Humanities and RUB

There is no doubt that many courses at the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) need to be upgraded or revamped.

The RUB has some ‘Zombie Courses’ across colleges that do not provide employment, are not in touch with the times, do not cater to the economy and do not serve any purpose.

The case of large numbers of CLCS and even CNR graduates not getting employment due to their courses is an example. There is nothing wrong with the students, but it is the fault of the courses being given.

There are only so much Dzongkha teachers or foresters that the government can employ.

Therefore, the reforms of the courses and way of teaching at the RUB are welcome.

However, the decision to do away with the entire humanities programs at Sherubtse needs a relook.

Sherubtse has provided the nation with high quality humanities graduates, many of whom are in leadership positions today, and making other vital contributions to the nation.

In this case, the quality of the courses is more important than their nature.

A course in English or History may not make prepare a graduate to be an accountant or a data analyst, but these humanities courses have their own intrinsic value.

A proper history course, for example, enhances the research skills of students, makes them conversant of the past, gives them greater analytical powers and these qualities make them suitable for an array of professional choices.

The humanities courses are a science in themselves as students learn about the human condition and also the various social and other dynamics that govern our society.

This is perhaps why the vast majority of leaders across the world come from the humanities background.

A good humanities course also produces a flexible and adaptable student able to deal with all kinds of situations which is the need of the day and times.

I think the perception of there being a deep gulf between science and the humanities is false.
Clifford Geertz

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