NAAC Sponsored Two Day National Seminar 'Nurturing Quality in Higher Education' held on 1 and 2 March 2013



A two day NAAC sponsored National Seminar entitled ‘Nurturing Quality in Higher Education’ was organized in collaboration with the IQAC of the college on March 1st and 2nd 2013. Fifty two participants from institutes of higher education benefitted as they discussed, debated and deliberated on pertinent issues with respect to Higher Education. Fr Dr Sebastian Anand, Principal of St Xavier’s College, Jaipur presented the keynote address. In his address entitled ‘Raising the Bar in Higher Education with special reference to the weaker section in Indian society’ Dr Fr Sebastian Anand said that nations need liberal minds that oppose blind faith, ethnocentrism and religious fanaticism.

Speaking on the sub theme Role of Stakeholders in Sustainable Quality Assurance Prof Suresh Patil, Head of Dept of Statistics, Kirti College, Mumbai said that sustainability includes the three P’s viz, people, planet and profit and hence can never be considered in isolation. This calls for new ideas, innovations, response to the call to action, proactiveness in decision making and minimizing of negative impact.

 

 Prof Sudhakar Solomonraj, Head of BMM course, Wilson College while speaking on the subtheme ‘Exploring Global Avenues for Total Quality Management’ highlighted the importance of qualities like enthusiasm, exuberance, empowerment and excellence.  Referring to the PISA programme launched by OECD, he led the audience to reflect on their roles in a fast changing global scenario.

 

The next sub theme was Developing New Trends to build a Culture of Quality Consciousness.

 Lead Speaker Mr Preetham D’Silva said that without one’s in depth involvement, quality is incomplete. In the market driven economy of today, quality is a priority. The products of an institution have an added advantage if the institution is acknowledged as a ‘quality institution’. A system of checks and balances help to keep track of quality or standards.

 

 

 Dr Veena Deshmukh, Hon Prof, Smt K.K College of Education, Santacruz speaking on ‘Institutions that bear a hallmark of quality’ elaborated the five core values incorporated in the NAAC’s Value Framework for Assessment of Higher Educational Institutions.

 

 

A panel discussion on Nurturing Quality in Higher Education was moderated by Dr Cynthia D’Costa. Panelist Prof Jose George elucidated concerns of Quality Assurance in institutes of higher education. Panelist Dr Usha Borkar discussed at length the question of employability as students who pass out of Teacher Education Institutes need to be equipped with skills required to face an ever changing school system. Panelist Ms Fatima D’Souza spoke on how institutes of higher education, both academic and professional are influential in creating a work force for the globalized market. She elaborated her experiences as a teacher in an IB school and showed how the IB curriculum helps to develop wholistically. The panel discussion ended with the moderator summing up the discussion offering recommendations for quality assurance which were based on the work of Juran, Deming and Crosby. Twenty three papers were presented on the subthemes. A session was conducted wherein the participants drew up a plan of action to address issues related to quality.

The valedictory address was presented by Sr Mary Conradine, Provincial, Mumbai Province of Congregation of Carmelite Religious. The seminar fostered intellectual deliberations and the participants benefitted from the expertise of the speakers. Dr Mariamma Joseph was the Convenor and Dr Mabel Pimenta was the Organizing Secretary of the seminar. The proceedings of the seminar were published in form of a book.

ICSSR Sponsored National Level Seminar on Ushering a Renaissance in Higher Education held on 28 November 2015

The objectives of the seminar were 

1. To foster an understanding of equity, expansion and excellence , the three concerns of Higher Education

2. To gain insights to new trends in online learning

3. To facilitate a quest for excellence through mapping of teacher competencies

4. To be acquainted with efforts to generating roadmaps to excellence

5. To share research findings on issues connected to Teacher Education/ Higher Education 


 The inaugural address was by Dr Jayashree Mehta, Principal, St Joseph’s College of Arts and commerce, Rajodi, Vasai. She elucidated the paradigm shift in education by tracing the education system of the past, present and the future through her presentation entitled ‘Kal, aaj aur kal’. She spoke about the gurukul system and its characteristics, the system in medieval and modern India and thereafter she presented a picture of what education is headed towards. She elaborated the role digital education and blended learning by highlighting the significance of Open Learning, Massive Open Online Courses and Web based Learning. She also led the participants into a reflective mode as she stressed the need to analyse the learners of today and ensure that their needs, interests and aspirations are well understood by the teachers. 

The key note address was delivered by Professor Dr Shefali Pandya, Department of Education, University of Mumbai. Drawing from her vast repertoire of experience as a pedagogue, a writer and an expert on several teams associated with education, Prof Pandya helped the participants to immerse themselves in reflection on ‘Equity, Expansion and Excellence: the pivots of higher education’ . With lucid examples, she discussed aspects as equity and how to ensure the same in the higher education system. She examined the concepts of internal and external efficiency and presented a crystal clear picture of the Higher Education scenario in India today. She led the participants into soul searching experience to examine their roles in ensuring quality and effectiveness in the system. She also discussed concerns regarding cross border education and emphasized that research now needs to be rooted in problem solving so that we have solutions for the problems that threaten the system of our higher education. 

The next technical session was on ‘Online Learning:  An impetus to Higher Education’. Dr Geeta Thakur, Assistant Professor, Pillai’s College of Education, Panvel was the resource person. Dr Thakur enfolded before the participants the magical world of e-learning and showed actual demonstrations of how digital technology can enhance the effectiveness of learning. Her elucidation of Open Educational Resources, webquests, MOOCs, blogs and online platforms showed how one can expand the horizon of one’s knowledge through use of online media. During this session, participants who  use different online learning experiences shared the same and described how the learning process becomes truly constructivist in approach. 

Post lunch, the participants has the privilege to listen to Dr Mariamma Joseph, Principal of Pushpanjali College of Education, Vasai as she deliberated on the theme ‘Renaissance in Higher Education: Mapping Teacher Competencies’. She elaborated on the need to respond the diverse needs of society. She also emphasized that teachers need to be original and innovative, embedding research into their interactions. Teacher must be persons of quality who bridge the gap between theory and practice. They must be persons with a zest for continuous professional development.   

The next session was presentation of papers. Papers were presented under our subthemes. Dr Mabel Pimenta and Ms Angelina Nunes chaired the sessions. There were 16 papers presented in all. 


The subthemes were as follows:

Theme One: Mapping and Management of Higher Education

Theme Two: Capacity Building through use of ICT 

Theme Three: New Trends for Dynamism in Higher Education

Theme Four: Quality Concerns in Higher Education 


The topics spread over a wide array and hence the participants benefitted from multiple perspectives. Some of the papers were based on action researches conducted by the participants.  A brief discussion followed the presentations and this helped doubts to be cleared. 

The valedictory function was chaired by Dr Ancy Jose, Principal, Nagindas Khandwala College, Malad. She spoke on ‘India as a key player in world economy: My role as a teacher’ wherein she expounded the importance of being a sincere teacher whose interaction is entrenched in values. She said that it is easier to bring up a strong child than to repair a broken man and for this we need a system of education that helps to instill values, ideals and appropriate attitudes. Every teacher must aspire to be a part of the growth story of India. She emphasized the need for research and innovation, advocated a pro reform policy and urged the participants to consider community development and inclusive growth. She also drew the attention of the participants towards an education system that focuses on gender issues. 

The outcomes of the seminar were manifold. Participants were exposed to different perspectives in how to make Higher Education efficient and equitable. The exposure to the world of e-leaning helped to see how to integrate technology to enhance the effectiveness of the teaching –learning process. The discussion on Equity, Excellence and Expansion was useful to examine one’s own role as a lecturer. Participants realized the need to look at teacher competencies with greater earnest. The paper presentation opened new avenues to think and act. 

We are grateful to ICSSR for the generous grant to host the seminar.  Dr Mariamma Joseph was the Convenor and Dr Sheetal Chaudhari and Dr Agnes DCosta were the organizing secretaries of the seminar.


Glimpses of ICSSR 


Sponsored National Level


 Seminar on Ushering a 


Renaissance in Higher 


Education organised by 


IQAC on 28 November 


2015