Redefining home science

Published : Jul 04, 2008 00:00 IST

HOME Science education is no longer just about cooking and house keeping. From being an option for the not-so-ambitious, it has evolved to keep pace with the largely IT-dominated employment scene. “The curriculum has been adapted to the changes in the industry and home science students now have a wider scope for research or employment,” says Sathyavathi Muthu, Dean of the Faculty of Home Science, Avinashilingam University.

The university is one of the pioneers in home science education in Coimbatore. Although it was started as a composite course, it was later divided into separate branches such as resource management, food science and nutrition, food service management and dietetics, textiles and clothing, human development, and home science extension and communication, thereby widening the prospects of the students.

Resource management is probably the university’s answer to the fight against global warming. With a syllabus that includes renewable energy sources, housing, environment, sanitation, waste recycling and water management, it aims at bringing up a generation that is concerned about the environment and works towards conserving it. The course also covers aspects of interior designing, ergonomics, floriculture and applied arts.

Food Science and Nutrition covers nutritional assessment, food analysis, production, processing and preservation technology. Students can even adopt tribal nutrition, nutritional anthropology and sports nutrition for specialised study. They can find employment as nutrition officers in State and Central governments or as consultants in voluntary organisations.

With more multispeciality hospitals coming up, the demand for dietitians is also on the rise. A course in Food Service Management and Dietetics can help earn a job as a dietician. The university has also introduced a postgraduate course in Bio Textiles.

Functioning under the Department of Textiles and Clothing, it covers textile science, fashion, marketing, quality control and economics. Human Development, another important component of the Faculty of Home Science, discusses the uplift of children and adolescents, rehabilitation of the disabled, reproductive health care and organisational relationship.

Graduates in this branch can find employment as project officers in government programmes such as the Integrated Child Development Services and State and Central Social Welfare Boards.

Anasuya Menon

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