Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
Tenali, Andhra Pradesh
At the request of the Jesus Mary and Joseph (JMJ) College for Women, Tenali, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore took up the assessment and accreditation exercise and appointed a team of peers with Prof. Aludiapillai as Chairman, and Prof. Katre Shakuntala and Prof.S. Pradhan as members. The team visited the college and interacted with the Management, teachers, students, supporting staff, parents and alumni between 3rd and 5th September 1999 (both days inclusive).
Located on a 14 acre campus in the typically rural setting of Tenali, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, the JMJ college began functioning in July 1963 with 75 students in the pre-university class. In 1964 the BA class was started with 12 students and in 1965 the B.Sc., with 24 students. The B.Com Degree was introduced in 1974 with 15 students. B.Sc. Home Science was introduced in 1975 with 8 students. Originally affiliated to the Andhra University, this college, with a total strength of 1098 students, 57 teachers, 47 supporting staff and 17 departments is affiliated to the Nagarjuna University since 1977. To cope with the demand for career -oriented courses, the BCA was introduced as recently as 1998 and subjects like B.Sc. computer science, industrial microbiology, from 1997. Twenty one staff members have been employed by the Management to teach these three unaided courses.
The motto of the college “Love in Service” reflects the aims and objectives of the college not only to serve the interests of the minority community belonging to the Roman Catholic Mission but also every other community and to conscientize students to high ideals of service, social justice and to their role as makers of home and society. The college offers enrichment courses in order to build a strong character, instill intellectual excellence, inculcate moral and spiritual values, promote interpersonal relationship, develop special skills and attitudes and to develop a sense of appreciation of art and culture. Conventional courses, both in English and Telugu medium, in Humanities, Sciences and Commerce are offered. Noting the changing needs of the society it has also introduced other relevant courses in recent years viz, industrial microbiology, computer applications and maths - economics - statistics.
The response to the introduction of the new courses appears to be encouraging. The need felt for career - oriented courses has made the college start a community college, which offers enrichment courses to the students beyond their normal college hours and courses to dropouts and others.
Criterion 1: Curricular Aspects
As an affiliated college under the Nagarjuna University, the college follows the undergraduate syllabi prescribed by the University in Arts, Science and Commerce, in the non-semester (annual) pattern. Besides conventional courses such as BA, B.Sc. and B.Com the college also offers need based and job-oriented self financing courses in computer sciences, BCA and statistics along with one UGC - sponsored vocational course in industrial microbiology. The senior teachers play a vital role in updating the university syllabus as members/chairperson of their respective Boards of Studies. Some teachers have been identified to write textbooks for the Telugu Academy and to prepare study materials for the correspondence courses of Nagarjuna and Andhra Universities.
The college has established a very good network with villages in its neighbourhood, by organising welfare programmes in association with Mahila Mandals and participating in Janmabhoomi programme of the government. The programmes offered are generally in conformity with the mission, goal and objectives of the institution, for the empowerment of women especially of the weaker sections of the society.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
Even though it is a minority institution imparting teaching primarily to Roman Catholic students of the Christian religion and faith, admission is open to all and is made through established procedures. The college has a provision for offering special classes to the academically weaker section of the students during the evenings, although formal bridge/remedial mechanisms are not there at present. Keeping in view the objectives of the institution for character building, including moral and spiritual values, self-employment, promotion of interpersonal relationship and art and culture, the college offers a wide range of enrichment courses in Yoga, Dance, Music, Karate, Computers, Typewriting, Tailoring and Spoken English. The college has a healthy Tutor-ward system by which teachers monitor the performance of students and help them to overcome their deficiencies - academic as well as personal.
At the beginning of each academic year the teachers prepare their annual lesson plan in a specific Teacher’s Diary provided by the college. Class room lectures are supplemented by 35mm slide projections, over-head projections, audio visual aids, charts, models and maps. All these facilities are provided centrally in a particular class room, to be utilised on a need-based rotation.
Apart from the stipulated terminal examinations held at intervals of once in 3 months, the college regularly conducts unit tests and seminars. Wardens and parents are informed of students performance. Students of the college have been faring well in the university examinations with commendable annual pass percentages in subjects. They have also been regularly securing university ranks every year, in subjects like Home Science, Zoology and Mathematics.
Since the Governing Body of the college is autonomous in matters of recruitment, the faculty positions never remain unfilled. At present, the college has 48 permanent and 9 temporary teachers. The college encourages teachers to avail themselves of the facility of Faculty Improvement Programme of the UGC, and also to participate in national and international seminars, apart from their participation in refresher and orientation courses. The college has also an informal mechanism of faculty appraisal and student evaluation of teachers’ performance. The “Best Teacher” Award conferred by the State Government in 1995-96 and 1998-99, and the Innovative College Teachers Award by AIACHE, New Delhi were conferred on some of the teachers of the college.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
Since the college imparts teaching to undergraduate students in a rural area, with a visible lack of the industries in the neighbourhood of the college, more emphasis is laid on teaching and extension activities than research and/or consultancy. However, at present, four teachers have obtained Ph.D. and eight M.Phil. degrees. Twenty three others are likely to pursue research under FIP of the UGC and part-time Ph.D.programmes of the Nagarjuna University, under IX plan.
In conformity with the motto “Love in Service”, the college is well known in the locality for its extension services like participation in Mahila Mandal activities, Janmabhoomi programmes, Health check-up camps, Blood donation camps, AIDS and Pulse Polio awareness camps, Adult education and literacy camps, and Environmental awareness camps, organised in the neighbouring villages. The NSS unit has adopted a village named Sultanabad for its extension activities. It has also collaborations with NGOs like Lions and Rotary Clubs for organising free eye camps. During the 1977 cyclone, the NSS unit of the college offered help to bury 30 decomposed bodies of victims.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
Through a careful execution of the master plan, the college has gradually achieved a steady growth in its infrastructure, during the last, nearly four decades. This has enabled the institution to provide the ambience needed for higher education. Meticulous maintenance of the infrastructure facilities is commendable. Scope for remedial courses, computer literacy and extracurricular activities, outside the time frame of academic pursuits of the students and housing a Community College within the same premises suggest optimal use of infrastructure.
A well equipped library maintained in a separate building with book bank facility provides satisfactory learning resources. The present computer facilities are adequate for the immediate teaching programmes.
Healthcare offered by two full-time nurses and through periodical visits of a doctor are good features of the college. Sports facilities are reasonably good and there is ample space for students to be involved in outdoor sports and physical education activities. The college has fared particularly well in volleyball, winning laurels at inter-collegiate and state levels competitions.
With an astonishing 62.5% of the students opting for hostel facilities on campus, the authorities have accepted a challenging responsibility. The college authorities have been maintaining the hostels very well, with grants from the Management to match those of the UGC. The average monthly mess bill is very reasonable and speaks high of the institution’s ‘cost-consciousness’, in the socio-economic situation of its location. Careful planning of the developmental programmes of the college through separate subcommittees from among the faculty, ward-adopting system for counselling and monthly parent meetings are progressive features of the college.
Keeping the library open till late hours, especially for the benefit of hostelites, better facilities for photocopying of library material, computer networking with other libraries, and providing modern media equipment (CAL and CD-ROM) can be additional features to enhance the utility of the library. A formal grievance redressal machinery may also be developed in course of time.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
A rural institution like the JMJ College, with its present academic programmes restricted to undergraduate studies does not have much scope for vertical progression although through B.Ed, & M.Ed, institutions run by the same province, there is ample scope for educational progression and employment. It is heartening to note that the graduates of the college are able to secure a good number of B.Ed. admissions through the common entrance exam conducted by the university.
It is but natural that there is a problem of dropouts, perhaps largely due to socio-economic factors. The college has adopted various informal methods of student feedback and the home-science model can probably be extended to other courses as well. This would enable the institution to strengthen its future programmes, provide scope for course options and to keep a tab on the employment prospects of the graduates.
Organised alumnae activities would be very useful in future curriculum and course planning as well as in designing mutually benefitting developmental programmes.
At present, there is a good but informal academic counselling mechanism. However, this could be augmented with formal measures to provide not only academic but also need-based psycho-social counselling to the students. Especially catering for the rural, first-generation literates, it would be a gratifying experience for guide them through proper counselling.
Although the need for a formal placement service is not immediately warranted, through informal feedback and alumni taking required initiatives, placement services may be provided to the students in course of time.
Many students receive financial aid from the government and other agencies. The financial support given to weaker sections of students is highly encouraging.
Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
The institution has a well-planned, hierarchical organisational structure, with the function and powers of functionaries, clearly spelt out and accepted. The human-resource requirement has been kept at the optimum level. Recruitment of staff has been smooth. Faculty satisfaction is ensured by welfare schemes and timely recognition of meritorious researchers and teachers with long service. A unique practice of celebrating 6th September of each year as the non-teaching staff day. Training and orientation are given to non-teaching staff in the use of computers. Loans are given to them through the co-operative society. These measures speak well of the Management’s responsiveness to staff needs.
Operating on a budget of almost Rs.120 Lakhs per annum, the college is attempting to raise moderate resources through self-financing courses. With the commendable austerity practised, the Management has been very effective and functional. Over the years, the institution has evolved its own organisational structure and has emerged as a strong minority institution through reasonably good procedures for identifying human-resource needs, recruitment, training and evaluation.
A mechanism for internal auditing and a forum for grievance redressal may be evolved for the benefit of the teaching and non-teaching faculty. The present low fee structure can be supplemented with donations from public and MNCs. Through their contributions, more welfare schemes for the faculty can be planned in course of time.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
The Peer Team is pleased to record a few unique features which enhance the academic quality of the institution. They are as follows:
· Enrichment courses for students so as to enable them to acquire competence / skills in areas beyond those covered in the curriculum should help the students in finding employment and create self-confidence.
· Observing 6 th September as “non-teaching staff day” gives recognition to the important role played by them in academic life. The social commitment of the Management to make an impact on the quality of life of the people living in rural areas surrounding the college through value education for women is commendable. The staff and students have been interacting with Mahila Mandals in twenty one villages around Tenali, thereby helping rural women in many ways.
· Value education is high on the agenda of the activities of the college and each and every staff member is involved in imparting it.
· Organisation of leadership programmes for women, sensitizing them to women’s rights and imparting adult literacy, indicate the vision of the institution and its efforts to translate it into action.
· Orientation /training for newly inducted staff members, class representatives and new students is yet another commendable activity practised in this college.
· Few teachers of the college have won several awards as “Best Teacher” / “Best Innovative teacher” / A Creative poet and so on.
· The fact that 586 out of 937 students (62.5%) reside in the college hostel indicates the faith that the parents have in enabling their wards get the maximum benefit of higher education by leading a life with close interaction with the college academia and to learn value systems apart from cultivating a sterling character and discipline.
· As many as 59 memorial prizes / medals / shields /trophies have been instituted by the staff - present and past to encourage students with outstanding academic performance.
As an institution which has mainly devoted itself to undergraduate education for nearly 36 years, serving the disadvantaged rural women, this college stands as a class by itself. With a well built infrastructure, conferment of autonomy might help the institution to innovate, keeping in view the local environment and needs. The close liaison maintained by the institution with the government and NGOs indicates that the higher education system has a definite social purpose. In particular, when it is a Women’s institution, it has a specific yet significant role to play in enhancing the quality of life of the people, through meaningful value-based education of the girl child. The institution firmly believes and practices that “educating one woman is like educating a whole family”.
In an era of changing value systems and perceptible decline in the importance attached to moral and human values in the society, here is an institution which is at once steadfastly clinging to inculcation of virtues and principles as also responding to the societal needs in higher education. This has been possible largely because of the committed faculty who are ungrudgingly putting extra work well above the minimum norms prescribed, keeping in view the enormous trust and confidence reposed in them by the community they have undertaken to serve. Yes, the JMJ College truly lives up to its motto “Love in Service”.