For animal welfare and ensuring their healthy living, veterinary education has become a critical field that is in need of innovative methods. Natalie Waran speaks with SANGEETA YADAV on how the PIB method has improved the learning and training process of veterinarians
Tell us about the workshop conduced by you on veterinary education…
The main agenda of the workshop was to work with the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) faculty members to build capacity in the globally important area of Animal Welfare Science. We will also be assisting in the professional development in relation to new methods for learning and teaching using a problem based learning approach (PBL).
What is PBL all about?
PBL learning method promotes learning for capability rather than learning for the sake of acquiring knowledge. This not only provides students with important underpinning knowledge but also lends support in applying theory in a practical situation where they can contextualise the information. The development of knowledge alongside these key skills i.e formation filtering, team working, high order cognitive skills for professional development et al is essential for the modern veterinarian and animal scientist.
What are the various challenges in this sector?
As the veterinary field is constantly expanding and rapidly developing, it’s important that students learn how to think laterally and creatively to develop solutions that may not be in text books, and may not even have been seen before. Diseases are emerging and so by their nature, they are new and little may be known of them or how to control them. There is therefore a need for this new approach to learning which will enable and empower new graduates.
What do you have to say about the veterinary education in India?
The veterinary profession is a key to human health and welfare. In 2008, the Indian Veterinary Council revised the National veterinary curriculum and declared that every veterinary programme should have animal welfare as a major component. There is a positive reception of the importance of animal welfare in ensuring the health of animals, and that there is a will to have this as a part of veterinary education.
What is the scope of this industry in India and abroad?
The world’s two largest veterinary organisations — Federation of Veterinarians in Europe, and American Veterinary Medicine Association, in September last year, issued a joint statement saying that one of the three most important issues facing the international veterinary community included animal welfare education as part of the veterinary curriculum. India, with its large and growing population of people, needs to ensure that their veterinary profession is well equipped to be part of this global initiative.