It’s vacation time for collegians in the city. But instead of planning a trip to their favourite tourist spot or whiling away time in front of their television or computer screens, a number of students are toiling in college laboratories on extra-curricular projects, attending workshops to get hands-on experience in their field of study and pursuing short-term courses to learn new skills.
At a time when the job market is increasingly looking for skilled individuals but the semester pattern of examination is leaving little time for students gain practical knowledge beyond their textbook, colleges across the city are taking efforts to fill the gap between education and employability. They are conducting courses, workshops and projects that not only keep the students engaged during summer-time, but also help them build their resume.
This year, KC College in Churchgate will run a number of training programmes in the fields as varied as event management, film making, TV anchoring, and gender studies. Many of the science summer programmes, such as the one in instrumentation, will be run in collaboration with research laboratories.
“The aim of these summer courses is to bring these students one step closer to the industry and potential employability. They are exposed to real industry experience through hands-on training and get an opportunity of learning and discovering their hidden talent, said Hemlata Bagla, principal of the college.
Similarly, Mithibai College in Vile Parle is running a vacation programme in information technology (IT) in collaboration with software giant Microsoft. Jai Hind College in Churchgate is planning to hold workshops in psychology, economics and statistical technique during summer. “Students don’t know how to apply their knowledge in the market or research institutes. These workshops will deal with the practical aspects of their subjects which are not found in the curriculum,” said Ashok Wadia, principal, Jai Hind College.
The colleges are also utilising the summer vacations to impart various soft skills to the students. Specialised courses and workshops on personality development, corporate communication, writing skills are aimed at grooming students for job interviews.
Some colleges are running training sessions aimed at orienting undergraduate students towards research. For example, during every vacation, Microbiology department of Ruia College, Matunga, makes students take up projects in new such areas of research such as Enzymology and Microfluidics.
“Through these projects, we are training students to perform research on their own, starting from literature survey. We train them in laboratory work and they learn new techniques. Besides, they also develop other skills such as time management, teamwork and mentorship while working on these projects,” said Anushree Lokur, a professor at the college.