Making teachers deliver the goods

A high-level committee has recommended guidelines to ensure the accountability of university and college teachers in the State. G. KRISHNAKUMAR has the details.

Shared goals
Teachers as well as students should come out in flying colours, as evaluation and assessment are set to become mutual in the universities and the colleges in the State. The State government is planning to introduce a comprehensive scheme to evaluate the accountability of university and college teachers in the State.

A committee headed by K.N. Panikkar, Vice-Chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council, has submitted a report recommending guidelines for doing so. The plan is part of the steps being taken by the government to implement the pay revision recommendations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the teachers. The committee's recommendations will be made applicable to the teachers of aided, unaided and government colleges and universities.

In its 21-point recommendations, the committee suggests that a uniform calendar may be instituted for the colleges and the universities. Every college should ensure at least 90 working days in a semester. Any loss for unexpected reasons shall be compensated by holding classes on Saturdays.

In its observations made under the heading 'miscellaneous facts,' the committee points out that steps should be taken to ensure strict adherence to the uniform calendar by all universities and colleges. The calendar should provide adequate number of days for admission, course work and examinations. Only by re-working vacations can this be made possible.

The committee has observed that colleges have a week's vacation each for Onam and Christmas, apart from a month's semester break. A buffer period of 10 working days and Saturdays should be set apart for compensating lost teaching days.

The colleges may be given the option to declare study leave in preparation for semester examinations, once they complete 90 working days within the semester. The committee suggests a transparent system of assessment for internal evaluation. Weekly or monthly assessment scores may be compiled. The periodic assessment and the efforts of the teacher need to be considered while awarding grades or scores. All teachers should undergo performance evaluation every three years. Unsatisfactory performance should be taken note of and made part of the teacher's record. Teachers should prepare a self-assessment report every year. It should be discussed in the department.

Following a plan
Stating that every lecturer must circulate among the students a brief note containing the teaching plan and the study materials at the beginning of the semester, the committee recommends that the method of teaching is to be improved by introducing interactive sessions and allowing the students to engage in more academic and extra-curricular activities, including seminars, group discussions, project work and book report.

The committee has recommended that a Kerala Higher Education (Improving Quality Education by Ensuring Accountability of University and College Teachers) Bill be enacted. Courtesy

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