Universities need to rethink curricula: Bindu

Higher Education Minister R. Bindu has urged state universities to undertake a complete overhaul of their curricula before the 2023-24 academic year. She also called for prioritizing vocational education to fill the skills gaps that exist in various sectors.

She was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day conclave held here on Tuesday to discuss the implementation of recommendations made by the three commissions that have been formed to overhaul the higher education sector.

Dr Bindu called for a paradigm shift in the teaching and learning process in higher education institutions. Emphasizing that the existing pedagogical approach should be replaced with a learner-centered andragogical method, she said college students as adults should be exposed to experiential learning. Vocational training should be integrated into education for this purpose.

In order to achieve this goal, the government had taken steps to establish ASAP Kerala units in every institution of higher education. The agency currently runs 133 skills development courses, she said.

The minister said the curriculum overhaul should be undertaken on a war footing by each university. While the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) would be responsible for coordinating these efforts, universities should reform curricula within the curriculum framework developed through a consultative process.

Having received the final report of the Commission for Higher Education Reforms chaired by Shyam B. Menon on this occasion, Dr Bindu said that the proposals would be implemented without delay. She hinted at the possibility of extending the tenure of the Kerala State University Law Reform Commission chaired by NK Jayakumar to introduce legislative reforms to facilitate the reforms proposed by the panel led by Shyam B Menon.

The three commissions, including the third – the Examination Reform Commission chaired by CT Aravindakumar, presented their main recommendations on this occasion. A meeting of the Vice-Chancellors also took place later.

Principal Higher Education Secretary Ishita Roy, KSHEC Vice President Rajan Gurukkal and Member Secretary Rajan Varughese attended.

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