Jalandhar, March 2, 2014 (YP Bureau)
On the concluding day of the 3rd International Conference on Human Values in Higher Education at PTU Kapurthala campus, educationists from across 13 states in India and SAARC countries - Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal Sri Lanka and Afghanistan summarized the outcomes of deliberations on all three days into recommendations.
There was concurrence on the fact that universal human values should be made a part of the curriculum, particularly for technical education, across the countries. As long as the content of the human value education confirms to guiding principles – universal, logical, verifiable, humanistic and all encompassing – different methodologies can be used. The foundation course shall provide the base post which higher elective courses, projects, internships etc. can be undertaken. Experts agreed that it is important to ‘train the trainer’ and hence human values should be introduced in teacher training (B.Ed., M.Ed. etc). Development of resource material was also stressed upon. It is important for universities and accreditation bodies to recognize and encourage students, teachers and staff trained in human values.
According to the recommendations, human values education should also be introduced to politicians and civil services officers as well. It is important to develop resources such that foundation course is taught by trained teachers only.
Dr SS Gill, Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot was the chief guest today.
Dr. Rajneesh Arora, in his valedictory address, presented the conference summary and recommendations for the way forward. He also announced the formidable initiatives that PTU shall be undertaking. “PTU shall come up with 10 centers of excellence in human values in its affiliated colleges besides a National Resource Centre for Universal Human Values in Higher Education with the help of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).”
“The cause of human values in higher education can be furthered with the help of organizations like NSS. Fellowships shall be initiated for faculty of our affiliated colleges to work further on universal human values. From April, we will select 5 faculty members and enable them to spend 80% of their work time in furthering human values in their colleges, community, Punjab and beyond. The no. of interns at Department of Human Values shall be increased to 20 per year. Diploma courses and projects shall also be offered. The Department shall develop PhD program in the discipline and collaboration shall be done with other universities like IIT (BHU); National Resource Centre for Value Education in Engineering (NRCVEE), IIT Delhi and IASE, Sardarshahar. We will also introduce human values education in Punjab schools by training the teachers,” added Dr. Arora.
Dr. Arora also moderated a panel discussion on ‘Future Plans for Implementing Human Values in Higher Education’ which focused on creating conducive environment in institutions, strategies for scaling up, applied research etc. Secretary - ICT, Bangladesh; VCs from Pakistan, Sri Lanka; senior educationists from other participating countries; UGC member from Nepal; all foreign delegates; have endorsed this initiative without expectation and they will make efforts to implement human value course in their respective countries.