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Applying the DVINE Curriculum at St. Xavier’s College

Wall of St. Xavier´s University in Nepal saying "Lead us from darkness to light"

The DVINE project promotes the wellbeing, health, and dignity of people in Nepal and Vietnam by developing curricula and pedagogical approaches, as well as by building capacity in higher education institutions.

St. Xavier’s College (SXC), one of this project’s partner institutions, is widely considered one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in Nepal. It offers intermediate-level high school courses (grades 11 and 12) through the GCE Advanced Level and 10+2 programmes, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in natural science, business, social science, and humanities. The bachelor’s and master’s programmes of SXC are affiliated to Tribhuvan University (natural science, business, humanities) and Kathmandu University (social science).

It would be better to initiate and conduct the course developed by the DVINE project at St. Xavier’s College for bachelor’s and master’s level students as an extra certified course, which includes relevant topics: multi-professionalism, dignity, and various types of participatory methods and tools.

Multi-professional practices and learning

Multi-professionalism may also be termed a multi-disciplinary or interprofessional practice. It can be defined as the involvement of a range of people and services in providing services for individuals and the development of a community.

The professionals in question include social workers, nurses, other health workers, and people from various other sectors. In addition, the service users may be active in multi-professional activities.

We work with people from various professions in our everyday life. In multi-professional collaboration, different perspectives unite around a more holistic and person-centred approach that aims to serve those in need better and solve problems in our society.

However, in a country like Nepal, we still lag behind in incorporating multi-professionalism in different curricula. St. Xavier’s College therefore wishes to offer extra credit courses, for example.

Multi-professionalism is one of the interesting and emerging topics that not only focuses on teamwork, but also enhances common understanding of multi-professional practices. Multi-professional education encourages the building of a clear and profound platform because this enables learning with other professionals through collaborative learning.

Enhancing dignity

Dignity is the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect, and it is a human right. It is the right of a person to be valued and respected, and to be treated ethically. Dignity is an essential component of the development of any country. We would therefore also like to incorporate dignity in our curriculum. The value of dignity can be introduced to students by various methods, including photovoice.

By incorporating dignity in the curriculum, the young generation (students) and those who work with them (teachers, service users, and community members) will have an increased understanding of the importance of dignity and human rights for the development of the country in various aspects.

The overall objective of including dignity is to raise awareness, inform debate, and enable action in tackling the human rights abuses that drive and deepen poverty.

This may be one of the great opportunities for students to plan, organise, and conduct activities as part of a multi-professional group, engage and empower people in diverse communities, perceive the concept of dignity and effective communication skills, apply participatory tools, and gain an insight into the ethical issues concerning community development.

Above all, students will be able to explore interesting possibilities, profoundly understand their own professional background, expand knowledge, and gain more skills, leading to opportunities for collaboration.

Basically, gathering students for participation will be the priority in initiating the course. Multi-professionalism and dignity will then go hand in hand as they break down the barriers between specialists and will give everyone the opportunity to learn together by introducing their skills and expertise, communicating better with other professionals, and mutually respecting each other. Every expertise has a different way of dealing with practicalities, but they all have the same aim of achievement.

Text: Pramila Parajuli