|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 54-58
Usefulness of National Service Scheme in physiotherapy curriculum: A mixed-methods study
Department of Community Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
|Date of Submission||16-Dec-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||02-Nov-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||19-Dec-2022|
Dr. Snehal Dharmayat
Department of Community Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, VGPC+F23, J.N. Medical College Campus, Nehru Nagar, Belagavi 590010, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background and Objectives: National Service Scheme (NSS), as an elective subject in higher education, was introduced in the year 2016 by the University Grants Commission (UGC). From being a practical/activity done by students, it was changed to a theory subject. Ascertaining its acceptance and usefulness becomes essential in the process of program evaluation and for implementing curricular reforms. Materials and Methods: Evidence related to students’ awareness of NSS, its importance in the curriculum, and their perception of the subject were obtained from 279 undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students combined and analyzed. Results: 99.6% of students were aware of NSS. 98.99% responded that it was important in the curriculum, whereas 79.2% of participants reported that they would choose it as an elective subject. The common explanations cited by the students included “helping them understand community better” (98.56%) and “helping them become better individuals” (personality development) (98.92%). Conclusion: NSS finds more acceptance as an activity performed by students (community awareness programs) rather than as a theory subject. It has better acceptance among students inclined toward community/social service.
Keywords: Curriculum, NSS, physiotherapy
|How to cite this article:|
Dharmayat S. Usefulness of National Service Scheme in physiotherapy curriculum: A mixed-methods study. J Soc Indian Physiother 2022;6:54-8
|How to cite this URL:|
Dharmayat S. Usefulness of National Service Scheme in physiotherapy curriculum: A mixed-methods study. J Soc Indian Physiother [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 5];6:54-8. Available from: http://www.jsip.ac.in/text.asp?2022/6/2/54/364447
| Introduction|| |
National Service Scheme (NSS) is an Indian government-sponsored flagship youth public service program under the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs launched on September 24, 1969. The program aims at developing student’s personality through community service without bias across institutions and disciplines with the motto “Not me, but You.” The program works to establish a campus-community linkage among young people in colleges, universities and at +2 levels. Students are enrolled as volunteers and are required to complete 240 h of volunteership over a period of 2 years. Various activities are carried out under this program regularly such as health awareness programs, cleanliness drives, afforestation programs, and blood donation programs.,
Introduction of NSS as a theory subject was made to inculcate the qualities of community service among students of higher education and to develop socially responsible and sensitive professionals and to popularize its activities by offering it as an elective.
NSS as a theory elective subject in higher education was introduced in the year 2016 as per the directions of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The curriculum was framed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India, based on the recommendations and discussions in the 62nd meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education in 2013., It was spread across six semesters with a single theory paper at the end of one year. This was adopted by most of the universities across the country in all streams of education, from preuniversity/collegiate to higher education.,,, The same was adopted in our parent university and was introduced across disciplines, including Physiotherapy, in 2016 as a part of the existing curriculum
In a literature review conducted on the role of NSS in students’ life, there were few studies available, which were related to its role in creating social responsibility among students, personality development, and in developing social and human values in higher education stream, even in health professions education.,,,,
Any reform/change in the curriculum needs to be evaluated before implementation with respect to its need and after implementation to ascertain its usefulness/effectiveness and/or impact on the program and the stakeholders
Recommendations were made for incorporating/integrating NSS in medical education as early as 2014 in order to aid in the overall personality development of health professions education students, but there are no studies or any form of literature available related to its usefulness as a theory subject in higher education or specifically in health professions education. Hence, this study was undertaken to ascertain the usefulness of NSS in physiotherapy curriculum which could be used as a basis for other health professions and to introduce further reforms related to it in the curriculum
| Materials and Methods|| |
The aim of this study was to study the usefulness/acceptance of NSS as a theory subject in the physiotherapy curriculum using a mixed-methods approach
Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from the institutional ethical committee before commencement of the study. For the purpose of data collection, a semi-structured questionnaire with open-ended and dichotomous questions was developed and vetted by experts (university NSS coordinator and fellow program officers of other constituent units). It was administered as a survey to undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) students of the Institute. The questions were related to the student’s awareness of NSS, whether they would choose it as an elective subject, whether they felt it was important in the curriculum and helped in developing their personality and imbibing a sense of responsibility to the community, what type of activities would the students want to be conducted under NSS and would they continue to be associated with it in the future
Students from second-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) onwards were included in the study as the first-year students in the current academic year were not yet exposed to NSS and its activities. PG students currently pursuing the course at our institute having completed their UG course from other institutes were excluded as the UG Physiotherapy curriculum varies state-wise and could cause a bias in the information provided. Confidentiality of students was ensured by not having provision for the inclusion of the student’s name or any form of identification on the data collection tool
The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively
| Results|| |
A total of 324 participants were found eligible to answer the questionnaire, which included 235 UG and 89 PG students. Among the PGs, 45 participants had completed their UG course from other institutes and hence were excluded as per the selection criteria. A total of 279 responses were finally analyzed
The participant distribution by year of study and gender is presented in [Table 1] and [Table 2].
Among the participants from the parent institute, 99.6% (279) of them were aware of NSS. 43% had heard about it and had been exposed to it at the school level. 248 (88.88%) participants had NSS as a part of their curriculum at higher education, of which 93% reported that it was taught from 1st year of the course
Majority of participants (98.99%) participants responded that NSS is important in the curriculum, whereas 79.2% of participants reported that they would choose it as an elective subject, if given a choice. Most of the participants (271) reported that they found NSS useful in the curriculum, whereas 93.9% of participants reported that they would recommend NSS as a subject to their juniors. In response to the question about being associated with or working for NSS in the future, 95% of participants reported that they liked working with NSS and 92.11% responded that they would continue to be associated with it in the future [Table 3].
A thematic analysis of the responses is presented in [Table 4]. The common responses quoted included “helping them understand community better” (98.56%), “helping them become better individuals” (personality development) (98.92%) and “change from routine.”
In response to inviting suggestions for the kind of programs that need to be conducted under the NSS, participants recommended to conduct more health education programs in the community which would be more pertinent to their study discipline
| Discussion|| |
Teaching or delivery of subject content plays a major role in influencing the way a subject is perceived by students. The NSS curriculum that has been adopted includes topics such as Youth and its problems, leadership qualities, community mobilization, National integration, and National youth programs in addition to the history, motto, badge, organization and working of NSS, activities conducted and practical projects to be undertaken by the students which can include their volunteership work. These topics are quite a challenge to teach in the didactic form as they are considered to be “dry” (uninteresting) subjects without much scope of adopting any kind of innovative/novel teaching methods. Not all students prefer such subjects, mainly due to personality differences and inclination toward community service. The results obtained could be attributed to the active involvement of the author who was Program Officer of the institute and the students being active volunteers during the tenure. The qualitative responses provide an indication that NSS as a subject is more acceptable by students inclined toward such activities and they may consider it only if they want a change from the cognitive overload of the core subjects. Another deterrent to its usefulness as a subject could be that it is included as a non-core subject which has only a single paper at the end of the term of 50 marks, passing in which is sometimes not considered mandatory for the overall passing in that year. This creates disinterest among students and therefore maybe the reason why it was not found to have any great impact on the students
Further investigations need to be carried out in order to completely ascertain the impact of the subject on student’s perception of community service and behavior changes as a result of including it in the curriculum which would be a more pertinent and accurate outcome of the reform and would also pave the way to future reforms related to the subject
| Conclusion|| |
NSS finds more acceptance as an activity performed by students (community awareness programs) rather than as a theory subject
It has better acceptance among students inclined toward community/social service
Working as a team during the conduct of the activities helps in imbibing team building, leadership qualities and life-skills which are helpful in the overall development of a student
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest
| References|| |
National Service Scheme National Service Scheme | National Service Scheme (nss.gov.in) Available from: http://nss.gov.in/nss-detail-page
[Last accessed on 15 Apr 2022].
Deekshitha K. Role of NSS in creating social responsibility at higher education. Intl Jou. of Scie. Resc & Mod Edu (IJSRME) 2016;1:756-60.
Amjad Ali SAA. The role of NSS towards student in higher education. Int J Trend Sci Res Dev 2019;3: 49-52.
Khandare KB, Desai P. Effect of NSS (National service scheme) in Developing communication skill and Leadership in Undergraduate students of Ayurveda. JHSE 2016;3:74-7. Available from: http://www.researchgate.net/...../download
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]