry & Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen presenting’ funds’ to a school to initiate a Cooperative Society  Picture By: Wimal Karunathilake
Minister of Industry & Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen presenting’ funds’ to a school to initiate a Cooperative Society Picture By: Wimal Karunathilake

The Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons and Co-operative Development, launched the “Nana Shakthi” program, which brings co-operative leadership and co-op shops to Sri Lankan Universities and Schools.

Cooperative Societies were initially established in Sri Lanka in 1906, which assisted the economic, social and cultural atmosphere of the nation through multiple fields. The first School Cooperative Society based on cooperative ethics, was established in 1929, focusing on the development of school children. Later, it turned popular among teachers, principals, students and even non academic staff members, who worked tirelessly to develop it. However, with the advancing world and lack of participation of school entities, cooperative societies malfunctioned in recent years.

At this event, 14 National Schools were granted with Rs. 500,000 each, to inaugurate and develop cooperative societies in their respective schools. “We hope to continue this successfully,” said Minister of Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons and Co-operative Development, Rishad Bathiudeen. Moreover, pilot projects, the “Nana Shakthi“program is to be going to be implemented in provincial level schools in the future.“This type of development projects need to be initiated from schools,” he further said.

“With the increase of competition among businesses, co-operative societies have lost its professionalism,” said Commissioner of Co-operative Development and Registrar of Co-operative Societies S. L. Naseer. He also said that presently, the majority of these societies are led by old people. Therefore, the youth needs to be encouraged to make them get involved in these societies. Also, women participation in the management level of cooperative societies needs to be increased unlike in other sectors. Even though owning for a proud history of co-operative development in Sri Lanka, countries such as India, Philippine, Japan and Thailand have achieved much success in this sector, He further said.

Leadership skills are important to create a more competitive and influential society. Hence, through this program, students as well as youth are given the opportunity to practice and develop their leadership skills. Hence, youth services societies formed through these cooperative societies and the recently launched COOP YES – the Co-operative Youth Empowerment Society, would be assisting this major task. Furthermore the Ministry has also granted financial assistance to inaugurate ‘Coop Shop’ which enables to incorporate Students from Schools and Universities to bring forth new ideas with relate to business and technological opportunities. Hence this increases participation of students and youth in the development of cooperative societies.

The expected programs to be initiated through the ‘Nana Shakthi’ program are categorized into three sectors as Schools, Universities and the Youth. Carrying out a two day leadership and cooperative development program for member students and teachers of cooperative societies, conducting seminars and workshops for students facing scholarship, G.C.E Ordinary Level and G.C.E Advanced Level examinations, conducting workshops to provide understanding of the ethics and practices of cooperative societies, providing guidance and financial assistance to member students who are leaving school to develop their future, increasing financial capabilities of cooperative societies conducted in schools and universities and initiating gardening projects based on fruits and vegetables in schools and universities are some of the programs that are expected to be initiated.

Through these programs, a number of expected outcomes are on line.

Increasing the awareness among school children, university students and youth where by enhancing the knowledge, skills and attitudes, to increase the member participation, financial stability and attractiveness in cooperative societies, enable the youth to achieve success through self strength and live collectively in society, to develop awareness of national and international cooperative practices, to build up new business and entrepreneur job opportunities, to reduce the unemployment among youth and contribute for uplifting the national economy through this societies and increase the participation of youth for cooperative activities by providing the necessary encouragement are some of the expected outcomes.


 

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