Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quality of higher educational institutes

Indian institutes of technology and Indian institutes of management are the institutions which are known to every Indian and almost all the people of the world who are interested in the field of education. These institutes have been rated among the best in India for many year and we Indians are proud of them. Last few years have seen the increase in demand for educational schools and the government has not been unaware of the same. Due to this demand only a number of IITs and IIMs have been added to the list which has given opportunity to many thousands of the students to have fulfilled their wish of getting admission in such institutes. Human resource development ministry is working on the plan of increasing this number further. Over the decades we have witnessed an upsurge of so many coaching institutes which have made the life of the children seeking admission to IITs miserable. This was known to all concerned but not much could be done due to various reasons. Now the HRD minister has taken some revolutionary decisions to help children by changing the entrance procedure. Class XII which was almost ignored by the students will have to be taken seriously by the schools as well as the students. The issue which has been raised by Sh. Narayan Murthy is very important and many people used to discuss the same earlier also but not much attention was paid to that. Now when the minister has taken some corrective measure, better days ahead can be expected. Mr. Narayan must have found reasons for his comments on the quality of the students entering the IITs. And the  mechanical way of preparing themselves to answer certain questions. This is true all students are alike, but many of them need to improve on their original thinking and capacity to work on their own. This is also true that IITs are in the need of better students and also better faculty. With due regards to all teaching community in these institutes we must admit that there is an urgent need of more and better teachers who can take these institutes to higher level of studies. These institutes were known for their excellence and this was possible because of quality students and the teachers. The government will have to pay attention towards motivating quality teachers to join IITs and that will help the standards to improve. The issue is what should be done to achieve this goal of attracting good quality teachers? The government must devise some ways of grooming and preparing the teachers for this purpose. Till the last few years the country was struggling to get quality teachers in the schools but now the same situation is disturbing the higher educational institutions also. As per the report of a newspaper IIT Rajasthan is having shortage of the regular teachers and the figure is quite disturbing(out of fifty six regular posts of the teachers only thirty teachers are working on regular basis and the others are either on contract basis or guest faculties or teaching the students on invitational basis). This figure might not be exact but reflect almost the real position. If this is so in one IIT then we do not know what the condition of other IITs is? So in spite of arguing on what Mr. Narayam Murthy has said we should accept the reality and the government should seriously implement the decisions taken to improve the quality of the students and also the teachers. Now if this is the problem of the premiere institutes what about other educational setups. At the time of admission to the colleges during the month of May/June lot many issues are raised and discussed and everybody express the concern towards the problems faced by the children of not getting the admission in good colleges even if they scored more than ninety percent marks I their class XII board examinations. Last year one of the reputed colleges had declared first cutoff at hundred percent and lot many issues came up. Minister was not happy with the same but after four months nobody knows what steps are being taken to improve the situation. Nothing will help by criticizing these colleges because all students cannot be admitted by them and due to this reason some transparent way of selection (or rejection as some people very fondly say) is to be adopted. If this situation is to be improved then more such educational institutes will have to be created. It is not possible for anyone to add so many good colleges immediately but if we can improve the quality of the existing colleges that will also help most children in the country. The government should take initiative to understand the reason for the average performance of higher educational institutes and then take corrective measures. Whatever infrastructure is available that should be used the best and meanwhile more things can be added and also more institutes can be opened. The country needs thousands of colleges to cater to the need of the students coming out of the schools. Now as the RTE act being in place we expect better enrolment in the schools and that will further escalate the demand of more seats in the colleges. We have to work upon short term policy as well as long term plan as per the requirement expected after ten or twenty years. In short term plans the existing infrastructure should be improved and the environment in the higher educational institutions should be improved by enforcing code of conduct for teachers as well as the students. There are number institutions which do not have regular vice chancellors and are left to the acting heads. This does not make things better. Take the case of our own Jai Narayan Vyas University which caters to large number of students from whole western Rajasthan, has been under the charge of an acting Vice Chancellor after the unfortunate death Of Prof. Naveen Mathur. Nobody has bothered for the last four months about the state of affairs of the university which once was considered as one of the best educational institutes. Before this also the same situation came up when the then Vice Chancellor retired. The government must take these matters on priority basis so that the future of the county does not suffer. I do not know why the lecturers and professors should not raise their concern for such matters. Even the student leaders also keep quite. Their responsibility is not getting the seats increased or no fee increase but quality education should also be prime concern. They must voice for the betterment the teaching learning environment than anything else. Other things are important but the most important of them is the quality education. So all should introspect and try to do what best can be done so that our children need not to go to USA or Australian universities for higher education rather they get better education in India only. If done so then this country will always be a better place for all of us. We should take the views of people like Mr. Murthy in the right spirit and not as the criticism of the government or any other organization or the person.   

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