|ADBU activities highlighted at online panel discussion |
GUWAHATI, Sept 30: The experiences of Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) in the field of education for sustainable development and its various social outreach programmes were highlighted in an online panel discussion ‘The Future of Higher Education: Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals’ on Tuesday.
Organised by the International Association of Universities (IAU), the discussion focused on education for sustainable development (ESD) initiatives undertaken by universities worldwide and present examples of how they integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at their institutions using a whole institution approach (WIA).
Participating in the panel discussion Dr Shakuntala Laskar, a senior professor at the university, shared the sustainability agenda of the university with the international participants. She said that the sustainability agenda of ADBU envisages a system with clear-cut goals and priorities in the areas of education, gender, clean energy, nature and ecosystems.
“As part of its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the university has reached out to over 145 rural villages under Dimoria development block Assam, providing accessible healthcare facilities to underserved areas through its mobile dispensary. Over 200 schoolchildren from the neighbouring rural areas are also enrolled in Swastyayan, a commitment to eradicate inequalities in society through education programmes. A similar programme Prajjwal – lighting lives through education – is also carried out by the MBA students in which they give free tuition, music and martial arts lessons to disadvantaged youths of the neighbourhood,” she said.
The varsity has also launched adult education for village women with a view to educating and empowering them in different spheres. The initiative encompasses a six-month certificate programme in basic English and workshops on career guidance (enabling them to guide their children), child development and parenting, nutrition and balanced diet, physical health (communicable and non-communicable diseases), mental health and human rights, she added.
Swabalamban is another project launched by the varsity through which it has already trained a hundred educated (up to 10th standard) unemployed youths in technical job-oriented skills for employment opportunities in electronics and information technology hardware, installation and maintenance of power backup systems and computer application training. This programme has been acknowledged by the International Association of Universities as a best practice in a survey among 120 educational institutions worldwide in Sustainable Development Goal 10 of Reduced Inequalities.
ADBU has also embarked on a plantation drive spread over 190 acres of its campus at Tapesia, Sonapur as well as created a major reservoir spread over 10 acres for maintaining the ecological balance.