Year of Academic Transformation

In the process of Reform-Perform-Transform
"The academic transformation suggests that faculty must always hone the hidden capabilities of learners and make them able to find answers to new questions. The NEP 2020 emphasises upon critical thinking and creative/innovative research based learning."
"The academic transformation suggests that faculty must always hone the hidden capabilities of learners and make them able to find answers to new questions. The NEP 2020 emphasises upon critical thinking and creative/innovative research based learning."GK Layout Desk

The year 2022 is declared academic year of transformation. It is simply because of implementation of NEP 2020 this year. The students admitted to first semester of degree programme in Kashmir valley colleges are now governed by this policy.

The colleges may have arranged academic festivals for freshers in their institutions. The students may have been familiarised with the contours of this policy.

This policy makes the stay of students in the HEIs a thrilling experience. Accordingly the college governance and faculty may have created such an ecosystem. There are at least two dimensions of academic transformation discussed in this brief write-up:

1. Beating bench marks; and

2. Enriching processes.

In the past there were lesser avenues available to a student. A student today is exposed to a variety of challenges/opportunities. He is living in a global world. He is a global citizen. He is exposed to ICT boom. Every bit of information is now available to him at a distance of one click.

Thus, he has not to meet the benchmark but has to be able to beat the benchmark. He is expected to work smart to outperform. Out of 72,000 students who appeared in Matriculation examination (terminal) conducted by BOSE, result declared in February, 2022; only 19 examinees have beaten the benchmark. It is much less percentage.

It should have been at-least around 1% or 720 students. It would encourage students to take lead in future at different levels of examinations.

This demands to develop such an ecosystem in the HEIs so that the students are able to shine in the field of academics. The academic transformation suggests that faculty must always hone the hidden capabilities of learners and make them able to find answers to new questions. The NEP 2020 emphasises upon critical thinking and creative/innovative research based learning.

Thus, the answers to every examination question may outwit the evaluator. Such answers can be beyond the Assessors’ Standard Responses. These answers underweight the maximum score of an instrument. In our parlance, we have not to be Lakeer Kay Fakeer or tread the beaten track.

We have to create differentiation by doing something unique. The gap is to be minimised. The performance gap is a reflection of inefficiency. Once more and more students are enabled to beat the targets, the entire ecosystem of our educational institutions will be changed. This is what academic transformation looks for.

There are cases where leaners/examinees have been able to beat benchmarks. A Punjabi student was perusing MS (Economics) Programme at Florida University (USA). The examiner awarded him 110 out of 100 marks in a particular course of study. When the Award Roll was received by the Controller of Examinations, he enquired from the Professor all about his evaluation process.

The Professor responded that for all practical purposes the answer script is worth 110/100 marks based on his Assessor’s Standard Response to every question attempted by the examinee.

The examinee got 100/100 in his marks card. In our local situation while evaluating answer scripts an evaluator was impressed by one script to the extent that he desired to have a photocopy of the same.

While going to the market to get a Xerox he felt apprehensive, so retuned from the Xerox shop, purchased a note book and copied this answer script end to end. The examiner awarded 100/100 marks to this answer script. Such students must have decidedly shaped up their academic career and contributed to the society in one or the other field.

During our student days inspector of schools used to visit schools even at far off places and interacted with teachers and students on varied topics. One day such a visit was paid to a rural school. A quite different question was asked in the class with the promise that one who answers it would be awarded 10/10 points.

The question put by the inspector was so unique that the teachers probably were not able to answer it. A village boy who later on pursued advanced studies in three world famous institutions (DSE-LSE-HSL), studying in the school under reference was able to answer this unknown question.

The inspector was so thrilled that he cheered and cried loudly, “what an answer”! He kissed the boy and awarded him 10/10 points. Again it is to say that such an ecosystem is to be developed in the institutions so that more and more students beat the targets leading to academic transformation.

Again, until now each semester consisted of 90 working days including scholastic and non-scholastic activities. The teacher had to play a central role in transacting the course content.

Now the course content is based on credits earned by a learner. A credit engages a student to invest 15/16 clock hours per course of study. These credits can be obtained with due intervention of ICT. A course of study with four credits thus, demands investment of 60/64 clock hours by a learner.

The course content is analysed unit wise and content wise at the beginning. For each item of content relevant learner centric instructional strategies are put in practice.

A learner is required to obtain 20-24 or more credits during a semester. This includes course content like scholastic, skill oriented, non-scholastic and value based courses. It may include four scholastic, one skill oriented and one non scholastic/ value based course each of four credits.

A semester is spread over five months: (March-July and August-December). Four months are ear marked for transaction, 10 days for revision and 20 days for end semester examination.

This includes 15/16 days a month to earn four credits for 4 scholastic and 1 skill oriented course whereas a learner in the institution can earn 4 credits in terms of co-curricular activities/value based activities by his/her participation on the campus in such activities.

However, draft curriculum framework, credit mechanism and other guidelines issued by the UGC towards implantation of NEP 2020 offer reliable guidance to our faculty in the HEIs.

To conclude, the year 2022 begins with academic transformation. An overall change has to be effected to add on value/productivity to teaching-learning and evaluation process. The rigorous processes seen have resulted in higher level of outcome by every positive effort.

This is reflected in proper evaluation. The pass outs from HEIs are expected to be highly productive under this academic transformation. This academic transformation takes care of all dimensions in line with NEP 2020 to develop enriched citizenry in the HEIs.

Each college may constitute academic audit and NEP 2020 committees under IQAC to further strengthen academic processes.

(The write-up is based on understanding of NEP 2020 by the authors).

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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