•      Sat Sep 23 2023

When to change dress in community colleges? Let’s redesign 

Keisha Bhandari

A community college serves one of the best options for guardians to send children to nearby colleges which provide quality education cheaply or free of charge. These community-based colleges bring higher education to the local community, to educate as many citizens as possible. According to educationist Edward J. Valeau,  the community college model is “one of the most widely adopted forms of education world-wide and it portends to be one of the systems of choice for reforming education”.  

Nepal does have community colleges, and they have been providing opportunity to a large number of students across the country. Every year, more than 500,000 students pass the secondary level education and pursue higher secondary school or colleges. According to the Ministry of Education, the government is supporting local initiatives to open and run such colleges, either independently or within the schools. These community colleges have been covering diverse streams and subjects, like science, management, arts and other vocational education.

Some years back, the students had to enroll at the Tribhuwan University affiliated colleges to pursue higher education. The number of colleges was very limited, and it was very hard to get admission for all students. Now, the education system has incorporated many new practices which has opened a new window of opportunity for students far and wide. Moreover, the universities have phased out their higher secondary level education and handed it over to the school level. The Universities have been focusing more on Graduate, Post-graduate and higher education. However, if we look at Nepal’s existing system of colleges, there is no such clear distinction between community college and other educational institutions.

New initiatives in colleges

The community colleges, nowadays, organize different innovative activities. One of them is Model United Nations or Model UN. This is an educational simulation in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations.

Second, these colleges may provide nice hospitality. A college team is someone who directly links to student’s mental health because students go to college everyday and relate to them. In today’s children, mental health is as important as studies, and a good college must have a strong curriculum, innovative platforms, and friendly teachers.

College must provide an environment where students can share their opinion and suggestions to college for their self-development. For example,  provide an orientation where they can ask how can mbc help you ?

Thirdly, career counseling would be another opportunity every student must get.  A good college never prioritizes pleasing structures of buildings, but curriculum is only the one what introduces a college. Teachers are not supposed to be a headache to students, and  teachers should be like a friend. For that, management needs to well train teachers and staff with good hospitality.

Fourthly, a good college must provide sick rooms for students in case of medical emergencies. Everyone should be treated normally and nicely. Likewise, a student- friendly library, advertisement in social media and regular updates, and change of uniform counts more. Although uniforms are not that important, they need to get redesigned. It’s not wise to use the same uniform for a decade or more, and some changes in every generation will help to absorb the development outlook.

Fifthly, a good college must have 20 students in a class and do credit subjects and lock seats for students not overloading students that would probably let college’s prestige down. Club activities apart from the designated curriculum it should consider different non academic activities as an indispensable part of learning assessment for physical and mental and social well being. Educational tours a student must not only learn under sheds, they should explore what they are learning. For example, college can provide an environment like biology tour, physics tour etc. College can also provide a suggestion box for students to share their opinions. Colleges should try their best to give individual care and student friendly environment, teachers and team must be teacher trained and well educated.

Keisha is a student of mass communication and journalism at Pathshala College.