Bengaluru: Colleges across the nation could soon teach students how to tackle natural disasters, terror attacks and financial emergencies with the University Grants Commission (UGC) instructing all varsities to include compulsory courses on the subject in their curriculum starting the next academic year.
“Planning for natural disasters and emergencies is something every institution should consider. Preparation is the key to saving precious lives or minimising possible losses if a disaster strikes,” reads the notification , which says the decision was taken after the UGC received numerous requests from educational administrators across the country to help prepare students for all kinds of disasters and attacks.
Welcoming the decison, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore Central University, Prof S Japhet said the UGC identifying such areas of study would help higher education institutes produce and disseminate knowledge that would be handy in real-life situations. But he was sceptical about finding competent faculty for such courses even though there is no dearth of expertise in the field. “Training experts to be teachers will be a primary challenge for varsities,” he observed.
Dr Venugopal K.R., principal of the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), felt the decision was timely. But he too was worried about employing part-time faculty for the courses.
“We will need more experts to enter the teaching profession,” he pointed out.
But education expert and consultant, A.V. Varghese believes the decision is “nothing more than a reaction by the UGC to emerging trends at a global level" and questions the practicality of the new courses. “Education is now going downhill. Neither teachers nor students really care about such subjects,” he contended....