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Upgrading curriculum a priority to improve higher education

September 18, 2018

Updating the curriculum, change in archaic regulations governing educational institutes, overhauling the examination system, upgrading pedagogy and focus on research are some of the reforms that need to be undertaken to improve higher education in the country and bring it at par with global universities, said panellists at the recently held Vice Chancellor Conference organised by The Times of India, in New Delhi.

"We are still following a dated curriculum. One of the immediate steps needed to improve the quality of higher education is to re-design the curriculum of all courses to teach students what is relevant in the present age," said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

He added that along with the curriculum, the pedagogy also needs an upgrade for which training teachers is a must. Customised teaching solutions are the need of the hour as one-size-fits-all can no longer work.

Delhi's deputy CM Manish Sisodia highlighted at the burdening education system, where the students remain anxious to obtain high marks. "This is the time when we should raise them to be fearless learners and be innovative," he said. 

"While everybody is stressing on improving higher education, it cannot be fixed until the foundations are strong. For that we need to instil a sense of curiosity, fearlessness to ask questions, out-of -the-box thinking instead of fear of scoring. We cannot have entrepreneurs and innovators if the students live in the constant fear of exams," said Sisodia.

Raj Singh, vice chancellor, Ansal University said that the evaluation system in the country is compliance and conformity-based, which is not sufficient measure of learning. With such an examination system, a high percentage of students fail.

While in foreign institutions, pass percentage is high they follow learning based outcome to measure the progress, he added.

While debating if reservations in educational institutes lead to brain drain, T D Dogra, chief technical officer, SGT University said, "There has been a paradigm shift in aspirations of the students and brain drain was a problem when only limited number of students had access to quality higher education. Today we have highly qualified engineers and doctors in large numbers."

If students are going for education and employment opportunities abroad, it shouldn't be considered brain drain as many of them are coming back to the country and bringing that expertise with them. Rather, we need to make our students more aspirational, added P Hemalatha Reddy, principal, Venkateshwara College.

Pratibha Jolly, principal, Miranda House and Rupamanjari Ghosh, vice chancellor, Shiv Nadar University, were also in attendance.

Article Courtesy: TOI

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