Academic benchmarks of Himalaya College resonate with learners’ progressive academic results

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Ram Hari Silwal, Principal of Himalaya School & College is the Secretary at Central HISSAN. Having been involved in education and journalism sectors for two decades, he believes that quality education can be possible in Nepal only through its promotion across Nepal and beyond. He is the coordinator of Virtual Edufair Nepal—a widely popular virtual platform for promoting education during the pandemic— which brought about major breakthroughs in the academic sphere in Nepal. He has shared his view with College Readers. Excerpts:

Himalayan College is a top-notch college in Nepal. To what extent do you think the objective of its establishment has been fulfilled?

Our seniors established this college with the vision and mission of making it as a top-notch academic institution. We are working as their successor to accomplish the set objective, vision and mission. The college has accomplished a huge success in terms of physical development and academic excellence. So, I think our continuous efforts have fulfilled the prime objective of the college establishment to a large extent.

Himalayan College offers BA, BBS, BSW programs which other colleges offer too. Why do you think that students should pursue these courses in your college?

There are hundreds of colleges offering the same programs but Himalayan College is one of the best academic institutions for quality education pursuits. We have been imparting quality education at affordable fee structure. In Himalayan college, teaching and learning activities are fully based on modern pedagogy and approaches.  Seminars, discussions, case study and personal tutorials are adopted for enhancing the quality of students. Teaching takes place in fully equipped lecture rooms with the necessary support systems. As part of its teaching support, the college uses multiple projectors and advanced technology.

Moreover, the college is situated in a prime location which is abundantly rich in physical infrastructure with highly furnished classrooms, well-stocked library and well-equipped lab. We have managed to recruit highly experienced and dedicated full-time faculty members who assess the existing aptitude of students and fuel their certitude to explore their latent talents by organizing various co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. We manage regular counseling and student participatory activities with the view to develop leadership and communicative skills of our learners.  

Furthermore, we promote and encourage strong tie-ups with business community through frequent visits, part-time employment and study projects. In this way, our students learn how to apply their ideas and knowledge successfully in solving business conundrums. Moreover, we link up our social science students with society and community work and make them able to work in the society.

In the current situation, we have witnessed an increasing trend among students who are inclined to the pursuit of applied courses. Himalayan College offers BBS, BA and BASW. What are the fundamental features of these courses?

Applied courses seem costlier for managing presentation, case study and project work in other institutions since they focus on these areas only. But in our college, BBS and BSW are also taught as practical-based subjects. We have complied with teaching and learning activities by linking the courses with business organizations and society. In addition, presentation, case study, project work, field work and journal analysis are done by the students themselves under the proper guidance and observation from the faculty experts. These courses are comparatively cheaper and best in comparison to others. Students will acquire more theoretical knowledge which they apply in practical fields owing to current trends and needs of the country and global economy. Sociology and social work are the most demanded subjects in the present social perspective.

You have an experience of more than two decades in teaching sector. Based on your experience, could you please tell us how is the scope of these courses from the perspectives of job landing and entrepreneurship?

It is heart-wrenching that the current education policies is not favorable for preparing adroit human resources because they lack soft skills that are essential for learners to be successful entrepreneurs, professional experts and problem solvers in both job landing sector and entrepreneurship upon completing their graduation. Students need communication skills, knowledge of postures, motivational skills and leadership skills along with academic certificate. But the government has not given attention to these requisites.

Similarly, there is imbalance in demand and supply management. On the one hand, we need skilled human resources, and on the other hand, such human resources are unemployed and found dillydallying in their career pursuits. In the present situation, there is an acute shortage of IT related human resources to meet the present requirements.

Most students do not seem to be laborious who consider education as a means of entertainment thus do not concentrate on acquiring analytical knowledge and pragmatic skills. So, the parents should invest in development of soft skills in their children, and more importantly, the academic institutions should focus on providing soft-skill development programs for their pupils. If the students are provided with soft skills besides merely an academic certificate, it’s possible they can be employed globally.

How is the performance of your college graduates in national and international markets?

We focus on practical orientation in teaching and learning activities. Presentation, field work, case study, data analysis, leadership development, communication skills are given priority by our college along with regular academic courses. Because of a good equilibrium between regular teachings and extra-curricular activities, the performance of our students is really appreciable. As a result, our college graduates have gained phenomenal achievements in their higher study and earned a good fortune in their professional careers.

A majority of our college graduates are involved in NGOs, INGOs and multinational companies in Nepal and across the world. They also have gained a huge success in their higher studies in Nepal and abroad.

There are insurmountable disturbances in academic sector in Nepal which have diminished the quality of teaching and learning activities. As an effective leader of the central HISSAN, what efforts have you made to retain the quality of education?

We are preparing for changing the modality of the existing teaching and learning activities, and we are tirelessly working on making our teachers concentrate on their teaching career rather than other sectors since participation of teachers in political activities, mediocre evaluation system, malapropos curriculums and policy of the government, we have found that there is a lack of awareness among the parents and students, misuse of technology and effects of social media on people’s lives which are the main cause of degradation in Nepalese education system. However, HISSAN is working scrupulously to find an appropriate solution.

Could you please give a brief account of HISSAN?

HISSAN is the umbrella organization of private colleges of Nepal that focuses on how private colleges are disseminating their academic programs and gives the colleges guidelines for the enhancement of their education delivery. It is like a pressure group of academicians that gives pressure and does negotiations with the government to tailor academic status of the institutions under its supervision.

The covid-19 pandemic has knocked hard-earned legacy of academic sector because of its different mutants and unstoppable emergence. What suggestions would you like to convey the PABSON member colleges, parents and the students?

I would like to suggest they should be safe from the ongoing threats of the pandemic, and secondly, I would like to suggest that all HISSAN member colleges should conduct physical classes by adopting all kinds of safety protocols proclaimed by the government. In addition, all the teachers and college administrators are advised to use information and technology in their classrooms as far as possible.

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