Effectiveness of any system, including education, depends upon both its quantity and quality aspects. Because of globalization and competition among education providers, quality has become an important issue these days. Quality education means quality of teachers, quality of learners, quality of courses, quality of planning and management, quality of infrastructure, quality of resource and quality of teaching and evaluation methods. Quality in education, at all the levels, is being encouraged in all the countries because of academic, social, political and economic advantages. If we want to succeed in the expansion of educational provision nationally and internationally, we have to improve and sustain the quality of our education system. To do this, it is quite requisite to identify and address challenges in quality education. These challenges are considerable to be addressed for the country as it is now engaged in the use of higher education as a powerful tool to build a knowledge-based information society of the 21st century. Recognizing these basic facts, the universities have to perform a multiple role namely creating new knowledge, acquiring new capabilities and producing an intelligent human resource pool through challenging teaching, research and extension activities so as to balance both the need and the demand. In terms of the system approach, the quality of input and process will shape the quality of outputs that graduate from the education system. The quality education is not a one-time affair. It is a continuous process involving sustained efforts. This paper identifies and addresses challenges in quality higher education in India.
At the dawn of a new century, there is an unprecedented demand for and a great diversification in higher education, as well as an increased awareness of its vital importance for socio-cultural and economic development. Higher education includes all types of studies namely training or training for research at the post secondary level, provided by universities or other educational establishments that are approved as institutions of higher education by the competent state authorities. There is, indeed, a multitude of interconnected problems that India faces in its higher education system; in a summary and particularly incisive diagnostic, one of the more thorough recent analyses of the situation describes both the scope and the seriousness of the challenge. Higher education in India suffers from several systemic deficiencies. As a result, it continues to provide graduates that are unemployable despite emerging shortages of skilled manpower in an increasing number of sectors. The standards of academic research are low and declining. Some of the problems of the Indian higher education, such as – the unwieldy affiliating system, inflexible academic structure, uneven capacity across various subjects, eroding autonomy of academic institutions, and the low level of public funding are well known. Many other concerns relating to the dysfunctional regulatory environment, the accreditation system that has low coverage and no consequences, absence of incentives for performing well, and the unjust public funding policies are not well recognized. Quality assurance systems will find continuing challenges in the decade ahead, not only on their procedural decisions but also on the fundamental educational issues they must address. Complex questions about how to measure educational quality are gaining new urgency because of two recent developments: the widening use of educational technology and the burgeoning interest in global delivery of educational services. There has been some effort to address each of these emerging trends, especially in some major systems of quality assurance, but much remains to be addressed.
Poor Quality of Teachers
The greatest of all the challenges that education in India faces is that of poor quality of teachers. The poor quality is pervading all throughout right since the primary education and it has cascading effect into other layers too. A poor teacher actively damages the student's learning experience. Poor teachers are a power-base of mediocrity that is resisting changes in the teaching profession. Poor teachers fabricate excuses. They are not responsible for their outcomes. Poor teachers not only sponsor poor performances of their students but they affect leadership and the quality of teaching within their school. Poor teachers do not look for opportunities. They are safe remaining in the same classroom, teaching the same subject to the same students within the same program and from the same textbook.
The foremost challenge with reference to poor quality teaching is that of untrained half-baked teachers who pass on their ignorance to their students . Another factor that contributes to poor quality of teacher is that of poor paywages of the teachers. In fact, this is a vicious circle where quality is thought to be improved by privatization and thus sluggishness and lethargy with which government school teachers function is thought to be remedied and the paradoxes shame such teachers who are purported to be vehicles of change for the better are exploited underpaid and maltreated.
A certain drafting set of rules have to be enforced strictly in order to ensure optimum performance of the teachers;
1. In the selection criteria only the trained teachers need to be selected.
2. In service training every year has to be made obligatory for every serving teacher so as to update / refresh his existing knowledge and skills.
3. Seminars, workshops and conferences have to be organized in the relevant field of study and that should be the regular feature of on-the-job training regimen.
4. All the serving teachers need to be made to take performance related tests regularly and their salary and perks should commensurate with the outcome of these tests.
5. Students’ feedback has to have some bearing on the overall evaluation of the teacher.
Even with reference to their working hours, they are exploited. They are made to slog in the classroom and in the laboratories and on the ground even with their meager salaries and thus they burn themselves out prematurely and with each passing year. They are reduced to living zombies.
Poor Quality of Learners
The quality of the learner is a direct fall out of the quality of teachers and when the quality of teachers is poor, it will percolate into the learning abilities of the students. Thus, we see that both are interwoven and both are well integral part of the learning process. A teacher is the most powerful influence on the impressionable minds of the learners. And thus in a way he is a great catalyst. It goes without saying that he is a harbinger of change for better or for worse. The next influencing factor is that of familial influence which the child carries all his life. So, a healthy and positive family ambiance is a must for good quality of learners.
- Quote paper
- Poonam Valera (Author), 2013, Identifying and adressing Challenges in Quality Education, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/208464