Choices Education

If I could change...

We asked our readers the question: If you had the freedom to introduce a life skill in your college, what would that be? While the response has been overwhelming, we could only publish a few here. Read what some of your peers have to say...

Breathe. Relax. Respect.

If I had the freedom to introduce a subject in college, it would be 'The Art of Meditation'. This subject is needed in our lives to think, retrospect, appreciate things, respect ourselves, to let go of emotions and to understand the very purpose of our existence in the world. Every student needs to realise that all problems have their solutions right within us; all we need is a conscious breath. With this maturity, life would be better for all of us.

Hamsika Kali, National Institute of technology, Warangal, Telangana

“Please read carefully”

I would introduce a soft-skill subject on the importance of reading Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy of an application. In this digital world, applications are an important part of our life. As a user, it is our responsibility to know what we are accessing and how our information is accessed and used. Terms and Conditions are rules which users should abide by while using the application. Privacy Policy state the usage of users information. ‘This course can teach the importance of reading how your data is accessed and then give your consent to an application.

Swadi Korattiparambil, Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Masterchef

After having interacted with a lot of colleagues at college and university level, I have noticed that boys either know just the basics of cooking, or look down upon it. In a highly literate state like Kerala, it is demeaning for men to enter the kitchen since it is a patriarchal society and it is believed to be women’s job to cook. Even if younger boys try and cook, they are yelled at by their family members. To change this mindset, I would like to introduce cooking as a life-skill course in colleges. College/university would provide a platform for those interested and also help transition this mindset.

Geervani M., Pondicherry Central University

Saving the environment

The severe drought affecting Tamil Nadu, the catastrophic deluge immersing Assam and Bihar, and the surge in deaths due to air pollution are clear signs that climate crisis is upon us. We should undertake effective and meaningful actions to mitigate the crisis. So, I would like to introduce a subject based on the art of sustainable living in colleges. This will teach students to limit the use of our depleting natural resources and replenish the environmental quality. Besides reducing one’s carbon footprint, such a course will also help in inculcating other life-skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creative thinking and resource management.

Sneha Saravanan, Indian School of Business and Finance, New Delhi

Financially educated

I got my share of education from a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which clearly explains what lags in the thoughts of people from different sectors of this society. It tells us why poor and middle class get in debts and rich gets richer. If this difference is known to everyone in society, then there might be chances of a decrease in poverty rates, which has been holding India back.

Ravulapally Ananya, Impulse Educational Institutions, Hyderabad, Telangana

Art of interviewing

The subject that I would like to introduce is “Interviewing”. As the name suggests, this subject will include interviewing any person in the locality who they think has a good story. Students can ask questions to their friend’s father about his struggles, or one can also interview a homeless man. This subject will teach many life skills at the same time, such as the skills of communicating, representing yourselves formally, and many more. The lessons that they will learn from the interviews might be life changing or life-long lessons for some students.

Aaditya Jagdale, G.H. Raisoni Vidhyaniketan, Nagpur, Maharashtra

Investing right

The subject "Securities Market" enriches the skills of a person to invest in capital markets in different instruments such as shares, debentures, treasury bills,commodities, currency and more. A lot of youngsters do not possess the knowledge invest. Questions such as ‘should I invest ₹50,000 altogether, or ₹1,000 per month in a systematic procedure for five years?’ confuse students and we do not get enough knowledge about it. Investment is an art, so this course can teach a person how to invest and save money in a better way.

M. Jagadish, Godavari institute of engineering and technology, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh

Current affairs

If I had the freedom to introduce a subject, I would introduce “Current Affairs”. This subject can help students develop a habit of reading newspapers that a lot of youngsters lack today. It will keep students updated with the current affairs of our country and the world, and will also boost the chances of the youngsters transforming into rational and responsible citizens of the society.

Prabhat Nigam, JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Generally aware

I would prefer to introduce a subject titled “Discussion On Generals Studies: DOGS”. The syllabus of this subject will be solely current affairs and the homework for the students would be to read news from wherever possible, and produce it in class. The class would tend to start with an issue from the previous day and come up with solutions for it. The classes can be held in collaboration with media houses who can examine the relevancy of the solutions produced by the students. Through this, students can also prepare for UPSC. This subject will help students to be more aware about the important topics and issues of our country from past and present.

Shreepat Mishra, O P Jindal University, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh

Consumers beware!

If I had the freedom to introduce a subject in college that would help teach a life skill, it would be ‘consumer awareness’. Globalisation and high competition force manufacturers to maximise profits. Their aggressive and misleading advertising-cum-marketing forces forget the interests of consumers. It is, therefore, important for the consumer to be well informed about the goods or services(s) that they are are purchasing, and protect their own interests. For example, when one buys a product the first thing they check is the price tag. However, very rarely do we bother to check other things such as durability, expiry date and more. This is where consumer awareness begins. There are various ways a consumer gets exploited by the trader. These unfair practises may not only cause monetary harm, but can also cause mental and health hazards.

S.Subramani, The American College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Right to debate

Constitution assembly debates should be introduced as a subject in colleges. Indian constitution debates are the treasure of political philosophies of the world. Earlier, the stalwarts of Indian politics used to discuss variedly about the political philosophy including economical and judicial philosophies which moulded our country. Politics determines the history, geography, economy, philosophy, law and religion of a country. Thus, constituent assembly debates touching the basic essential matters will be an encyclopedia of life skills for the youth of our nation.

S.Venkatesh, St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu

Know your rights

Received an unfair parking fine because the sign was damaged? Any bitter experience with your landlord? Denied entry to a public place? The legal issues in our lives are inevitable. Therefore, if I had freedom to introduce a subject in my college, it would be ‘Basic Legal Studies’. This would help the young people by giving practical information about law, democracy and human rights, and also induce skills to use these. Despite having knowledge of infringement of rights, we would usually ignore it as we don't know the means to enforce it. An educated man would be well aware of his rights. However, what about those who don't have any such knowledge and are easily exploited? Colleges must have law studies as a life Skill in their curriculum which today Indian students lack in, and thus are being betrayed.

Sai Jaanvi Janupala, NTR Junior and Degree college, Hyderabad, Telangana

Farmers’ Nation

We all know India is an agriculture-based country, but we tend to forget that one of our basic needs — food — is in grave danger. This is happening because students are taught about farmers, but are not taught about farming. This subject can help youngsters understand the affinity between the land and a man. If farming is introduced as a subject then there is a hope that at least 10 out of 100 students will choose farming as a career option.

Ramishetty Naga Hema, Impulse educational \Institutions, Hyderabad, Telengana

Etiquette

The subject that I would introduce is ‘etiquette’. We lack knowledge on how to behave at different places and occasions. This subject can teach lessons on how to behave at public places, offices, parties, and more. It will help us avoid causing any inconveniences to others in public places. This behavioural change is a must, especially when the world is looking at India as an emerging power.

Akshatha N, University of Mysore, Karnataka

Manage conflicts

I would introduce ‘Conflict Management’. We come across various people with whom we interact and socialise on a daily basis. We also have instances where we have a difference of opinion with them. At such a time, one needs to employ his/her diplomatic skills and try to bring out positives from the conflicts. Trying to extract the best of the situation demands good communication and strategic negotiation. Hence, learning to manage conflicts aids in expanding our knowledge and assists in arriving at a win-win solution.

H. Haripriyaa, Bhaktavatsalam Memorial College for Women, Korattur, Chennai

Speak confidently

Public speaking is one of those rare activities that fills a person with confidence and enthusiasm. Students are afraid to speak in public due to poor vocabulary or grammar skills, and a lack of confidence. If ‘Public Speaking’ is introduced as a subject in college, it can help students gain important skills such as leadership, speaking and listening. Most importantly, it can help restore students’ faith in themselves, which I feel classroom teaching fails to do.

Tarun Kumar Kedia, Kirori Mal College, New Delhi

Emotional Intelligence

It would definitely be “free will and emotional intelligence”.

This subject will teach us about our free will, which most of us only understand vaguely. This can introduce strategies to overcome anxieties, helping us to think clearly. I do feel it is an essential life skill, and learning it in college would be the best time to improve the way we think and make ourselves emotionally stronger. This, in turn, will help us make better decisions without any external influence.

Gayathri, National Institute of Technology, Karnataka

Political Theory

Right from birth, the life of a human is shaped by the political environment around him/her. Unfortunately, in India “politics” has a negative connotation; a consequence of the political milieu. As a subject, it is either ignored or confined to an esoteric course of abstract idealism that is restricted to clearing exams. Political theory should be made mandatory as a subject to help youngsters in understanding the current politics, ideas and ideologies, for a progressive democracy. Deciding on an elected leader is a skill, not a random intuition. So, like any other skill, it needs to be to students.

Jaghadeeshwaran R, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, Maharashtra

Government Schemes

There are various government initiatives available for different sectors. However, the general public is not aware about a majority of these initiatives. So, the fruit of those initiatives reaches only to a few people. A good example is MGNREGA (Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme which guarantees right to work, but majority workers do not realise the benefits of it. So, introducing a subject on government schemes can help us all be aware of the benefits that we can avail.

Sinduja, Bakthavatsalam Memorial College for Women, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Queer and proud

Everyone deserves to live in an environment which is free from harassment and abuse. Although, today’s youth is becoming more accepting of people with different sexual orientations, homophobia still exists in most of the institutions and communities. Therefore, there is an urgent need to introduce LGBT awareness as a subject in colleges. It is important that students read about the issues faced by the LGBT communities, and the effect of homophobia in their lives. Such an initiative will lead to a more welcoming and productive environment.

Sukriti Arora, Gargi College, University of Delhi

Safety First

“Wear your oxygen mask before you extend help to someone else” Sounds familiar? Yes, this is the safety warning given to passengers in an aeroplane. This is something that everyone should learn. Both, natural and man-made disasters, can potentially damage or destroy our lives.

So, everyone should have the knowledge of how to protect themselves and others in case of emergencies. A lot of people lose their lives because they do not know what to do in emergency situations. Sadly, disaster management is practised only by professionals. This has to be changed.

K. Kirubhakaran, SNS College of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Stock it up!

If I had the freedom to introduce a subject in college it would be “Basics of Stock Exchange”, which will be available for all streams. India is currently home to the world’s largest youth population. Also, the Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. So, if students are aware of the stock market, they will be able to utilise their money in a better way by investing in stocks. As a result, it will also boost our economy.

Ripudaman Pratap Saini, Galgotias College of Engineering and Technology, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 10:24:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/if-i-could-change/article28974667.ece

Next Story