An education expo is currently under way in Kerala to help youngsters from all dioceses, especially in rural areas, to make the right choices before heading into higher studies. KAIROS Education Expo 2011 in Thrissur, in the southern Indian state, is helping youngsters find the right course, the right college and advising them how not to fall prey to cheats. Organized by the youth commission of Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM), the expo began on April 26 and will end on May 12. “If the KCYM had organized an educational expo earlier, my dream of becoming an engineer would not have been thwarted,” lamented Ajeesh Kocheri, a Catholic youth. Kocheri had joined an engineering college in Bangalore after paying a capitation fee but later found out the college had no university affiliation. He had to discontinue his studies. Students in the state often end up losing their money and time by enrolling at unrecognized colleges. The motto of this expo is “higher education through safe hands,” said Father Jaison Kollannur, secretary of the bishops’ youth commission. “Our career guidance seminar conducted by a respected career counselor also helps students take the right route,” he added. Father Kollannur said the 50 colleges and institutions taking part in the event have been carefully scrutinized. The expo includes the stands of respected colleges, career guidance by professional counselors and quiz competitions. “Students and parents have been coming in their thousands,” Father Sunny Kollarthottam, KCYM director in Mannthavady diocese said. Due to a lack of information, students from rural areas try and enroll join overly-popular courses like engineering and medicine, Father Kollarthottam said. “This event also highlights many new courses that are available today,” he added. Jini Valeril, said the event has helped her decide on her future She said she was undecided whether to take up nursing or teaching after completing school. “Career guidance has helped me choose nursing, because it has tremendous opportunities,” she smiled. IB14109
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