If you logged on to an institute’s website, saw a post on the social media or read an advertisement in the newspaper, during or closer to admission times and found an ordinary institute boasting about providing its students, a cutting-edge technology, a state-of-the art labs and workshops, centers of excellence, foreign immersion, thus resorting to such online rhetoric, and further, if your heart was at a right place, and you knew that all that stuff was nothing but rubbish, a mere ploy to pull the students to join the college, how sad you must have been that day!
You would be surprised to know that a very large number of faculty and management in our institutes, don’t even know the true meanings of these highly enabling initiatives and practices. In my personal face-to-face interaction with faculty of over 80 colleges and universities during various workshops on NAAC and NBA accreditation and FDPs on teaching-learning through technology, I invariably asked them to define or even describe their meanings and how these must function. I found to my utter surprise that nearly 90% couldn’t give me an answer.
We are good at picking up high-sounding words from the content of some of the top world universities and colleges and simply cut these to paste with utter disregard to relevance. Not just that, nearly 90% of our institute’s vision, mission and program education objectives are not the outcome of days’ and months’ of deliberations of its stakeholders, but simply statements picked up from the leading institutes paraphrased and adopted. The result is, that there is rarely any unique institute with its unique aspiration and focus.
Spare a few eminent ones, there is an abysmal abyss between what most private institutes boast about their credentials in the media and what they actual provide. The worst part is that there is no regulatory body in place to stop the rot. It is all “chalta hai” attitude.
It is also a pity in this forgivable country that innocent students accept whatever the institute gives to them. Forgive me for my poor knowledge, if ever any student filed a case in the court, claiming damages from an institute, on the ground that what institute claimed and advertised, didn’t provide, which led to his/her career severely damaged.
Let there be an autonomous body to protect and safeguard students’ interests much on similar lines as SEBI which safeguards and protects investors’ financial interests in the country. Our students deserve to know the true credentials of our institutes.
On my closing note, I must also admit that the situation is not completely dismal. I did find some very good institutes including private ones, doing an excellent work towards transparency and fair reporting. But they are very few and can be counted. I have all praise for them.
JR Sharma is the Founder & CEO of ‘Accreditation Edge’- an initiative by STEMVOGEL Consultancy. The views expressed are personal.