Quality assuarance - NAAC Training

Why and How an Orientation Programme could be organised

Objective: To bring Qualitative Improvement in the Higher Education sector in the state
Instrument: To have Change Leaders in each undergraduate college of the state
Process: Change Leaders to conceptualize, plan and execute Quality Assurance in each college
Government Role: Organize Orientation Programme for Principals and Teachers to develop them as Change Leaders who can spearhead the Quality Assurance process in their respective college
Change Leader Role: Would apprise other teachers in the college the ideas of the OPs and lead a Quality Assurance movement in the college



Why this is necessary →

  • Colleges in our state have got involved in the process of assessment and accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. We believe that the framework of assessment and accreditation by NAAC is so designed that it can deliver the requirements of Quality Assurance. But mere going for NAAC Assessment and getting a seal of Accreditation would not ensure Quality Assurance.  

  • Before going for assessment colleges are required to have 
    • Training in Quality Assurance as the entire matter is somewhat technical
    • Counseling towards having proper conceptualization of the NAAC assessment framework
    • Guidance towards objective self-introspection instead of coping experience of other colleges
    • Internal Quality Assurance Cell to function effectively by introducing quality tools and practices   
    • Getting involved into the continuous process of self development through successive re-accreditations

  • In this context, it is worth mentioning that during the last few years we have delivered invited workshop on “How to prepare for NAAC Assessment” in as many as 14 colleges of West Bengal. During these day long workshops we interacted with stakeholders [including Teachers, Principals, non teaching staff, students etc] to appreciate their level of perception and understanding about the philosophy and benefits of NAAC assessment process.
    From the findings of such studies we observe that
    • 92 percent stakeholders are hardly ever identified with the idea that assessment process is not meant for getting a seal of accreditation but to embark on to the path of attaining institutional quality development,
    • 84 percent stakeholders feel NAAC assessment is a compulsion and if not complied with it would result in certain punitive action like disaffiliation by UGC, or embargo on grants, etc.

It is therefore well understood that colleges going for NAAC assessment has hardly ever tried to identify the requirements of NAAC and has never tried to appreciate how this assessment framework can deliver the needs of Quality Assurance. As a result one can say that the NAAC experiment has failed in our state as far as quality assurance is concerned.  


Probable reasons behind such failure

  • First, the Government has never intervened as a facilitator to Quality Development in the state but focused on issuance of government orders relating leave rules, career advancement and pay commissions on one hand and sanction to new colleges in rural areas. Such orders encouraged teachers with better service conditions and providing access to higher education to larger cross section of students that minimizes spatial disparity but failed to champion the cause of quality in higher education. 
  • Secondly the State Higher Education Council emphasized on deadlines for NAAC assessment and convened regular counseling workshops to provide guidelines about how to prepare for NAAC assessment but hardly ever provided training and counseling on Roadmaps to Quality Assurance in Higher Education 
  • Finally, the HEIs in most cases failed to appreciate the essence of NAAC assessment as a framework for Qualitative Development but somehow tried to deliver the requirements of assessment in a totally adhoc and ornamented approach.
  • Furthermore 245 colleges in West Bengal are assessed by NAAC during 2000-2010 but 61% of 245 colleges got assessed under compulsion from the government, during a four month period [Dec 2006-March2007] with the objective of maximizing the number of colleges being assessed and not optimizing quality or value addition to the stakeholders in the assessed colleges.
  • So it is evident that assessment by NAAC has been thrusted upon from above as a special drive during Dec 2006 and as colleges accepts assessment with a sense of compulsion.  We believe quality cannot be attained by “thrust from above” but is to be “achieved from within.” The drive for quality can be initiated by the Principal/ IQAC but if it is to be sustained the genesis should be in the realization / internalization of the stakeholders namely the teachers/ students/staff. They are to identify that idea of quality improvement is to be identified from within then both the teachers and the students should be motivated to observe their personal incremental qualitative growth, at each round of the quality journey.
  • It is here that the Government has a very important role to play as it has to issue regulations of compliances so that quality practices are executed, quality tools are introduced on one hand and on the other the State Quality Assurance Council has the role of being a facilitator of Quality Assurance [and not mere maximizing the number of colleges getting assessed by NAAC] for which   Orientation Programmes can be organised to breed Quality Leaders whom we may describe as the Change Leaders. 
  • Until colleges have pro-quality Principal and teachers, no educational reforms are ever possible that fulfills the purpose of emerging changing needs of the students in the contemporary context.   Therefore Orientation Programmes (OPs) for Principals and Teachers could be in place which will appraise them about the changing requirements of technologies, economies, business and workplaces has become a necessity.  These OPs will also help them to what are the expectations of the employers from our students and from the education system. Such knowledge will help the Principal and teachers to match with such changing requirements and hence can ensure qualitative improvement by making our education system more purposeful for the students. 

Tentative Plan for the Orientation Programmes                          


Module 01: Emerging changes in economies, business and workplaces


Module 02: Required changes in higher education

The world where we are living today is fast changing, due to the rampant proliferation of information and communication technology on one hand and globalization on the other.  Such changes bring changes in economic and business rules, thereby resulting in workplace requirements. 
Under such situation the education system should also change and reorient, and bridge up the gap between “what they learn” and “how they live” so that students don’t feel that the system of education is irrelevant.
In this module the participants are expected to get appraised with what are the propelling forces that contribute to changes in higher education system and how such changes necessitate introduction of new curriculum and pedagogy and how the higher education system is expected to deliver such needs.


Module 03: How NAAC assessment process can help HEIs in such change management 

Module 04: What could be the various Roadmaps of Quality Assurance within the NAAC framework 

UGC expects that all HEIs set forward to instill “cope-ability” in all contexts of the educational system – curricular, teaching-learning, evaluation, support to students for progression, research, consultancy, extension, learning resources, governance etc. Now these changes cannot fall from the sky. It requires a deliberate planning, a design. And such design is provided by the method of assessment and accreditation.
Educational institutes across the globe are now getting into the process of self introspection, prepare self study report and then get it validated by accreditation agencies to obtain a gradation. The gradation so obtained is only a lower order benefit of the entire process, the actual higher order benefit being an initiation and sustenance of a quality enhancement process, through successive rounds of reaccreditations.
In our country too, such initiatives have been taken since the last decade. NAAC makes assessment and accreditation of general degree colleges. But in most contexts, it is generally observed that colleges run for the seal of reaccreditation and don’t appreciate the assessment process as the scope and opportunity for initiating and sustaining quality assurance.
In this module the participants are expected to get appraised with how to perceive NAAC assessment framework as an instrument of institutional development in the areas of

    • Roadmap to improve teaching learning
    • Roadmap to empower students
    • Roadmap to extend and enrich the society 
    • Roadmap to make teachers and staff more efficient  
    • Roadmap to make the college profitable
    • Roadmap to make the college more resourceful 

The efficacy of this module is that colleges may feel encouraged to go for Quality Assurance even if the colleges do not go for assessment by NAAC  




Module 05: Understanding the Criteria and their Core Indicators within the NAAC Assessment framework 


Module 06: How to make SWOT Analysis and write the Self Study Report

It is our experience that colleges not only in our state but also in others states, hardly appreciates of the essence of the several criteria of assessment and their respective core indicators. As a result while preparing the self study report a college is often found to “copy paste the self study report of other colleges with nominal customization.” This defeats the very purpose of preparing the self study report, which is supposed to be based on the objective realities of the college.
In a way preparing the Self Study Report for NAAC assessment [if it is equated with the purpose of initiating a quality enhancement process] is a technical job which requires counseling and training with the ideas of quality assurance, innovative practices and SWOT analysis with respect to the various criteria and their core indicators of NAAC Methodology of assessment.   
In this module the participants are expected to get appraised with an appropriate understanding of the various Criteria of Assessment and the Core Indicators of NAAC Assessment and how to prepare the Self Study Report.




Module 07: Measuring quality of a department in terms of certain generic parameters 


Module 08: Measuring quality of a teacher in terms of their strength and weaknesses

It is often observed that college go for assessment by NAAC, without any quantifiable idea of quality. This makes the journey towards quality very much ad-hoc and abstract. Furthermore as long the idea of quality remains only qualitative the departments and their teachers fails to find their own individual benefit from the process of assessment and accreditation.
It is therefore necessary to perceive quality in quantifiable terms and quality attainments of the teachers and departments be measured on an annual basis so that they feel motivated to observe their personal incremental qualitative growth. Both the departments and the teachers could be and should be provided with quantifiable goals of improvement for qualitative improvement and it is then that the teachers and the departments can initiate and sustain their own individual quality journey.
In this module the participants are expected to get appraised with the idea of Quality Audit as a pre-requisite of Quality Assessment and how such quality audit could be introduced by each department to measure qualitative development of the teachers as well as the department as a whole.




Module 09: Students’ Support for Progression


Module 10: Teachers’ Role in supporting students’ progression

In the past any student graduating from a department was believed to hold the passport to the world of earning. But with the emerging changes of today’s knowledge society progression from admission to the department to graduation from the department however is only a necessary condition for employment.
The sufficient condition being attainment of capabilities that make the students move from learning to earning. For this, students should experience incremental growth of intelligence and empowerment over and above the incremental academic growth.
From a quality higher education institute teachers are expected to provide their students support for both the horizontal progression of moving from admission to graduation as well as learning to earning. For this teachers are expected to play the role of a mentor over and above of being their teacher only.
In this module the participants are expected to get appraised with the various ideas of support that teachers can provide to the students for their progression to livelihood.




Module 11: Explaining  the role of Academic Planning 


Module 12: Evaluation Reforms 

The objective here is to make the participants understand why and how teaching-learning can be made much useful if lessons are delivered in accordance to a plan designed before the commencement of the academic sessions
How each teacher can divide the entire syllabus [as allotted to him] in certain monthly modules?
How such modules can be delivered within a month’s time How learning of the students are evaluated by conducting prescheduled examination convened at the end of each module
How MCQ questions are to be designed for modular unit tests giving stress on

    • Questions that can assess factual knowledge
    • Questions that can assess conceptual understanding
    • Questions that can assess higher order thinking