The importance of developing soft skills such as ICT and English skills in undergraduates has been receiving growing attention from various authorities. The recent decision of the ministry to embark on a crash program to provide ICT skill enhancement opportunities for graduates in Arts, Commerce and Management streams is a positive response for a long awaited action plan.
The weaknesses of the university in the context of improving ICT skills of undergraduates from Arts streams are:
- Inadequate facilities to provide training programs to enhance
ICT skills of undergraduates not only in Arts, Commerce and
Management but also in all other streams
- Inadequate staff, literate enough in ICT.
Not having adequate staff skill development programs directed towards
improving ICT skills of staff has made the situation worse. This is again
linked to inadequate facilities.
- Lack of concern about the sustainability of general ICT programs.
No effort has been made to ensure the sustenance when improving ICT
capacity until recent. All investments have been treated as projects
with sunset clauses.
- Under utilization of the potential of the university.
This is a result of various administrative barriers due to faculty boarders.
Faculties are unaware about resources available in other faculties.
- Scattered resources in the form of small centers all over the university
This makes the implementation of a program of proposed magnitude practically impossible.
The major issues related to the implementation of the proposed project are:
- Scheduling the training program
- Infrastructure and hardware resources requirements
- Human resources requirements
The recommendation of the Task Force requires offering the proposed program to final year students who have already started their regular work of the final academic year. Since no provision has been made available in the semester time table to accommodate the proposed training program the options available for offering the program are:
- during vacations,
- after the final semester or
- after hours and weekends during the regular semester
Objectives and Strategy
- To strengthen the capacity of the ELTU to conduct practical training in English for students in a sustainable manner.
- To design and conduct training courses/ workshops to impart the following the final year Arts and Management students:
1.1 Proficiency in grammatical English
1.2 Proficiency in computer aided language learning
1.3 Develop soft skills and awareness about career opportunities
Since it was not possible to accommodate the course during the regular semester for the first batch, the course was offered after the final semester. However, this is not usually feasible due to the lack of accommodation within the university for students who have completed the course. Therefore, the most plausible solution from above for the other batches is to conduct the program after hours and weekends during the regular semester.