Curriculum Reforms Initiative: Insight from Mizoram University

On 13th July, 2017 the joint team from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and University of Pennsylvania flew down to Mizoram marking the beginnings of the first round of preliminary talks with the host delegation at Mizoram University involved in the Curriculum Reforms Initiative. Led by Professor K.L Pradhan (Member Secretary SHEC & Additional Director RUSA), and Dr. Zarzoliana (Joint State Director RUSA), the core team involved in this project has twelve other faculties from institutions like Government Aizawl College, Govt. Johnson College, ICFAI and others affiliated to Mizoram University. Aimed at improving the existing curriculum of state universities, this initiative will bring in a new academic curriculum to be implemented from 2018 jointly formulated by professors from Indian state universities, and American universities on board. On talking about the main benefits of this initiative, Dr. Lallianzuali Fanai, also one of the core team members from IASE Aizawl says, ‘The new curriculum will be able to eliminate repeated topics from the existing ones, and students will be able to learn diverse concepts without taking in much of an academic pressure’. Another key area which this curriculum will help students to build is ‘employability’. Youth unemployment still remains as a major challenge for the Ministry of Human Resource Development to tackle. With 12.90% annual youth unemployment statistics as of latest 2013 (Trading Economics, 2013), all of MHRD’s higher education reform schemes have been formulated with the aim of increasing employment ratio among youngsters. Speaking about the employment opportunities to be generated by the curriculum reforms initiative, Mrs Rosy Lalrinsang from Govt. Romana College has stated that, ‘A modified curriculum will definitely help students in enhancing their capabilities to find suitable employment, as most of them stick to customary professions post-graduation with not leaving much room for innovation.’ Although the first meeting between TISS and Mizoram University officials has been quite fruitful, with the later complimenting the former’s practical ideas and their long term vision, however there are many challenges which lie ahead of this journey. Co-operation, coordination and communication between the government institutions, domestic and international stakeholders are the three quintessential c’s crucial for successfully implementing this project.

Post the meeting with Mizoram University, TISS officials have circulated a questionnaire among MU officials in order to grasp their understanding of the project, and key takeaways from the meeting. While some of the officials have talked about introducing new credit systems and practically relevant curriculum as an expected deliverable, others have also expressed interest in working on other subjects like natural science, social sciences, medicines etc. subjected to success rate of the current project.

  • Snehadeep Kayet (Intern, Curriculum Reforms)

Posted on Aug 21, 2017