Mumbai colleges encourage students to volunteer at NGOs, go beyond academics
Presentations are being replaced by volunteer work with not-for-profit groups, where students are expected to spend 10 to 25 hours in a semester to be eligible for marks in a subject.mumbai Updated: Feb 19, 2018 10:36 IST
Assignments and projects have always been a part of college life, but lately, colleges are taking efforts to ensure that projects go beyond the scope of academics.
Presentations are being replaced by volunteer work with not-for-profit groups, where students are expected to spend 10 to 25 hours in a semester to be eligible for marks in a subject.
First-year students of Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) at Usha Pravin Gandhi college in Vile Parle have been asked to spend 15 hours volunteering with Salaam Baalak Trust as part of the their internal assessment for the psychology paper.
“The idea was to encourage students to be socially aware and learn skills that go beyond their textbooks. Through this, students will not only be awarded marks for this subject, but also a certificate from the NGO for their work,” said principal of the college, Anju Kapoor.
The University of Mumbai rules mandate that every subject under self-financed courses — where colleges have more autonomy in curriculum and fees — is divided between theory (75 marks) and internals (25 marks).
Over the past couple of months, students from the Vile Parle college have been visiting centres of Salaam Baalak and spending time, after college hours, volunteering with them.
“We usually read and see how children face different problems, but we got a first-hand experience of it, when we volunteered with the trust. We not only helped students with their studies, but also taught them beatboxing,” said Sneha Panchal, a first-year BMM student.
At RD National College in Bandra, students from all classes, including junior as well as degree college, are expected to volunteer with not-for-profit groups throughout the year.
“The choice of NGO or number of hours to be spent is decided by the professor of the particular subject. We want to make sure our students have an understanding of the society and not just book knowledge when they graduate,” said principal of the college Dinesh Panjwani.
Since the university has stated that internal marks should be awarded for projects and presentations, many colleges are waiting for an autonomous status, to make their own rules. “Our autonomy process is in its last stages and we hope to be awarded the status before the start of the next academic year. Once we get the status, we will be awarding credits to students for volunteer work in every semester,” said Nupur Mehrotra, vice principal of Mithibai College.