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Alumni Update

Category: Uncategorized

28 Oct 2013


Shirin Tejani took the 10.5-week intensive ‘Children, Youth and Development‘ post-graduate diploma course in 2012. Following graduation she got the post of Research Associate with the Centre for Research and Experiments for Action and Policy (REAP) under the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), state Government of Haryana (India). Prior to this, she was teaching at the Symbiosis School of Economics, and has extensive research experience in India. She has also been volunteering with the Aga Khan Education Service, India (AKESI) for over 14 years, and since the completion of her Diploma at ISS, serves on the Board of Trustees of Fidai Institutions.

At REAP she is involved in two projects. The first of these is an impact evaluation of a pilot teacher-training programme for government primary schools in the State, while in the second, she is designing and implementing a pilot reading initiative for students of government senior secondary and high schools in two districts.

The work involves research methodology design using randomised evaluations, budgeting, surveying, and extensive collaboration with Action Research Associates at the District-level Institutes of Education and Training in Haryana state, as well as collaborations with academic researchers and education-oriented NGOs from across the world.

The most challenging part of her work involves co-functioning with government educators while also devising programmes to alter a chronic system and attitudes; as well as reducing the gap in learning outcomes between children attending government schools (usually from disadvantaged economic backgrounds) and those attending private schools (usually economically better-off). This task is even more crucial in the light of increasing economic inequalities led by the State’s ongoing economic boom.

Shirin is thoroughly enjoying the work and the learning experience that it provides.




Alumni Hilton Nyamukapa has been busy since getting his CYS degree at ISS in 2011. As Child Protection Outreach Officer for Streets Ahead Welfare Organisation in Zimbabwe, Hilton has worked on behalf of children living and laboring on the streets of Harare, managing the drop-in center and supervising such activities as life skills training and counseling. He has also been monitoring and evaluating the center’s child protection interventions as well as aligning the organisation’s programs with government policies.
Hilton says his MA program at ISS helped prepare him to step into these roles: “Specialising in Children and Youth Studies helped me to comprehensively understand  the policy and problem areas surrounding children and youth  in a broad social context of globalisation, poverty and conflict. A close analytical approach towards key challenging issues such as education, work, health, sexuality, violence and abuse has helped me further understand the multi-dimensionality and interrelationships among vulnerabilities facing Zimbabwe’s young people. The specialization’s  particular consideration of cross-cutting issues such as vulnerability, resilience, exclusion, agency and participation has been instrumental in helping me identify and formulate custom and targeted interventions that are responsive and transformative within my entire working environment.”
Not wanting to stop there, Hilton has sought even further education in short courses such as a Research Ethics Course (UNICEF and Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe) in 2012 and a Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation course (Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University, Netherlands) in 2013. Hilton has also been accepted to the PhD program at Canterbury University in New Zealand. He hopes to begin his proposed research on “Revisiting Policy, Standards, and Practice: Building a Comprehensive Approach to Care and Protection of Unaccompanied Children in Zimbabwe” in January 2014.

Hilton (3rd from left) working with youth at the drop-in center

Hilton (3rd from left) working with youth at the drop-in center

International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.