National Summit on Quality Education – Day 2

Day 2 started with speaker panel on “Learning beyond education Sector”. Dr Shubhro Sen started with history of Tata Management centrers and they develop abilities of people at entry level, managerial level, enterprise level and board level and training is continuous process and the need to support learning  for different needs across different geographies and time zones.  He highlighted

  • Using the right terms to describe education For examples “Are we training animals? We are developing leaders”
  • How we do is as important as what we do?
  • Emphasized the importance of learning as lasting change and a long term transformation.
  • Institutions should develop a lifelong engagement with learner. The competitive environment of today demands the learner to think “What will I learn new today?”

Next cognizant speaker started stressing on individual excellence, corporate citizen and outcome based learning . He viewed measurement  as subjective and objective. There was sharing of the story about the competition between lord Ganesha and lord Muruga to get the fruit from their father Siva and how measurement is context sensitive and depends on the person performing the measure.  When questioned he agreed that corporate citizen should be a social citizen first and they expect each of their employees to be social citizens.

Next panel continued was “Assessing institutional effectiveness for assuring Quality learning”. This was the best session. Prof SS Manta started the

  • Migration from input based to outcome based approach to education and also stressed the need for the measurement system to adaptive.
  • Explained the role of policy body like AICTE in constrained environment where the entire functioning of the engineering colleges from curriculum to syllabus to teaching to examination and results is under the control of the university.
  • Working of AICTE with state government and state universities to decide the number of engineering colleges and engineering seats to be approved.

Ended explaining his effort to audit and remove accreditation for engineering colleges that does not meet norms, he had already made me  think of bigger picture of what happens when AICTE revoke the college accreditation and political climate does not want the college to close what is the loop hole they have.

Prof Dr S. Ramkrishnan from Chemistry department, Indian Institute of Science started with congratulatory message of top 50 ranking for Chemistry department.  He shared interesting facts about the Shanghai ranking and how the ranking evaluates institutions. His talk explained 25% weight-age for having alumni as noble prize winners or noble prize winners in faculty and weight-age given for number of papers published in last 2 years and the importance given to quality of papers from institution and the need for institution to have top ranked researchers.

Rev Fr Thomas C Mathew of Christ University shared the performance benchmarks that he is experimenting and have set-up in Christ University. The breakup of 100% goes as follows. There is central audit committee that goes around to monitor and facilitate  the performance system to work

  • xx% is provided for Faculty evaluation
  • xx% is provided by Teacher Evaluation by Peer teacher
  • xx% is provided for self-evaluation by teacher and conformance  based on discussion with Head of Department
  • xx% is provided for interfacing with society including student mentor exercises
  • xx% is provided for research including conduct of seminars, workshops and publishing articles.

The last organized speaker panel “Any-time Anywhere data for effective institution management”. I am not sure whether audience appreciated the session.  I saw Mr Suhas Gopinath. I wish he  shared insights and learnings from his journey against current state of education highlighting the expectation and measurement done  by institution and how measurement did not go along with his growth. Unfortunately he seem to be more interested to share features of ERP developed by his company.

Speakers were explaining features of  ERP suites to the audience. The speakers talked about measuring student pressure, the management system with portfolios of kids, students coming from USA and how marketing to parent in West Coast, how to initiate email campaigns and need to collect profile of parent as initiated by school, the system to move stationary and logistics across school branches, asset tracking and asset management, Fees management and management of past performance of student to perform comparison and making use of Facebook time lines to go back in to the past.

Sorry state of affairs. It seems that none of the institution management speakers discussed about teacher pressure, how they make sure  teachers get sufficient time to utilize learning management systems and how they plan training for the teachers and how they handle performance of teachers and reward effective teachers to contribute more.  They were very clear that the student was customer and  teachers are getting paid to service the customer.

Dr A .Senthil Kumaran created an Open Panel on the topic “Data Driven Decision making in education” and invited persons from the audience  to participate in the panel and share one practice  implemented in their institution and measurement approach and the impact of the practise. Teachers volunteered and shared practices that have less dependency on computers and more impact in students and school environment. Instances include how to bring practice in the students to come on time to school  or  how to create happy stress less student teacher relationship and how to stop the behaviour of stealing.

When I left the conference, I was thinking why the software professionals trying to drive “How to measure data” and not ready to spend sufficient time with educators on “What data to measure”.  They are measuring what is easy to measure and postponed to measure what is difficult.  They have a good marketing  slogan “You cannot improve what is not measured.”  Educators need to clear on what to measure and ask software professionals to support their needs and take extra care that software does not start dictating what they have to measure by feature being available.

I noted one of the speaker highlighting that shortcoming of the Indian system are current mindset of scarcity(tendency to restrict usage), Investment in education is neither optimally utilized nor optimally spend, and encouragement of  Petty competitiveness. I join him in the wish for change to  develop a mindset of maximum utilization, understand the need to  select important problem than solvable problems and  hard problems have more potential to give maximum impact and  develop a institutions to encourage collaboration.