New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has defined standard skill-sets or learning outcomes for students pursuing non-technical courses and wants institutions to formulate their syllabus on those lines.
The learning outcomes have been suggested by the University Grants Commission (UGC), which expects all universities and educational institutions affiliated to it to start teaching the revised syllabus from academic year 2020-21.
According to the UGC guidelines, a student of Psychology should be able to understand marriage and family, a Mathematics student should be able to know how basic mathematical proficiency can be used in solving real-life problems, an English student should be aware of the linguistic-cultural richness of India.
In a circular sent to all institutions in August, the UGC told them to follow a curriculum based on the learning outcomes. It also entails teaching the topics that will make students more skilled and job-ready.
Curriculum for nine subjects, including Mathematics, English, Psychology and Criminology, have already been sent to universities, and seven others will follow.
Eye on quality of education
All institutions affiliated to UGC are expected to start teaching the revised syllabus from the 2020-21 session.
“UGC had constituted subject-specific expert committees to design curriculum for various subjects. After a lot of deliberation, the committees have come up with Learning Outcome Based Curriculum Framework. Based on the framework, the institutes are expected to design their syllabus in a way that it is more job-oriented,” UGC Vice-Chairman Bhushan Patwardhan told ThePrint.
He said this is one of the steps that the UGC has taken to improve quality of education across institutions.
Guidelines and curriculum for psychology students
According to the UGC guidelines, Psychology students should be able to define current trends in family and marriage in India and across the world, and understand the impact of social environment on relationships.
In the curriculum designed for the course, UGC has suggested some experiments.
To understand family and marriage, the guidelines suggested that students interview a member of a family — a parent or a grandparent — and know how their family functions. It has also been suggested that they analyse a ‘family’ depicted in either a television show or movie.
The commission further suggested analysing a book or a movie to understand a woman’s psychology, and a textbook to understand gender bias in the Indian context. Interviewing a person from the LGBTQI community to understand their issues and challenges is also a part of the coursework.
The guidelines said Psychology students should also be able to understand media and its effects on health, whether it causes childhood obesity, how media messages about tobacco, alcohol and drugs affect adolescents.
Besides, they should be able to understand rural psychology — poverty and deprivation in rural India, interventions for reducing poverty, motivational concerns related to farmers, education and rural development. Rural psychology will also cover issues such as lack of transportation, lack of education, substance abuse, lack of health and mental health care in rural India.
English students should also know India’s linguistic richness
According to the framework shared with universities, students pursuing English (Honours) should be able to demonstrate a set of basic skills, including being able to read and understand various literary genres, stylistic variations and write critically.
They should be able to demonstrate critical aptitude, and also have the ability to evaluate literary texts as a field of study and as part of the wider network of local and global culture.
To enable students to develop an awareness of the linguistic-cultural richness of India as an important outcome of English literary studies in India is also a part of the framework.
The UGC guidelines say English graduates should be able to cultivate a better understanding of values — both literary values that aid in literary judgement and also values of life at all stages. The curriculum should apply appropriate methodologies for the development of the creative and analytical faculties of students, their overall development of writing, including imaginative writing.
The institutions have also been asked to recognise employability options in English studies. The options suggested include professional writing, translation, teaching English at different levels, mass media, journalism, aviation communication and personality development.
Use of Mathematics knowledge in real life
The framework suggests students should be able to explain the fundamental concepts of Mathematics to non-mathematicians.
Skills and knowledge lead to proficiency in analytical reasoning, and this can be utilised in modelling and solving real-life problems, it says.
Students completing this programme will be able to clearly and precisely present Mathematics and make vague ideas precise by formulating them in the language of Mathematics, the framework suggests.
The UGC believes the programme will enable the learners to join the teaching profession in primary and secondary schools, besides enhancing their eligibility for jobs in government offices, banking, insurance and investment sectors, and various other public and private enterprises.
UGC framework for criminology students
Criminology students should be able to apply appropriate methodologies to conduct analysis and detect patterns of crime and victimisation, the UGC guidelines say.
They should undertake hands-on field work and practical activities that develop problem solving abilities required for a successful career in research and development, policy-making, teaching, security management, private investigation, disaster management, non-governmental organisations, victim assistance programmes, correctional institutions, after-care programmes, criminal justice administration and others.
The framework says the importance of Criminology and its application in an academic, social, legal, industrial, economic and environmental context, should be recognised and appreciated.
For students pursuing a course in Criminology, the UGC curriculum suggests the students visit police stations, police control rooms, Crime Records Bureau, police training academies, criminal courts, state human rights commissions and similar establishments to understand the procedures.