An educational institute is not just always about academics, and colleges in the city are ensuring that their students have a more holistic experience on campus.
Even as most institutes are busy putting together their academic calendar and teaching modules for the next academic year, they are also planning activities that can go together with studies for students. A popular idea is teaching counselling techniques to students, so that they can help their classmates.
“We have decided to introduce peer-counselling for students. Stress of academics or personal life can grip young minds, and it’s easier to talk to friends than counsellors. So why not train students to be primary counsellors?” said Rajpal Hande, principal of Mithibai College, Vile Parle. He added that from the next academic year, a large bunch of students will be trained by professional counsellors to identify behavioural changes amid their batch mates or fellow students, and report the same to superiors. “This way, we can reach out to a student in need of counselling at the right time,” added Hande.
At R A Podar College in Matunga, emphasis will be on introducing value education, among other things. “Value education is a subject for junior college students, and we hope to take it a notch higher for degree students. Academics cannot be the whole and soul of college education, and we want to ensure we are teaching the right values to our students, to make them better human beings when they step into the real world,” said Sobhana Vasudevan, principal of the institute. She added that the colleges has already asked their staff to come up with ideas that could be introduced in the upcoming academic year, starting mid-June.
Social work has always been given high regard by colleges, and students, too, have realised its importance. At UPG College in Vile Parle, the institute hopes to introduce students to more forms of social work in order to raise more responsible citizens. “For any higher education degree abroad, the institutes demand that we participate in social work, and the fact that our college encourages us to do so comes as an advantage to us,” said Akriti Patel, a second year student.
Keeping in mind preparedness for a world outside the four walls of the colleges, the management of Jai Hind College in Churchgate has plans to introduce grooming and overall development classes for their students. “Once class and exams are over, students should know how to share their ideas and knowledge with the world,” said Ashok Wadia, principal of the institute. He added that at present, final year students attend such sessions towards the end of their academic session but from next year, the college plans to introduce the sessions for all students. “It’ll be a good idea to start early so that students have enough time to work on themselves and build up the confidence to face the world,” he added.