Demand of the Day: Timely Change in Curriculum

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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What kind of education do you expect to get by studying a course designed more than a decade ago?


You will be studying facts of almost a decade ago in the classroom, and when you graduate from the university and face the real world, you will feel you are lagging far behind as the world will have moved ahead. As education needs to address the issues of the existing contexts, there needs to be timely revision of the curriculum. But Tribhuvan University (TU), the oldest university in the nation, has not made timely changes in the curricula, forcing the students to study the course designed a decade ago.

The delay TU revised the curricula of most of the courses in Bachelors and Masters level in the year 2008, and it took almost 12 years for the university to revise and change the curricula.

Explaining the reasons behind the delay, Keshav Kumar Shrestha, Chief of Curriculum Development Centre TU said, “The delay in revising the curriculum of TU was caused by political instability in the nation especially due to the prolonged Maoist revolution.“ He further claimed the monitoring of the curricula of subjects being taught at TU has been effective only after 2008.

While the curricula of most of the subjects has already been changed, some courses are in the process of being revised.But the main reason for courses not being revised is the lengthy process of the curriculum development bodies. The curricula to be revised need to be passed through a total of five committees namely -Subject Committee, Standing Committee, General Committee, Faculty Board and Academic Council.

Amar Raj Joshi, Dean of Central Department of English at TU, shared, “It's been almost 11 years, and the curriculum of English has not been changed. I think this is all because of the lengthy process of curriculum development bodies.“

Krishna Prasad Acharya, Vice Chairperson of Shankar Dev Campus, believes political interference as the main reason in the delay of the revision and change of curricula. Lecturer at Ratna Rajya Laxmi College, Hemnath Paudel agreeing with Acharya added, “It's been almost three or four months that the post of Vice chancellor in TU has remained vacant. It has occurred because of interference of political parties who want to appoint the person of their own interest. The part of curriculum development has also suffered from such kind of interferences.“

Who is responsible?
Stakeholders say in unison that TU as an autonomous body should take the main responsi bility for not being able to revise and change the course on time.Meanwhile, they also blame po litical parties and the govern ment for political interference in the educational sector.Keshav Khadka, MBS Ist year student, Shankar Dev Campus opined, “TU and political lead ers must be responsible for de layed curriculum develop ment.“

Kisan Thapa, who has recent ly completed his Masters De gree in Economics said, “The government should increase the fund invested for research of new courses.“

Shrestha too agreed that TU is responsible for making timely revisions and change in cur riculum. He said, “It's our re sponsibility to update curricula timely and we are doing as much as we can.“ However he claimed, “We are revising our curricula in regular intervals and I think one shouldn't be frustrated that much.“

An exception Change is inevitable and one cannot stop any change from taking place. Adapting to change is the only option for human kind. And this applies to the education sector as well.

Though TU is not being able to adapt to the changes, Kathman du University (KU) is really ac climatising itself with the de mands of time. Dean of School of Education at TU, Man Prasad Wagle said, “We have been changing the curriculum every year as per the demand of the students.“

Wagle believes that curriculum should be changed as per the de mand of time and it is the responsibility of teachers. KU also dele gated full authority to teachers to change, revise and develop curricula, according to Wagle.

Need for change
Allocating a huge budget to the education sector doesn't ensure quality and dynamic education. It also depends upon timely updates of curricula. The Ministry of Education, universities concerned and all stakeholders must be aware whether a curriculum is being changed according to time or not.

Studying the old syllabus designed a decade ago in the changed context cannot ensure production of quality and competitive manpower.Wagle stated, “Nearly 45,000 students graduate every year, but only around 4,000 get jobs in the market.“

Having seen those long lists of challenges in the absence of revised course and dynamic curricula, the government, policy makers, educationists and other stakeholders must consider curriculum development as a highly important factor while formulating educational plans and policies.

(Source: The Himalayantimes: Published in THT Campus Plus on July 27)