The current scenario of the education industry looks promising. Though with a decline in good quality and senior professors; it can be a threat. Hence we need to understand how we can maintain this quality of education. In an interview we had with Mr. Neeraj Kumar Sharma, who is Director At Harlal Institute Of Management And Technology, Greater Noida; he explained various key points for the decline in quality and suggested some measures on how we can maintain them.
A Word About The Higher Education Industry
We asked Dr. Neeraj about the situation where the experienced teaching staff is on a decline, and senior professors are the worst hit. We further enquired about the reason for this decline in the quality of education and how can we resolve it.
Dr. Neeraj told us how only a few institutions in India are trying to maintain the quality of education and the rest of the institutions do not bother to provide good quality education. He reasons this with the fact that Institutes need to pay more for good quality faculty.
He says that a large number of institutions are simply distributing the degree as a piece of paper, simply to increase employment. Another reason for this is the students not getting enough exposure to the field that they wish to be working in, and are simply passed and handed a degree.
If they had experienced teachers, they will get good hands-on and realtime experience and learn better.
Dr. Sharma informs us that if the institute is accredited by AICTE or UGC, it becomes mandatory for them to hire high-quality professors. In such institutes with such professional faculty, every student will be able to get personal attention and one to one consultation with the teachers.
He tells us that in a class of 60 students, every student has their strengths and weaknesses. Only if a teacher is experienced, they will be able to cater to the needs of each student. An inexperienced teacher will simply try to finish off the syllabus.
Dr. Neeraj adds that a good quality teacher will be able to evaluate and provide the necessary feedback to each student, to help them improve.
“A lot of institutes that are not accredited simply act as money generating institutes. Hence, one of the solutions is to get institutes accredited.”
Innovations In Teachers And Teaching Pedagogy
We asked Dr. Neeraj what his view is on the hybrid model of learning, and if we can utilize both, online recorded lectures and offline lectures to improve education.
To which, he replied that he introduced such a learning system for his management students this year itself. He reasons this with the fact that this will help the students gain more exposure from Industrial people.
He also informed us that they are getting professionals from the industrial sector to conduct guest lectures. Dr. Neeraj says that someone who is purely in the teaching industry does not know the realistic expectations and the changes in the industry.
There have been so many cases where the student graduates with technology from 5-6 years ago, which is no longer relevant. Hence, for the constantly changing industrial scenario, he said that they are getting Industrial people too for guest lectures.
Image Branding And Starting Of Institutes
Our next question to Dr. Neeraj Kumar Sharma was that there are a lot of private institutes coming up. And thus it becomes difficult for a student to decide which one to take admission in.
So how can institutes take part in brand/image-building activities to secure more admissions and benefit both themselves and students?
He says that it is very crucial to do so, and tells us many institutions are already doing so. He explained that ads are being posted in TVs, on billboards, in newspapers, etc. and plenty of brand-building is being done.
He believes that the students of an institute are the best advertisement and ambassadors for them. Because if the students are given good quality education; they willingly share and speak about the institutions.
Dr. Neeraj adds that no matter how much money you spend on hoardings and advertisements, the student to student advertisement is the most effective.
The colleges’ can also advertise by conducting social activities and counsellings. This adds college in the good books of students.
This can also be done in rural areas, as students there do not have access to a lot of information. So we can inform them about the opportunities that they can avail of in our institution. If they are content with that information and like the institute, they can choose to join us.
We also asked him about the government policies concerning the starting of private institutions and asked for his opinion on the ease of starting up private institutes.
Dr. Sharma explained to us that; having government jobs was a stereotype, the same applies to get admissions in government colleges. But to ease delivery and to increase the efficiency of education was the reason that the government had opted for the privatization of educational institutes.
As per him, the problem that government colleges face is that a lot of teachers that are underqualified and incompetent are hired and the impact they have on students is negative. Students pass their education without being able to do basic things like write applications. Hence, the government decided to allow private institutes to improve this situation.
He says that it is no hurdle to open a college or to run it. The government even supports colleges by providing faculty development programs and accreditations. And such accreditations have become mandatory to maintain the quality of education.
Importance Of Co-Curricular Activities
We asked Dr. Neeraj Kumar Sharma about co-curricular activities like drama, dance, and singing, which are being promoted in colleges.
He told us that he was very much in favor of this as it provides a sound learning system and more mental peace to the students. He says it encourages a more creative approach and it should certainly be inculcated in the college systems along with curricular education.
He suggests that a 70:30 distribution should be allotted to academics and such activities respectively.
This interview with Dr. Neeraj Kumar Sharma showed us the true scenario of higher education and suggested some reforms that can be made in them.
Moderated By: Rishabh Mehta
Edited By: Jayesh Pawar
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