NAAC: Striving for Quality Education

EDUCATION

NAAC INSPECTION IS INDISPENSABLE TO RAISE THE STANDARDS OF EDUCATION, WRITES DR. FAROOQ AHMAD PEER

There has been a great increase in the number of Universities and Colleges in India; consequently in the Sate of Jammu and Kashmir as well. In order to assess the quality of these colleges and universities, an autonomous and independent organization called The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) was established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India in 1994. Its Job is to assess and accredit the institutions of higher education in the country. It came into existence as a result of the recommendations by the National Policy on Education (1986) and the Programme of Action (POA-1992) that had stressed on enhancing and improving the quality of higher education in the country.
The Higher Education has been a success story. Since the institutions of Higher Education have been established and made in large numbers, the better quality has been the sole motive of the organizations, agencies, commissions, committees and learned persons connected with it. The NAAC is one such agency which has tried to add value to education in the country. It has made tremendous efforts to improve the quality of Higher Education institutions since its birth in 1994. Its advent has really created better work culture, and an instinct of achieving more knowledge and information among the teachers of the colleges and the universities. It has infused the spirit of research and learning among the teachers, scholars, academics and students.
The NAAC after considering the Institutional Assessment and Accreditation application of the intent institution declares the Institutional Eligibility for Quality Assessment (IEQA) status for the institution. It has framed criteria for the assessment of the different types of institutions and assesses the performance of an institution on the following basis.

•  Curricular Aspects
• Teaching, Learning and Education
• Researches, Consultancy and Extension
• Infrastructure and learning Resources
• Student Support and Progression
• Governance and Leadership
• Innovative Practices.

The performance of the colleges affiliated with universities, autonomous colleges and universities is assessed after every five years. The programme of assessing an institution is based on international practices and experiences which the academics, intellectuals and officials connected with the NAAC receive. It inspects the infrastructure, facilities and also assesses the performance and academic excellence of the teachers of an institution. It gives grades on the basis of performance and prospects of an institution. The role of NAAC shows that an institution which understands its importance, responsibilities, strong and weak points, limitations and potentials, is sure to succeed. The same belief applies to the teachers of these institutions who are expected to carry forward the mission of education.

The Assessment Outcome:
 Assessment is the grading of an institution which is reported by the PEER team (PTR). The report reflects the quality status of an institution.
Re-assessment:
Any Higher Education Institution desirous of making improvement in the accredited status in the institutional grade can ask for re-assessment, after completing at least one year.

Quality Promotion and Sustenance Activities:
The NAAC has been interested in quality promotion and other sustenance activities for the improvement of an institution. In order to facilitate the academics, educationists and institutions, the NAAC sponsors seminars and workshops on Quality Enhancement for the accredited and assessed Higher Education Institutions. It promotes the establishment of internal Quality Assurance Systems in the institutions and encourages adoption of Institutional Best Practices and Student Participation in the Institutional Quality Assurance pursuits.

Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC):
 The NAAC promotes (IQAC), within the institution to achieve maximum goals of improvement and sustenance. The important Job of (IQAC) is to develop structured mechanism for result oriented and consistent improvement in the performance of institutions.

Re-accreditation:
 Accreditation is valid for 5 years from the date of NAAC certification. After the completion of five years of the first accreditation, the institutions are required to send their intent to NAAC and ask for re-accreditation. The next two years stand for the institution as a period for the NAAC processing preparations for Re-accreditation.

Report to UGC:
 The NAAC makes efforts to promote the use of Assessment outcome and the UGC (University Grants Commission) takes cognizance of the recommendations for granting financial support to the higher education institutions under various schemes. The assessment and accreditation of NAAC has become a pre-requisite for the Higher Education Institutions to get financial support from the UGC.

Development of an Institution:
 The NAAC is very much interested in developing the Higher Education Institutions in the county and also in the J&K State. It is in the backdrop of this that the NAAC recommends for financial support to UGC. It tries to develop the Institutions in terms of infrastructure, faculty and in various other fields which help in providing facilities to the students and to the teaching faculty.
The NAAC is actively busy in collaboration with many Quality Assurance agencies of other countries, especially, UK, USA and other western countries. The Government and different networks support the NAAC’s programmes and efforts to organize international events. The aim of NAAC is to contribute to the national development and create global competence among the students. It also has the aim to promote education based on values and technology and encourage talent, merit and excellence at all levels. The NAAC which is mandated to assess and accredit all higher education institutions has been busy in fulfilling its responsibility after inspecting the physical facilities, infrastructure and academic environment of the institutions. It has so far accredited and graded 140 Universities and 3492 colleges up to March, 2007; and the quality status of these institutions has been established. A survey of the accredited institutions reveals that 68% of colleges have been rated in “B” category while as 23% colleges are rated in “C” category and only the remaining 9% colleges have been put into “A” grade status.

NAAC Assessment in J&K:
 The NAAC assessed and accredited various Higher Education Institutions of J&K State in 2004. It inspected various colleges and two Universities of the state and grouped these under various grades. The NAAC assessed and inspected the infrastructure, faculty, facilities, weaknesses and potentials of the colleges and gave their report on the basis of these. It recommended to UGC for the financial support of these colleges so that more improvements could happen and weaknesses overcome. In J&K State the expansion of Higher Education has been the aim of the Government and this expansion has been due to the rise in number of aspirants and due to the pressing demand of the people living in remote areas.
No doubt, the policy of the Government has been to expand Higher Education but it is essential that the expansion of education is aimed at eradicating illiteracy from our society. Hence, it is our moral responsibility to be careful about the standard of education and do whatever is to be done for the development of our institutions of learning.
The NAAC inspection of the institutions of J and K State was to be done in 2010 but due to unavoidable circumstances it could not happen.  The concerned officials have been stressing hard that the existing colleges should make preparations for the inspection of NAAC in 2011-12 so that recommendations for financial assistance are made to UGC well in time. They believe that financial support to colleges and dedication of teachers can fetch quality education for the students of our society.  The preparation for NAAC assessment and re-accreditation by the institutions shall be deemed as a step further into improving the standards of education in the State. This write up is an effort to awaken the concerned that NAAC inspection is at hand for which we all must take guard and shoulder responsibility so that our institutions do not suffer on the financial front. Remember, the institutions which are financially balanced are always able to contribute in a better way to the knowledge economy and in disseminating quality education which is more important because it prepares our future generation and makes them adept in every sphere of life. The Quality education guaranties a glorious future for our society.

{Feedback at drfarooqpeer@gmail.com}                                   

Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST




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