By next academic year 2013 Sherubtse College would reduce the double degree courses and start with single subject courses. The decision comes to light after consideration of job market factors as well as the constraints faced by the college.
“In order to ensure in depth coverage of the subject and also effective management of the program at the college level, minimization of the double degree courses were done,” said Sherubtse College Director Singye Namgyel.
The College had put up a proposal to offer single subject degree for the students as present discipline had some constraints on management of the program and even in the Job market.
At the moment the college has around 17 double degree courses, which in the next academic year will be reduced to around 12.
“To begin with we will reduce the number of subject combinations. We would keep one double combination courses, if not two courses at the most,” said the Singye Namgyel.
The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) has already approved to work at the college level.
The college plans to give up courses such as English-Geography and Dzongkha- Geography as the faculty and observers viewed them as odd combinations which at the same time are not so effective in the job market.
At present Economics is combined with four different subjects such as geography, population studies, Environmental science and sociology.
This created constraints in management of programs like maintenance of students’ timetable, to carry out examinations, and to keep record of the students etc.
“Looking at the job market the faculty recommended reducing the combination courses for an effective delivery of the knowledge,” said Lecturer Yezer Drukpa under Geography Department.
The School of Social Science has many combinations but the college plans to keep three combinations only by next July. The probable ones to be retained are Economics with geography, economics with population studies and political science with sociology.
“In other words there are around four subjects under the school of social science,” said the Director. “For the School of Arts and Humanities the college plans to have around four combination courses rather than having six double degree courses.”
The intake of the students will nonetheless remain the same or could be increased. This applies to all other disciplines.
“In the next 2-3 years after reviewing the strength and the weakness of the existing system we would decide to continue with it or come up with single subject courses,” he added.
However the college will have Environmental Science as a single degree with more focus on Science.
“Similarly as and when we review the courses as per the scenario, the college would decide to offer single subject courses or go on with few double degree courses,” he said.
College faculty members felt the idea to have double degree course is not effective for student as well as for lecturers.
A lecturer under the English department Ugyen Tshering said students tend to become ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’ while lecturers face management problems.
“Student cannot gain in-depth knowledge and the courses are also not so demanding in the job market,” he said. “If there is single degree course then we can teach them and specialize in that particular course,” he added.
With such programs there were many problems like insufficient classrooms for the students, maintaining their timetables and other records and related problems.
“Of course there are positive impacts but when it comes to job market the present courses doesn’t help in specialization of the students,” said a Lecturer under geography department Sangay Dorji. “With a simultaneous increase in programs and number of students the system might get complicated,” he added.
“Although Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) is trying to explore more job opportunities yet the system is not accepted by the job market,” said a lecturer under Department of Population Studies Tashi Dorji.
In respect to effectiveness in the job market, The Director said that there are lots of arguments on this issue.
“Most of the employers are used to single degree and when they see double subject degree they are surprised,” said the Director.
He said they have a right to question the width and depth of the courses covered. Instead of covering around 20 modules the college may cover only around 14 modules but the learning atmosphere matters, he said.
He said as an employer as well as employee one should look into the strength of double subject degree rather than specializing in one subject only.