Quality! How many times do we hear this word in our daily life? Umpteen times, of course. Every businessman worth his salt uses the word ‘generously’ to sell his product. A brand of rice, a ceiling fan, an automobile, a new software, a piece of cloth, a pair of shoes and what not-each one of them is associated with the word ‘QUALITY’. This is the most tempting USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of any sales talk. Quality is nothing but ‘an exceptionally high level of fineness’. We do buy ‘FINE’ variety rice. Don’t we? Likewise, quality is the necessary element of any commercial or intellectual activity.
To some people, quality means ‘the size of a product’. To some others, it means ‘the viably working condition of a product’. In a way, both these two sections are correct, since most of the sales persons compare two different brands and tell us that one particular brand has better quality than the other. Most of the customers dwell on the comparative merits (or demerits) of the product in question and finally decide to go for the ‘quality brand’. The customers are generally in the dark about the process that goes into making a quality product.
In the modern world, education is also to be considered a ‘product’. The dictionary meaning says it is ‘the process of teaching or learning in a school or college, or the knowledge that you get from this’. Education is an intellectual activity in the cognitive domain that also requires quality in teaching and learning methods. Most educational institutions, notably the corporate ones, advertise their ‘product’ (education) claiming high standard of teaching and coaching facilities that are exclusive to them. Most parents are under the impression that spending enormous amount of money by joining their wards in ‘reputed’ educational institutions alone ensures quality of education. They forget the simple fact that you can’t equate money with quality. They derive satisfaction from the high percentage of marks shown on the mark memos of their children. The parents, in general, do not bother to ascertain the process that goes into making ‘quality education’.
Every business house, big or small, sets up a quality control division. The purpose behind setting up the division is to ensure quality at every stage of manufacturing activity that includes planning, training and execution. The business houses hire the services of professionals adept at quality control and also provide necessary equipment to materialize the quality principles and techniques. Some business tycoons get their staff trained by leading quality assurance agencies like International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO-9001:2000), Software Engineering Institute (SEI) for Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Levels etc. Despite being expensive, the quality control division ensures high quality of the final product, which in turn leads to customer satisfaction.
This makes it clear that the quality of the final product is not guaranteed unless quality is maintained at every level of manufacturing process, including administration.In any standard education system, Course-wise content (curricula), Teaching and training, Internal Assessment (Unit tests & assignments) and Evaluation (examinations) are the four major levels. As a general rule, a government board of education or a university prescribes some standard guidelines and approves curricula for different courses with relevant content.
The schools and colleges, either government or private ‘obediently’ follow the guidelines and introduce the courses. They follow the usual teaching and assessment methods to impart education. A government board or a university conducts periodical examinations to ‘evaluate’ the comprehension levels of students and issues certificates to those who get through the examinations with a pre-prescribed minimum percentage of marks. This, in a nut shell, is the universal concept of ‘standard education’.In this context, a question crops up. The question is ‘Does the existing education system maintain quality at every stage of learning, assessment and evaluation?’ If it is unanimously agreed that quality in education is as important as quality in products, then who is responsible for ensuring quality in the education system? The educational boards, the universities, the educational institutions or the parents? Or somebody else?For that matter, everyone closely or remotely related to the education system is responsible for ensuring quality in the system.
The boards or universities have to develop a standard framework, within which an education system works. The schools and colleges should take the initiative to create a healthy learning environment that allows implementation of effective teaching and training methods. The parents have to provide necessary inputs to their wards to help them pursue quality education. The students on their part have to adhere to a prescribed learning schedule to sustain quality. This, more or less, is the universal truth. As of now, there is no authentic course or programme that defines quality for educational institutions in their teaching and training patterns or for students in their learning process. That is, there no International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for our education system like the one for industrial products and services.
Having realised this fact, Eduranet has come up with a unique framework that comprises of different courses on ‘Quality Education & Human Skills Development’, after years of extensive research on the subject. It is no exaggeration to say that these courses will add teeth to the educational institutions to improve upon their present teaching methods for imparting quality education to students and help the latter to sharpen their human skills. With this end in view, Eduranet is launching ‘The International Programme for Quality Education and Human Skills Development-2005’. The motto and concept of the programme are explained in detail in this link. Click here