SchEMS prepares environment conservationists to combat existing and futuristic climatic challenges

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School of Environmental Science and Management (SchEMS), established in 1999, is the first affiliated institution of the Pokhara University. The college has been offering B.Sc. in Environmental Management, M.Sc. in Environmental Management, BBA and BCA courses.

Ajay B. Mathema is the Principal at SchEMS. Apart from academic programs, SchEMS also undertakes research and consultancy projects and training programs on environment conservation. He has shared his views with College Readers. Excerpts:

Why do you contemplate that career seeking students should study at your college?

School of Environmental Science and Management (SchEMS), was officially established in January 1999 as an affiliate of Pokhara University. It is probably the first college to have received the affiliation of Pokhara University and the pioneer to launch Environment science course in Nepal. We were entrusted to develop the course of Environment Science by Pokhara University, which we prepared with our meticulous efforts. We launched B.Sc. Environment course in our college with the consent of the university for first time in Nepal which was then followed by Pokhara University itself, Kathmandu University and Tribhuvan University. So, it is the pioneer in setting a trend of launching award-winning syllabuses in Nepal.

We are distinctive from our contemporary institutions since we conduct research related to climate change in collaboration with national and international organizations. The management team includes people from all walks like, such as people with national and international goodwill and recognition, and wider representation from multidisciplinary backgrounds.

Moreover, the college is aligned with Government of Nepal education policy and emphasizes the establishment of institutions to develop specialized human resources required for environmental conservation and promotion. In this regard, all these traits of the college pull the attention of career hopefuls for enrollment in SchEMS.

How is the scope of environment science course in Nepal? Are the graduates saleable in the global market?

In my opinion, doctoral and engineering are conventional professional courses and the environment science course is the potential course for a developing country. The course supercharges unrecognized talents of students and transforms them into skilled human resources required for nation’s development.

In the present context of global settings, the concept of sustainable development has become the best spectrum and globally accepted model for development. So, environment impact assessment is a vital component of development without which no development activities are possible to carry out. For an instance, before granting the consent for registration to run an industry, the government asks applicants to present environment impact assessment as the major document carried out in the present situation. Similarly, a bank does not provide a loan to such industry without presenting the environment impact assessment.  Moreover, each transaction of development work is done keeping the issue of the impacts of climate change at the center since it is the major issue and concern of all developed and underdeveloped countries.

A large number of human resources are required to address the issue of climate change and its aggravating impacts. So, our graduates have high demand in such project, international development agencies, such as UNDP, WWF, ICIMOD and many government sectors. The Nepal Government has recently recruited Environment Inspectors. Moreover, there are hundreds of projects running under Ministry of Nepal concerning environment conservation. Therefore, our graduates have wider job opportunities in such governmental and non-governmental organizations. Likewise, many of our graduates have been operating consultancy related to environment and escalated their entrepreneurship stance.  

SchEMS College offers IT, Management and Environment Science programs. How have you managed to operate them under the same management?

We have a separate department for each program headed by adept department head and faculty. Each team independently operates their department smoothly. Similarly, we run some programs in an integrated way in collaboration with each other.

You have said that there is a high scope of environment science in both intranational and international markets. How are the prospects of management and IT programs in the job landing sectors? 

BBA and BCA programs are globally demanded programs. The departments of these programs are headed by the renowned experts. Similarly, our board consists of the members who are experts of various fields, such as industry, business house and IT companies etc. who cooperate with our graduates in their job placement. In fact, our graduates themselves get jobs, and many of them are involved in their own businesses. So, if any of them are in search of a job, our team consolidates their job pursuits into job placements.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic created disturbances and turmoil for smooth running of institutions and compelled us to revive virtual teaching and learning activities. What strategic plans have you made to cope with such pandemic and other unprecedented epidemics that are likely to reoccur in the future?

In fact, the pandemic has brought an unfortunate situation to the entire world and badly affected human life. Not only this, it affected all aspects of human existence, but the academic sector was affected the most. We sought an alternative to combat such predicaments in a joint effort with the Pokhara University and its other affiliated colleges. The efforts of entire university and the colleges become successful in conducting the online classes and online board examinations. As a result, we are fully trained to surf the internet, find relevant e-learning materials and develop necessary apps for strengthening our teaching endeavors. We are all set to conduct our classes through virtual platforms meticulously. If we get buffeted by any unprecedented pandemics in the future, we can switch our physical teaching mode to online version.

In your experience, what are the strengths of management programs of Pokhara University?

The enthusiastic, motivating and promising team of Pokhara University is the first strength that inspires, does mentoring and cooperates with us in delivering quality education. Similarly, trustworthy image of stability, academic resilience, fair evaluation, and smooth operation of calendar-based academic programs and the dynamic curriculum encapsulate other strengths of Pokhara University.   

What message would you like to convey to ten-plus-two graduates?First of all, I would like to congratulate them on their achievements and convey my best wishes for their higher study. I suggest bachelor level aspirants should choose the field of their innermost interests and then select a college that can help them solidify their dreams. Pokhara University offers international standard courses which enable learners to embrace a wealth of opportunities in the global market. So, I suggest they pursue their bachelor level study in Nepal. In addition, if any career hopefuls are seeking BBA, BCA and Environment Science qualifications as their field of interest and career building, SchEMS College can be the best place that will lay the foundation to their rewarding careers. So, we are ke

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