It is the position of the National Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges (NAASC) that all schools of Ayurvedic Medicine should focus on the competency of their graduates rather than adhere to any uniform prescribed methodology.
On July 20th, 2020, member schools of NAASC voted unanimously on the following motion:
“That the National Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges (NAASC) draft a position letter to be placed on its website stating that the National Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges supports schools in their focus on the competency of its graduates and NOT 1) the number of hours a program offers, nor 2) the number of in-person hours a program offers, nor 3) a particular method and/or means of delivery (classroom, on-line, apprenticeship).”(Download the full text of the motion)
It is our position that a school’s first responsibility is to prepare their students to be competent in their subject of study. Just as all people are unique and there is no singular “right” diet for everyone, so too are all students and schools unique. Hence, there is no one method of delivery that is “right” for everyone. This philosophy is consistent with the core principles of Ayurveda.
NAASC supports competency-based delivery of education as Ayurveda schools in the USA are unique and their students too are unique. NAASC does not support one method of education over others. No one method is universally better than others, whether this method includes brick and mortar education, on-line education, mentorships or any other system of learning.
Along with this, we do not support the idea that schools must comply with an arbitrary number of required hours of study of any subject. Unnecessary regulation of teaching methodology without evidence of improved outcomes places a great burden on both students and schools creating a lose-lose situation.
Quality education leads to the competency of the student. The quality of a student’s education depends upon many factors including: the quality of the materials used in the program, the quality of the instruction, the creativity of the institution, and many more such factors. One student can study for 5,000 hours in a poor program. Another student could study for 1,000 hours in a great program. Hours are not a very good measure of competency.
We at the National Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges (NAASC) honor and recognize all forms of education. We advocate for measures to evaluate competency. We also recognize that uniform competencies have not yet been established within the Ayurvedic profession. Hence, at the present time, each school individually establishes its own required competencies for graduation. We also recognize that schools must come together to establish greater uniformity in defining minimum competencies. It is toward this end that we will focus our future efforts.