Higher education department ready to chart a revolutionary course

Picture this: an engineering student tinkers with tools at a laboratory. The very next moment,he picks up a guitar and sings out loud like a rockstar.

Written by Shubhlakshmi Shukla | Vadodara | Published: March 29, 2009 1:14:16 am

Picture this: an engineering student tinkers with tools at a laboratory. The very next moment,he picks up a guitar and sings out loud like a rockstar. It might appear as a figment of imagination of a youngster,but it could soon translate into reality once the state government’s new model curriculum comes into effect.

It was a long felt need to have a curriculum in the state that would not only award a degree,but also equip students to realise their dreams. The state government has finally decided to answer this call. In what could be termed as a unique event in the field of higher education in Gujarat,the state higher education department has initiated a move to set up a model curriculum that would have a more objective approach than subjective. The state government has provided Rs 10 lakh to M S University’s (MSU) Faculty of Education and Psychology to formulate the curriculum where a student could opt for an elective subject of choice. Once it comes into effect,a student of engineering could simultaneously do a course on music.

Prof Ramesh Goyal,MSU Vice-Chancellor,said: “On March 25,professors and higher education experts across Gujarat met to discuss the issue. Two months ago,the Faculty of Education and Psychology sent a proposal to the state higher education department to discuss on framing a model curriculum. The department agreed to it and MSU is in the process of setting up a model curriculum where students can choose an elective subject as per their interests,which would also help them find employment.”

He added,“Similar curricula are in use in some other universities in the state and those abroad.”

Prof Goyal further said that it is an attempt to generate interest among the youth. The gross enrolment average in higher education in Gujarat is 9.83 per cent,which is lower than the national average of 11 per cent. There are many youngsters in the state who are educated but unemployed. The model curriculum will include vocational courses that would help find employment,he said.

“The model curriculum will be accepted by universities as per choice,” Prof Goyal added.

Similar curricula are available in IIMs,IITs as well as in some universities in Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile,Kireet Joshi,Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s advisor on education,who was present during a recent meeting on the model curriculum,said,“It is appreciable that the higher education department is coming up with an updated and diversified curriculum. This would improve the educational standard in the state.” State commissioner of higher education,Jayanti Ravi,refused to comment on the issue.

Officials of the state higher education department refusing to be named said: “The UGC has pointed out the lacunae in higher education in the state. We intend to work on them and develop a course that will groom youths in several subjects right from the basics. Even a student who wants to appear for competitive exams can opt for a subject of that nature and can be groomed right from the undergraduate level.”

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