Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi hands over a cheque during the convention of college principals and general secretaries of students’ unions at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati on Friday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, May 4: Dispur has constituted a panel of experts comprising vice-chancellors and officials of corporate houses who will visit top universities and colleges in the US, the UK and China, and take tips from the premier institutes that can be implemented at home.
Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the panel headed by the vice-chancellor of Dibrugarh University, K.K. Deka, would visit the leading institutions, including Oxford University, and then submit comprehensive reports as how the curriculum of Assam’s universities and colleges can be modified by incorporating components from these leading foreign institutions.
He said besides the vice-chancellor, the expert committee includes the former chairman-cum-managing director of OIL, Nayanmoni Bora, managing director of Bina Refinery, Madhya Pradesh, Bhupati Das, and corporate leader Ranjit Borthakur.
The team will together help prepare syllabi for college and university education by suitably blending conventional, skill development and professional courses to enhance students’ employability.
“Assam will be the first state in the country to launch the higher education mission to bring about drastic changes in university education. Forming of the expert committee is the preliminary exercise to launch the mission. Students of colleges and universities in the state cannot be job seekers after completing their education. Rather they should be job givers, for which we must make a departure from conventional education,” Sarma said, while addressing a convention of vice-chancellors and college principals here.
The expert panel is expected to submit its report within the next six months.
“During my recent visit to the US and other foreign countries I had keenly observed that the sole objective of their higher education is to prepare syllabi in such a manner that students can have multiple choices of careers and accordingly employ themselves after their education in suitable profession. Our system is totally reverse where we are forcing a student to become a surgeon who otherwise has a good hand for photography,” the minister said.
He said the government is planning to introduce the “credit system” by which university students would earn credit for the successful completion of each course in each academic term.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi distributed cheques to college principals at the event for various projects, including infrastructure development, digital libraries and college magazines and youth festivals.
Speaking on the occasion, Gogoi said there is much to be done to bring about reforms in the education sector in the state.
He expressed serious concern that the universities in the state are functioning monotonously and there is no effort to bring about innovation in the field of higher education.
“Our system of education has become outdated and it is high time to change. The conventional definition of education must be changed and more stress should be given on skill development depending on students’ aptitude. I consider that even good hair-cutting and inking tattoo is part of education since they create an opportunity to earn a living,” Gogoi said.
K.K. Deka said higher education across the globe has witnessed a sea change in terms of curriculum, which must be reflected in Assam too. He said his university has already sent an instruction to all its affiliated colleges to introduce innovative courses.