Srinagar, Sep 05: To ignite new ideas, create new hopes and inspire a renewed belief to serve the society better, the Department of Sociology, University of Kashmir Tuesday inaugurated a two-day national seminar here.
The seminar is being organised in the backdrop of Teachers’ Day celebrations. The day commemorates the birth anniversary of educationist-philosopher-statesman, Dr S Radhakrishnan.
Eminent academics, teachers, scholars and students from across India are participating in the two-day seminar titled ‘Role of Universities in Transforming Society’.
Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof Nilofar Khan said the trust the society has in the universities makes us highly responsible towards our goals.
She said the role of universities has widened as technology has made our education more challenging. However, the society needs to equally contribute to the educational institutions for improving the overall academic scenario.
“Besides academics, the society needs to change the mindset and so do the teachers and students as they can bring about positive changes in the society. The institutions of higher education need to nurture skill and entrepreneurship to make the future generation more employable,” she added.
Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir, Prof A Ravinder Nath said the universities have a pivotal and functional role in social transformation.
“Community engagement and social responsibility in higher education institutions is significant for attaining social equity,” he said, adding the higher education institutions have to connect to the society to improve the overall academic system that will add a special dimension to the society.
Director, North South Dialogue, Henry M Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Prof Maitrayee Chaudhuri said we need good social sciences and liberal courses in our educational institutions for inter-disciplinarity and multi-disciplinarity.
She said the students need skills for employability and universities can play a significant role in that direction.
“You can’t have students who are out of the universities and do not have the requisite skills to have employability,” she said.
Director, School of Education, IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University), New Delhi, Prof Chandra Bushan Sharma said questioning is the backbone of the universities and academia and through critique and questioning we need to prepare the young generation for leadership.
“Knowledge creation without autonomy is not possible; however, autonomy does not mean anarchy. Our campuses have to be without biases and universities have a great role to play in that direction,” he added.
Registrar, University of Kashmir, Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir said the universities are not just centres of education but powerful catalysts for change.
“The universities serve as hubs for knowledge dissemination, critical thinking and innovation,” he said, adding KU is ranked the topmost university in Jammu and Kashmir.
Head Department of Sociology, University of Kashmir, Prof Aneesa Shafi said the transformative power universities hold is phenomenal.
“Universities have the unique capacity to mould the minds of future leaders, to spark meaningful conversations, and to inspire actions that can reshape the world we live in,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education, University of Kashmir organised a seminar on ‘Constructivism and educational practices: A paradigm shift in teaching and learning’.
Noted educationist and psychologist, Prof Abdul Gani Madhosh; Dean, School of Education and Behavioural Sciences, Professor Tasleema Jan; Head, Department of Education, Prof Mahmood Ahmad Khan and former Dean and Head, Department of Education, Prof Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Malik besides faculty, scholars and students participated in the seminar.
Prof A G Madhosh focused on the need to introduce value and moral education as a part of the curriculum. He termed the teacher as a ‘moral engineer’.
Dean, School of Education and Behavioural Sciences, Professor Tasleema Jan acknowledged the pivotal role teachers played during the COVID pandemic.
Prof G M Malik emphasised the constructivist approach of creating knowledge that should be adopted by every teacher. He termed teachers as the ‘shareholders of knowledge’.
Head, Department of Education, Prof Mahmood Ahmad Khan stressed upon the value of teacher as per constructivist thought.