Tribhuvan University (TU) offers a total of 36 courses in its Humanities and Social Sciences Stream. The university though has increased the number of courses, certain subjects in this stream have very few students. The decreasing number of students in courses like Culture among others may be an indication that the popularity of Humanities and Social Sciences Stream
is also reducing.
Nonetheless, if the number of students studying these courses continues to decrease, then it won’t take much time when the students will only know the names of Culture and would not get a chance to study it in college.
Uncertain career prospects
Currently around 350 students are studying at BA level in Dillibazar Kanya Multiple Campus
(DKMC), as per Dr Bola Nath Regmi, Campus Chief, DKMC. And interestingly, out of the total students “only 11 are studying Culture”.
The students’ lack of interest towards this subject is due to uncertain career prospects, as per Dr Regmi.
Echoing a similar view, Sharmila Khadka, BA IInd Year student pursuing culture at DKMC claims, “Today’s generation is more attracted by modernity than subjects like Culture dealing with history, culture and tradition. Also, there is no direct employment opportunity for the graduates of Culture.”
Interestingly, Central Department of Nepalese History Culture and Archaeology (NeCHA) had 28 students studying MA in Culture last year. The number has increased to 39 this year, as per Dr Dhan Bahadur Kunwar, Head of NeCHA. Thus, he argues, “It is wrong to say students are in declining in NeHCA course.”
Despite the increasing number of students in the first year, it is also true that very few students are left in MA IInd Year. “At present only 16 students are pursuing in MA IInd Year here,” reveals Dr Kunwar. Dr Regmi feels this is because there is no job prospects for Culture students.
No impact in totality
One may feel that decrease in number of students in Culture means reduction in the number of students in Humanities and Social Sciences. But that is not the case as claimed by Dr Chintamani Pokharel, Dean, Humanities and Social Science, TU. “Though students pursuing traditional subjects like Culture are decreasing, students in Humanities have not reduced in totality.”
The reason is they are opting to study other new courses added in this stream, he reveals.
“Education has the highest number of students, Management comes in second position while Humanities and Social Sciences comes third in terms of student number,” Dr Pokharel informs.
Humanities and Social Sciences along with Culture are important. Dr Pokharel says, “It is the study of theories established after observation of anthropology, culture and social activities which eventually helps its graduates to make the right judgement for better society. After studying this course, one is able to apply these theories — required to conduct different developmental projects — according to a situation.”
Students like Khadka is proud to be a student of Culture as she got to know her identity. “Today’s generation should definitely study Culture as it plays an important role to let them discover their history and identity.”
So, what should be done to attract students to these courses. Tirth Raj Khaniya, an educationist expresses, “The department concerned must attract students by changing the course according to time.”
For this, he suggests “conducting workshops and seminars about the subject’s benefits. And one should approach the course with flexibility — by incorporating new teaching methods in a new package”.
Note: This article was originally published in The himalayantimes
in the name of "Lack of Culture interest"