Prof Manish Bhalla
Indian higher education today is in a phase of transition that calls for movement of students from content-focused instruction to an outcome-focused approach. Deliberations are continued since long, and efforts are being implemented from policy maker(s) and faculties involved in higher education. Eminent researchers and other learned member(s) from the teaching fraternity have provided and suggested a number of feasible solutions to the learning and pedagogical challenges knowing that there is still a long way to go. Rapid changes in technology have ensured that the future is scampering faster towards us and remaining immune to change can be a rather debilitating exercise. India, with its 1.4 billion population, is one of the largest contributors of global workforce today when over 35% of the total population is less than 35 years of age. Thus, Indian higher education needs a complete over-haul in terms of re-organization of courses/programmes and a re-format of the skill-outcome curriculum besides a modern technology-based learning pedagogy in order to meet rapidly rising global standards.
There is an urgent need to implement a comprehensive process model that improves the quality of teaching and one that must focus on the development of a maturity framework like Educational Capacity Maturity Model (E-CMM), which is a process of learning assessment, management, and optimization and is based on the following main features:
- Key educational processes continuous process improvement to enhance the overall quality education.
- A matured degree program and course-design process based on best practices to enhance student learning process. This process is a repeatable process from time to time and is based on the existing demands and can be done through regular monitoring and the existing control system like checks and balances using technology as a tool.
- Institutional development process based on proposed matured degree programs with a well-defined systematic and documented approach well supported by comprehensive and continuous assessment of Institutional development and process performances.
- Well-planned RRs or recruitment requirements of skilled and trained faculties and their involvement with continuous monitoring, well-documented feedback, regular upgradation and uplifting of their skills and training, defined checks and their prevention of defects based on feedback to complete the entire process.
- Well-defined recruitment (admission) process of students suitable to particular program(s) with the comprehensive pre- and post- assessment based on technology including psychometric analysis. The students must be discouraged if he/she is not suitable/fit to be admitted for a particular program(s). The recruitment (admissions) must be restricted to quality not the quantity.
- Comprehensive Research Policy for quality improvement with targeted approach and time limitation from 03 to 05 years, falling which the appraisal shall be restricted.
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The above few processes of learning and pedagogy are the need of the hour with access, equity, excellence and relevance being the key to the Indian higher education system reforms. Since geographical barriers are shrinking, the need to encourage and cultivate foreign participation by way of student and faculty exchange programs through autonomy in curriculum-framing and skill-based parameters and gainful employability must be in place. Thus, an all-round quality in education must be assessed by putting checks and balances. There must also exist a stringent accreditation process that will ensure future quality higher education in India.