Assessment Report of

Institutional Accreditation of

Institute of Advanced Study in Education

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

 

Section 1. Preface

Institute of Advanced Study in Education, Saidapet, Chennai established in the year 1856 probably is the oldest institution in the country and one of the oldest institutions in South East Asia. Originally the college was started for the purpose of preparing teachers through a short term certificate course, it has now evolved into a full fledged college of education offering the B. Ed / M. Ed degree programmes. In 1887 the college was affiliated to Madras University for offering the B. Ed degree course. During the long journey of more than 100 years the college has produced many leaders, statesman, outstanding scholars in different fields. To mention a few Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Philosopher and former President of India, Subramania Iyer and Krishna Menon are the products of this institution. It is indeed difficult to evaluate the historic role of such old institutions in the winning of our national freedom, in bringing about renaissance and reforms in Indian education - transformation from gurukula to modern system of education. The LT course continued for nearly 72 years which was restructured into the regular B. Ed programme in the 1954. In addition to the teaching programme, the college was recognised as a research centre in the year 1986 and 1988 for M.Phil/Ph.D programmes respectively. Keeping in view its long history and outstanding contribution, the college was upgraded into a center for Advanced Study in Education in 1997 with liberal financial support from the central government.

 

The college volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council and submitted the Self-Study Report. In response to the request, the NAAC constituted a committee consisting of Prof Malla Reddy, Former Vice Chancellor of Osmania University and Mrs.T.K.Jayalakshmi, Former Principal, RV Teachers College, Bangalore and present Director, RV Education Consortium. The team visited the college on 10th March 2000 and examined the various facilities including its physical infrastructure and interacted with the Principal, faculty, alumni association, parents and students. On the basis of the physical verification of facts and impressions gathered during the visit the following report is prepared in terms of the criteria designed by the NAAC for accreditation.

Section 2. Criterion-wise Analysis

 

Criterion I: Curricular Aspects

Despite the fact that the college is the oldest institution in Asia with long tradition of preparing teachers for nearly 160 years; the college has not been accorded autonomy so far. This defeats the very purpose of upgrading the institution into an Advanced Centre. In these circumstances the college offers the curriculam prescribed by the university and implements various academic proposals and plans as dictated by the affiliating university. The curriculam however is designed by the Board of Studies of Madras University and implemented by the college. The Teacher Education programme is essentially directed towards preparation of teachers for secondary and primary schools. Therefore there is an inbuilt advantage of securing jobs after completing the courses.

 

There is no flexibility in the course design and students are expected to complete the programme within the timeframe and no deviation is permitted. B.Ed. students as per norms of Madras University, have to complete 40 days of teaching practice in selected secondary schools in addition to pursuing foundation courses, orientation in methods of teaching in their respective content areas. The students also pursue two optional subjects. Despite the restricted academic freedom for want of autonomy the college is able to enrich its curriculum by introducing innovations such as modular curricula, multi disciplinary project oriented research in various areas.

 

Micro teaching, innovative instruction, team teaching, seminars and symposia are some of the significant approaches that the college has been adopting for enriching its institutional climate.

 

Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation

 

Judging from the reactions involved and the interaction with students it is observed that members of staff are held in high esteem by students. The teaching learning transaction is very effective and it produces creative response among students. Teachers are using the audio-visual gadgets and other media devices. There is a good relationship and understanding between the teacher and pupil. Members of faculty work as a cohesive team in all the departments. The teachers have to their credit varied content background like literature, commerce, economics and the like. All the members hold a Masters Degree in the content area as well as in pedagogy. Almost all the teachers are interested in research but they seem to be conscious of the fact that being a government institution they are transferable and their work in the institution is temporary. Consequent to this linkages with national or international levels are low. The faculty development programmes though found are not adequate. Members of the staff are bright, young and enthusiastic. The academic atmosphere is good.

 

Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension

The college is involved in research activities, dissertation being an important component of the M.Ed. programme at the P.G level. Various forms of operational and project oriented researches in different areas are promoted by the faculty. As per the norms of the Government, teachers are given study leave and some teachers make use of this opportunity. The college has constituted a research committee for examining research project proposals and recommending them for necessary research grants. At present about 40% of teachers guide research scholars and 60% of the teachers are working on research project. Though the published work of the faculty is not very impressive, some teachers are able to publish a few articles on important themes. The college offers M. Phil and Ph. D programmes and at present one student is working for M. Phil and 4 students are working for Ph.D on part-time basis. Since the college is a single faculty institution and a professional college for preparation of teachers, the scope for consultancy is limited. However, in the area of extension the college has appointed a person exclusively for organising extension activities.The activities include community development, health and hygiene awareness, adult education and literacy, social work, blood donation camp, environmental awareness. These activities are carried out by NSS and NCC students and in the opinion of Peer Team the college may institute a club for population education, a Club for adult education and National Literacy Mission. The students are given certificates for their participation.

 

It is worth noting that some staff members of this college extend their guidance to M.Phil research scholars from other universities in Tamilnadu. Students working in various research areas from PG to Ph.D level provide training in research methodology, especially construction and standardisation of tools and other research procedures for developing thesis on the basis of their respective empirical researches.

 

Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources

The Institute of Advanced Study in Education is situated in an area of 50 acres with immense potentiality for future expansion. There are about 7 buildings constructed to meet the need for augmenting the infrastructure and anticipated academic growth in the future. The buildings are reasonably well maintained by the Public Works Department and its infrastructure is put to optimum utilisation by organising several programmes on continuous basis. In addition to the Advanced Centre, the other Government departments, Public welfare organisations and Sports organisations utilise the facilities with the permission of the college. The college library has 23000 books and a number of current journals. The college subscribes for 9 journals in teacher education. The library provides various facilities like reprography, computers, audiovisual cassettes, Internet etc. The library works from 9.45 am to 2.45 p.m. on all working days. In the opinion of the Peer Team the library should be kept open, atleast for 12 hours per day i.e. from 8 am in the morning to 8 p.m. in the night.

 

There is a central computer facility in the college with about 20 computers for the use of the students. Students have access to these computers for about 2 hours even after college hours. The college has prepared computer-aided packages for various subjects. It is worth noting that many schemes like first aid, regular health checkup, free medical treatment are available to staff and non-teaching staff in the recognised government hospitals through a system of medical reimbursement and health fund. The college has created the facilities for sports and games like football, cricket field, volley ball courts etc. Students are deputed to tournaments, paying TA and DA and sports meet is conducted regularly at the college premises. The college is able to provide hostel accommodation to about 138 students which is more than 50% of the present strength. There are 69 rooms in the hostel constructed with a plinth area of 13,300 sq.metres.

 

Criterion V: Student Support and Progression

The college has been maintaining excellent results, hundred percent success in the final examination. The drop out rate is negligible with less than 1%. Some of the students after completing B.Ed. go to P.G and other higher degrees. A large number of them look for jobs. Placement of students largely depends on the teacher recruitment policy of the government of Tamilnadu. It is interesting to note that some of the students of this college, who are essentially trained for the teaching profession, have succeeded in Civil Service Examination and other competitive examinations. A good number of students have passed CSIR, NET, GATE, GRE and SLET examinations.

 

The college publishes prospectus every year giving details of the philosophy of the institution, admission requirements and procedures. A large number of students specially belonging to the deprived sections get financial support.

 

The college has an active alumni association which is an elected body of old students with the Principal as Chairman. It helps the college by providing feedback and sharing their ideas on academic programmes. The college is known for its recreation and. leisure time activities. The indoor games, debating club, students magazine, cultural programmes, and dances music competitions are some of the important activities organised under this category. The students are actively involved in preparation of teaching aids, inter-collegiate teaching competitions and won many prizes and awards.

 

Criterion VI: Organisation and Management

The Institute of Advanced Study in Education, Saidapet is a government college. Therefore it is governed by the norms framed by the Directorate of Collegiate Education from time to time. The guidelines from the government though obligatory for the institution to implement, the freedom of the institution is not affected by any major problems. The college has constituted several committees to carry on its activities like processing admissions, preparation of calendar, developing audio visual education, managing library, organising sports and games, guiding college union activities, preparation of magazine, citizenship training, conducting model examination, maintaining student attendance, discipline, conducting intercollegiate competitions and coordinating teacher parent association, an alumni association. A sub committee is entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the academic calendar.

 

The college has no freedom to recruit teachers it can only invite people for guest lectures and recruit part-time faculty with the honorarium prescribed by the government. The college charges a nominal fee of Rs.1000 for B.Ed., Rs. 1500 for M.Ed., Rs.1550 for M..Phil and Rs.300 for Ph.D. students. In addition to the tuition fee, the college also charges a nominal fee for use of the library and for other facilities. Despite these almost the entire education is subsidised by the government. The college has been conducting various welfare programmes like health education and physical education classes as an integral part of the regular curriculum. There is no formal Grievance Redressal Cell in the college and it is noted from the interaction of the faculty that the need for such a mechanism does not exist in the institution. The college has built up excellent human relations which help institutional development, welfare and its efficient functioning. Despite the fact that there is no formal governing body to manage the affairs of the institution, the Principal and faculty are accountable to any decision taken at the institutional level. The Director of Collegiate Education who is the Chief Administrator of the colleges helps the institution with his positive approach to problems.

 

Criterion VII: Healthy Practices

There is an in-built internal quality control mechanism in the institution. Every faculty member is conscious of his/her responsibility and is accountable to both the administrator and the students. The institution functions as a close-knit community with excellent inter personal relations which is a healthy tradition built over the years.

 

The college functions under the leadership of the Principal. The Principal discusses besides several issues pertaining to the administration the academic matters which influence the career of students of the college. The Council advises the Principal on matters of vital importance - a healthy democratic practice. The college is responding to latest management concepts by incorporating strategic planning, collective decision-making and participatory democracy.

 

 

The teachers of the college are involved in operations research. It is noted during the interaction with the faculty that a sizeable number of teachers who were in-charge of different methods of instructions are conducting research working on various topics of pedagogy. These small researches empirically designed have great pedagogical relevance. The college is offering computer training on self-financing basis outside college hours. It is a good source of income for the institution, and in the interest of mobilisation of resources such programmes need encouragement. The college is conducting value-based education encompassing areas like collective living, cooperation, equality and secularism. The college also is organising a camp exclusively for citizenship training for duration of 5 days to B.Ed. students as a part of regular curriculum. These programmes lead to an all round development of students personality and promote a sense of national solidarity. Some of the activities in the college like, involving the students on AIDS awareness programmes, family planning, adult education, health care, eradication of illiteracy can leave great impact on students, Such significant activities shall promote a sense of national integration and humanism in the learners.

 

It is interesting to note that the college is aware of general transferable skills. College therefore designed certain programmes for inculcating the capacity to learn; proficiency in communicational and numerical skills.

 

Section 3: Overall Analysis

As observed earlier the Institute of Advanced Study in Education, Saidapet is the oldest institution not only in the country but in the entire South East Asia. The college has great historical significance. The college is responsible for significant changes in Indian education transforming the system from Gurukula to modern education - a paradigm shift. In the earlier context i.e. before the birth of the institution, education was teacher centered where teacher was the authority in the classroom. Teachers during this period were vedic scholars and students received education under their guidance but as passive learners. Teacher preparation is a new concept, The Institute of Advanced Study in Education is not only the first institution in the country in the area of teacher education but also a Centre of learning which has sown the seeds of modem education on Indian soil. The founding fathers of the institution are indeed responsible for far reaching changes in the system of education.

 

Viewed from this historical perspective and its past contributions, the college unique institution in the country. During the last few decades some significant developments have taken place like restructuring of curriculum, introduction of B.Ed and M.Ed programmes, institution of research activities for guiding M.Phil and Ph.D students. However in the opinion of the Peer Team the progress made in the college, is not in tune with its past glory. Today the college is one of the many other teacher educational institutions, affiliated to Madras University without autonomy. The college is certainly an institution with a difference for its magnificent physical infrastructure not for academic attainment. Despite this, it is to be noted that the college is endowed with very efficient, highly qualified and committed faculty. But for the policy of the government with reference to transfer of teachers, the faculty are capable of transforming the college into one of the leading centres of teaching learning in the region.

 

In the light of these above observations, the Peer Team recognises the following strengths of the institution:

That the college is the oldest institution in the country and made invaluable contribution for cultural renaissance and national freedom

 

The college is endowed with excellent infrastructure specially physical infrastructure with a potentiality to undertake many developmental activities in the 21st century in the context of massification of higher education.

 

The college faculties are found to be professionally competent academicians and teachers with good scholarship some of them are engaged in research activities and have published a few papers and books.

 

       The teachers are conscious of pedagogical research and they take active interest in the expansion of pedagogical knowledge through operational research.

 

In spite of the fact that there is restricted freedom in the matter of restructuring the curriculum the faculty have identified some professionally useful areas for all-round development of the students. The citizenship training, discourse on value orientation, involvement of students in community activities are note worthy.

Another important strength of the college lies in its Computer Programmes. The College organizes regular computer training programmes for the students on self-financing basis.

 

In the light of these accomplishments and also keeping in view the potentiality of the institution the Peer Team would like to place on record the following recommendations to bring the insti1tution closer to its goals:

The college at present is emphasizes on Action Research. It is necessary that in an area like education which is inter disciplinary the faculty may identify some topics of social relevance and undertake empirical studies with an interdisciplinary approach.Areas of research can be the topics of fundamental importance or context oriented problem-solving studies.

 

       The college, Institute of Advance Study in Education, Chennai, though the oldest institution, it is noted with concern that it has not developed any linkages with any institute of national importance in the country. The development of an institution solely depends on the nature of its exposure, and the emerging Trend in pedagogy. The institution can derive several benefits from professional contacts with other institutions in the country.

 

       A large number of teachers are found to be professionally competent, and highly accomplished in their respective fields. Despite this professional background, the number of publications are not in proportion to their capacity. We strongly recommend that the institute must encourage the faculty to undertake both major and minor projects and publish in national and International journals as mark of their commitment to professional advancement.

 

       The college has applied for autonomy which appears to be under the active consideration of UGC. We strongly recommend that for the active utilisation of resources the college deserves autonomous status and the UGC may be requested to hasten up the process.

 

The college organizes some extension courses in areas like value oriented education, citizenship training etc., The team feels that tangible educational packages encompassing different topics should be prepared and people with relevant background should be invited to deliver extension lecturers. In the absence of such practice the claim of the institution can be perceived as vague and not commensurate with its objectives

 

       The college should prepare a perspective plan for its future development covering the various specialisations which the college would like to introduce in the next two decades including the thrust areas for research and socially relevant activities.

 

Higher Education in general including teacher education is confronted with serious financial constraints. In the context of emerging trends in education with regional commitment and global vision there is a need to undertake many challenging activities to prepare young men for life in the new century. Unless the institution conceives the need to mobilise necessary financial resources by designing self-financing job oriented courses, it would not be possible to reach the vision it has set.

 

It is a matter of common experience that there is dearth of leadership in teacher education. It is necessary for the institute to identify and to prepare a list of scholars and seek their guidance to promote teaching - learning process and research. The College may create a special cell for this, for continuous interaction with those experts to ensure their active involvement.

 

The Peer Team would like to place on record for the cordial hospitality and the warm welcome extended to them by the Principal and the faculty.