SRINAGAR: UGC-Human Resource Development Centre, University of Kashmir (KU) organized a three-day workshop on community engagement for the participants of 83rd General Orientation Course which started here at KU on Wednesday.
The Workshop has been organized in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi National Council for Rural Education (MGNCRE), Dept. of Higher Education, MHRD, Government of India, Hyderabad.
An inaugural function of the workshop was held at HRDC that was chaired by the acting Vice-Chancellor, KU Prof. Nilofer Khan and also attended by the faculty member of MGNCRE, Dr. Syed Zahra.
In her presidential address acting Vice-Chancellor, KU, Prof. Nilofer Khan emphasized upon bridging the divide between textual knowledge and contextual practices and healing the rift between higher education and public life.
Prof. Khan urged upon the participants to actively contribute towards identifying, addressing and mitigating the development issues, needs and problems of the community through their knowledge, skills and competencies.
Prof. Nilofer expressed satisfaction that such workshops will provide practical opportunities to the teachers and students for participation in rural community mobilization, service engagement and empowerment activities in association with trained resident community volunteers. She assured the Director HRDC of all possible help from the University in taking such initiatives forward.
In his inaugural address, Director, UGC-HRDC, KU Prof. Shabir Ahmad Bhat stated that there is a need to move from a model of ‘public service’ where universities do things for ‘passive & needy public’, to one of public work that taps, engages and develops the civic agency, talents and capacities of everyone, inside and outside the institution.
He elaborated that while General Orientation Courses are aimed at capacity building of young and budding college and university teachers, community engagement activities like these are aimed at fostering sustainable networks and mutually beneficial partnerships and activities between higher education institutions and communities at various levels.
Prof. Shabir Ahmad Bhat also declared that the Centre will be conducting more such programs in future in collaboration with MGNCRE with a view to bring benefits for the communities as well as help in the continuous academic development of the University.
Faculty member of the MGNCRE, Dr. Syed Zahra while giving details of the three day programme explained that the participants will be visiting two villages for undertaking participatory and experiential learning through community engagement activities while at the same time actively contributing towards exploring and learning current rural realities.
Coordinator, HRDC and Course Coordinator, 83rd GOC, Dr. Mohammad Ishaq Geer conducted the proceedings of the session and proposed the vote of thanks.
According to the organizers of the workshop is aimed at fostering active community based engagement through participatory and experiential mode of learning among the newly appointed Assistant Professors of various colleges and universities of the J&K state.
Apart from in-house sessions participants will be taken to communities adopted by the university for enhanced extension and outreach activities and engagement through participation, collaboration and cooperation with community members.