KP Sharma

Despite the discontinuation of multiple arts and humanities programmes in tertiary institutes last year, there have been no changes to the arts curriculum at the higher secondary school level to date.

The normal subjects and curriculum exist despite the limited opportunities available at the tertiary level of education within the country for students who pursue their education in the arts stream.

To exacerbate the situation, most of these opportunities in colleges also mandate the inclusion of mathematics as a qualifying criterion for the programmes.

An official from the Education and skill development ministry said that despite encouraging students to take up mathematics and raising awareness about the true prospects, no major changes have been implemented so far.

The official further said that making mathematics a compulsory subject would be unwise, as the decision to take it or not should be left to individuals, adding that some B.Ed programs do not require the subject, and for those opting to study abroad, there are courses available that do not require mathematics.

It is also learned that making mathematics compulsory could adversely affect students not interested in pursuing the particular subject.

Concerned about the possibility of limited opportunities for pursuing tertiary education within the country, some parents are skeptical and hesitant about allowing their children to pursue the arts stream.

Sonam Tshering, a father whose son has chosen arts, said that the changes have worried parents whose children are already in the stream.

He fears that the subject may not lead to promising opportunities despite a massive investment in children’s education.”

We need to guide our children towards subjects with better prospects rather than falling into the trap, even when we are aware that certain courses may not offer attractive career paths,” he added.

Similarly, a retired civil servant believes that while the changes may have been implemented with good intentions, it’s crucial to understand the practicality and reality of the situation.

He finds the discontinuation of arts and humanities courses illogical, stressing the equal importance of these subjects alongside other subjects.

“Personally, I believe it is the responsibility of the upcoming government to streamline the current issue that has already impacted many students,” he said.