Macro Education Initiatives Audit

Choice based audit system has been adopted in the higher education with a view to make curriculum multidisciplinary. This way the old concept of knowledge compartmentalisation has been discarded.
File Photo
File Photo

Immediately after NEP (1986) focus was on professional development in higher education institutions. Forty four academic staff colleges were established across the country to organize orientation programmes, refresher courses, principal workshops interdisciplinary winter/ summer schools etc., the intent was to build professional competencies, professional commitment and professional ethics. These programmes were associated with teacher placement and promotion in higher education sector. Different studies conducted revealed that the participants were interested in obtaining certificates rather in unlearning -relearning and learning new concepts and contemporary trends in their respective disciplines. This way  the financial and intellectual resources were wasted. In order to make the scheme effective the participants shall be asked to generate intellectual assets, develop innovative instruction strategies or design curriculum aspects with due focus on evaluation mechanism after attending these programmes. They otherwise shall be asked to pay back the cost for mere obtaining the certificates. These academic staff colleges are now called U.G.C human resource development centres demanding reengineering of professional development scheme.

After programme of action (1992) NAAC was established in the year 1994. The higher education institutions offered themselves for assessment based accreditation. In J&K  some colleges and two state academic universities offered for assessment and accreditation in the year 2004. Recently a college in the old city of Srinagar that has been serving the society for past 75 years of its existence organized a two week long workshop on Academic Documentation the SSR context. The objective was content editing and language editing of the draft self study report by associating the faculty and staff of the college. All 250 items under seven criteria with a total score of 1000 points were analysed with due regard to evidences. The entire practice was completed before uploading of SSR on the college website .The experiences of the institution that have been accredited for  Ist or 2nd cycle reveals that assessment and accreditation is a phase audit after 5 years. After every accreditation the institution going to deep slumber during this period and workhard for last 2 months to see that the institution is accredited .Of course there is a provision for appeal if an institution is not satisfied with the award. The academic prudence that the universities must focus on fundamental research, patents and governance through strong control mechanism in a sustained way. The best practices adopted shall not be discarded.

Choice based audit system has been adopted in the higher education with a view to make curriculum multidisciplinary. This way the old concept of knowledge compartmentalisation has been discarded. Besides core courses in a particular stream, discipline specific courses and generic open courses are available to opt for by the student at their choice. A  course of study is based on credits for teaching and learning. Prof. Dinesh Singh former, vice chancellor of Delhi university has been strong advocate of CBCS. The system suffers from a variety of setbacks as for instance the curriculum is not transacted for full length of credits in teaching learning process. This system encourages mobility and progression of students by obtaining credits from other institutions. Of course MoUs have been signed but memoranda of action are visible nowhere. The students are not expected to have entire menu on a plater on one campus. They are expected to earn some credits under transfer of credits from  other campuses. The short cuts adopted has made this scheme  all failure.

Association of Indian Universities organises every year a workshop on" Examinations and Evaluation Reforms" for controllers of examinations working in different universities in the country. Reforms is a process that is continuous in its nature, whatsoever, is happening across the world is seen how best it can be adopted in this country. The strength of teaching learning process depends upon the strength of Examinations and Evaluations which in turn moves around strong control mechanism. The well set standards and benchmarks are the basis for good academic performance.

Examinations must be stress- free and the examinees must enjoy the examination festival. However, no system can afford any deviation in the control mechanism (s).The strict control prior examinations and evaluations is as open transparency after examination and evaluations. The office of the Controller of Examinations must be open for accountability under all situations. 

To conclude very recently Finance Minister Dr Haseeb A Drabu opined that Kashmir society could produce only SKIMS( 1977 in health sector and JK Bank 1938 in Financial sector ). He did not mention an institution in Education sector (university, college, school). This is an eye opener and a point to ponder for academia.

Comprehensive Academic Audit is  conducted during or after every semester. This is a kind of concurrent Audit. The MHRD ensures the parliament that comprehensive Academic Audit is in place at central universities. This Audit is wider in scope and looks into every aspect of activity in an academic organisation. Audit leads to strong processes and systems in academic organizations. The comprehensive academic Audit  highlights essence of  processes, systems and control mechanisms to effectiveness in the functioning of Academic Organizations. lastly , an academic organisation boosts for generating intellectual assets( study material, department journals ,faculty books). These intellectual assets are not meant for dumping in stores. These are not stack/ shelf items. These are circulation items and must be made available to people at that earliest so  that society is  benefitted by new ideas.

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