Academic programme on volunteerism
Written by A.S.Guha
The IGNOU Institute For Vocational Education & Training with the academic support of the UNV has launched a three month academic programme on Volunteerism. The course has a training model, by which the learners get case studies on Volunteering as a social effort nationally and globally. The examples cited from UNV Annual Reports add to the pragmatism levels of the course, so that the users can study examples and orient them to their immediate situation. Moreover throughout the course material the salient traits of a volunteer or a volunteer to be are apprised, and then there are defining roles of Volunteering. Examples are given, most of them hypothetical, so that the student can envisage situations for the future, and understand volunteering in meaningful contexts. The why, how and what of Volunteerism are clearly enunciated in the course content, together with course description. A framework has also been incorporated into the study material, so that it becomes the trainee's personal diary, and gives him or her, clear cut steps to proceed.
The course is initially meant to be taken to North East India, in the colleges here, and among the NSS cadres of colleges. Several colleges have responded, in Assam, Meghalay and Nagaland, and now there are about a hundred students in Handique Girls' College Guwahati in their vocational cum career guidance centre. At the end of the course the students after having picked up the nuances of volunteering will do a project of at least 1,500 words where they will they will write, based on actual experience, case studies and examples.
The future impact is to take it to the entire country and work continuously on a model of volunteerism, for peace, development and sustainability. The target group is students who have completed at least 10+2, and the NSS units of colleges will be an effective channel to strategize this course. Students should learn about humanism, caring and feeling by doing and acting. Case studies in conflict zones should further boost their morale, to think, act and feel for a suffering or dislocated humanity. Volunteering then will consist of concerns such as poverty, conflict, and areas such as disability, education, vocational education etc.