Dr Harish Sihare Associate Professor Goa Institute of Management
THE overall scenario of higher education in India does not match with the global quality standards. Hence, there is enough justification for an increased assessment of the quality of the country’s educational institutions. Traditionally, these institutions assumed that quality could be determined by their internal resources, viz., faculty with an impressive set of degrees and experience detailed at the end of the institute’s admission brochure, number of books and journals in the library, an ultra-modern campus, and size of the endowment, etc., or by its definable and assessable outputs, viz., efficient use of resources, producing uniquely educated, highly satisfied and employable graduates.
Critical appraisals undertaken by the governmental committees and independent academicians have highlighted the crisis confronting the system: ‘increasing educated unemployment; weakening of student motivation; increasing unrest and indiscipline on the campuses; frequent collapse of administration; deterioration of standards; and above all, the demoralizing effect of the irrelevance and purposelessness of most of what is being done.’ While the politicians and policy makers have often spoken about the need for radical reconstruction of the system, what has been achieved in reality is only moderate reformisms.
Action Plan for Improving Academic Quality: Academic and administrative quality audit should be conducted every year in colleges by external experts for ensuring quality in all aspects of academic activities.
Opportunity Cost for Higher Education: Ministry of Human Resource Development, if really wishes more people should go for higher education then special policies have to be developed. For example if a working person opts to join a full time course of study which is approved by AICTE and is working for any organizational set up in India should be waived off from any notice period or any other contractual liabilities. HRD should provide educational loan for such students at nominal or at no interest. Special allowances should be provided to students who are married. Ministry of Human Resource Development should also promote entrepreneurship in student’s area of interest. Special packages in co-ordination with state governments can be allocated.
Towards a Learning Society: As we move towards a learning society, every human activity will require contributions from experts, and this will place the entire sector of higher education in sharp focus.
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