Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Pokhara University.
Mr. Ajaya Thapa, Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Pokhara University, has been rendering his service for more than 21 years in this institution. He shares his strategic planning for the promotion and acclamation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Pokhara University with College Readers. Excerpts:
Could you share with us the programs launched by the Pokhara University under the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences?
Pokhara University has designed the basic layers, such as University, Constituent Schools and Affiliated Colleges as its frameworks. It has been operating mainly four faculties which we call schools namely, the School of Development and Social engineering under Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Business under the faculty of Management, the School of Allied Sciences under the faculty of Health Science, and the School of Engineering under the faculty of Engineering.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was established in 2004; since then, the university has been operating various newly emerging and most demanded subjects under the School of Development and Social Engineering, i.e. Humanities and Social Sciences. We have launched Bachelor of Development Studies (BDEVS), Bachelor of English and Communication Studies (BECS), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship Development (BED) as undergraduate programs. Similarly, Master of Arts in English (MA English), Master’s in Population, Gender and Development (MPGD) and Master of Development Studies (MDEVS) as graduate programs. In addition, we facilitate Master of Philosophy in English (MPhil) program and Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities (PhD) program. Bachelor of Entrepreneurship Development (BED) is an undergraduate program which is the first and newly emerging university program in Nepal that Pokhara University is going to launch in this academic year.
It is said that the attraction in Humanities and Social Sciences has been gradually decreasing in the present context in Nepal. What further strategies have you made to escalate its acclamation amongst the career hopefuls?
Humanities and Social Sciences are two distinct genres. In the context of Pokhara University, we offer Bachelor of English and Communication Studies (BECS), MA in English, MPhil and PhD in English as Humanities disciplines. Similarly, Bachelor of Development Studies (BDEVS, Bachelor of Entrepreneurship Development (BED), Master in Population Gender and Development (MPGD) and Master of Development Studies (MDEVS) are taught under the Social Science discipline. We call them the disciplines of Applied Science. We not only transfer the knowledge also guide the students to apply their learned knowledge into their respective fields. For an instance, we have designed the curriculum of communicative English considering its practical field. We have launched communicative English which has a wide range of practical areas. Similarly, while teaching about planning, we make the students formulate plans by visiting ward level offices. Similarly, along with delivering the concept of gender, we make students able to work in various gender issues of their respective fields. And with delivering theoretical knowledge of entrepreneurship, we enrich them with the ideas of being an entrepreneur through our mentoring and furnish financial support for developing their entrepreneurship caliber. So, expediency is our motive along with transformation of knowledge.
What notable actions have you taken so far for strengthening the status of faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences? What is your strategic planning?
We have made linkage with various aspects of education and means of livelihood as a chain of ecosystem. Recently, we have launched the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship program in collaboration with the Government of Nepal. We have made a provision of education and business loans in coordination with Nepal Government. We have signed an MOU and tie-up with NABIL Bank as our financial partner for the graduates of Entrepreneurship course to start their business as per their business plan. In this regard, we not only transfer knowledge but also train them to bring their knowledge into implementation.
Our another strategy about the ongoing activity is conveying a message through media. We highlight all our activities through mass media. So, we have also planned to have a tie-up with the media after signing an MOU with them and reach out to a large number of customers. Linking our activities with the clientele help us and our service seekers to fulfill required demands in the market. The ecosystem chain establishes a close connection amidst universities, industries and the customers and maintains an equilibrium between demand and supply effectively. A university transfers knowledge and gives mentorship. Similarly, the government makes essential policy; financial institutions facilitate required loans for running enterprises and reaching out to the customers and provide us feedback, which will enable us to carry our mission forward effectively. Such type of ecosystem chain helps maintain demand and supply system in the market.
It is said that literature has no specific fields of practical implementation. How has the University linked literature with the practical fields of employability and opportunities?
Every creation has its own field of practical implementation. Our orientation is to bring literature into useful practical implementation. To larger extent, even complex concepts, such as gender discrimination, violence, etc. which are difficult to understand, are explicitly elucidated by literature with a few words or lines. Pokhara University organizes literary events taking into consideration its important of the various aspects of society. In fact, literature is the reflection of society. It reflects the social reality. So, we don’t teach literature in a customary way but show its implementation field by making useful linkage.
What obstacles have you experienced while launching the courses of Humanities and Social Sciences?
Even in the present days, most students and parents believe it’s their wise decision to become a doctor or engineer with a motive of high earning. Only a few people are interested in Humanities and Social Sciences faculty due to a lack of knowledge that it facilitates a wide range of opportunities to graduates. So, our focus is to share its growing importance on the ongoing transformational phase of learning and employability. There are a high number of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities available in this discipline. In fact, for the re-engineering of the society and bringing phenomenal transformation, this discipline has a vital role to play. But it is not easy to convince the current generation due to their wrong orientation. So, our orientation is to convince the parents and students about the highly demanding field of Humanities and Social Sciences that can help them make major breakthroughs in their lives.
At last, what message would you like to convey to parents and students?
Humanities and Social Sciences imbibes a wide range of prospects. Having knowledge of this discipline is very useful in restructuring and redesigning the society. So, be wise enough to restructure and redesign the social dogmas by being a social engineer.