Hitherto, there has been no formal mechanism for obtaining feedback from academic peers on teaching programmes. Some of the departments such as English, chemistry and mathematics have been able to establish some linkage with neighboring industries. This trend needs further drive and encouragement.
As some of the senior staff members also serve as members of the subject Boards of Studies and / or Senate / Syndicate of the affiliating university, they may attempt to initiate the introduction of new courses as and when the need arises.
Admission to various courses is in accordance with the reservation policy of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Admissions are strictly based on academic records of candidates at the plus two level. Approximately one thousand candidates competed for about four hundred seats, in various courses, during 1998. Through the Tutor-Ward System, remedial contact is maintained with the academically weaker sections of students. The syllabi are unitized and the evaluation is based on summative end semester examinations conducted by the university. Periodical assessment of the progress of students is made through assignments and tests. In addition to the conventional lecture method of teaching, teaching aids such as overhead projectors, models and charts are used. In some subjects, regular field trips are conducted to expose students to learn practical aspects. The subject-wise pass percentage in the last two years is satisfactory. However, the overall pass percentage is considerably low largely due to poor performance of students in the compulsory English language.
To be able to maintain a full complement of ninety hours of teaching per semester and to avoid disruption of teaching plan due to intervening holidays and/ or weekends, as designed by the university, the college adopts a teaching plan on a I to VI day order. This teaching plan is conveyed to students well in advance through the annually published college calendar and displayed on the general notice board.
Teachers also maintain a detailed individual student-profile, class-wise, for purposes of effective tutor-ward contacts. Lecture notes made available to students by some teachers suggest that some help is reaching the slow learners, especially those students who are handicapped on account of being drawn from the Tamil-medium stream.
The college has 47 permanent faculty (10 Ph.D's, 31 M.Phils and 6 Postgraduates) and 6 guest lecturers. The recruitment of faculty is according to the state government regulations. Though the college allows the faculty to participate in refresher and orientation programmes conducted under the auspices of the U.G.C., there is very little participation in academic seminars/ conferences and workshops. The faculty needs greater motivation and encouragement to participate in such programmes as also in organizing some of them, at the college itself.
There are only 3 computers in the college and they are in the department of mathematics. It is felt that in order to inculcate computer awareness, more computers need to be procured and more emphasis on computer literacy be provided to staff (teaching as well as non-teaching) and students. Since APTECH is a collaborative organization in offering the DTM certificate course at the college, and it is also one of the Principal beneficiaries of such a venture, it may be more meaningful to request the APTECH to gradually aid the college with computer infrastructure and accessories.
There is no institutional mechanism for faculty appraisal though informal assessment of teachers is made by the Head of the department concerned and the Principal. It is suggested that formal mechanism of performance-appraisal be evolved as per the U.G.C. guidelines. Absence of learner-centred pedagogy, conventional methods of assessment of student performance, and the general attitude to drift along with conventional routine with little involvement in innovative effort may further pull down standards and undercut quality.
The college offers only undergraduate courses in eight subjects of Arts and Science discipline. It is not recognized for offering postgraduate or on campus Ph.D. programmes. As such there is no ongoing research project funded by external agencies. However, a few teachers have published books, papers and presented papers in seminars in the late 1980s. There is much scope for creating a research tempo. The college is located in an industrial, urban setting and can offer consultancy services. Such initiative will not only enrich the faculty but will also help students in finding their placement.
The college has listed several extension activities being pursued. However, there could be a designated person to co-ordinate all such activities more effectively. There is much scope for further utilization of student potential for extension and outreach programmes especially in the field of community development and women empowerment.
The college provides an option to students between NSS and sports. NSS activities include blood donation camps, AIDS awareness, adult education, campus cleaning and others. Sports activities give students a chance to learn and practice sports events of their choice. However, there exists much scope for greater student involvement in community development and women empowerment activities. Activities of sports are being co-ordinated by a qualified (M.A., M.P.Ed.,) Lecturer in physical education. Some students have participated and also secured prizes in various inter-collegiate, university and state level competitions particularly in chess and kabaddi.
The college has the history of 28 years of academic and infrastructurel growth. Being a government college, its path of infrastructurel development mostly depends on the share of the assistance it receives from the government. Expenditure on annual maintenance is met with the governmental assistance, though the PTA and OSA also support the college.
Laboratories need considerable strengthening with the addition of modern instruments and learning resources. Some classrooms and lecture-halls are too small and inadequately furnished. Necessary steps may be taken to ensure that enough desks and chairs are made available in all classrooms. There is a canteen run on a tender contract. There is also a covered cycle stand.
The Peer Team strongly felt that the compound around the college campus may be completed on a priority basis so that the required safety and security of the women students is ensured. In addition, arrangements need to be made for supplying adequate potable drinking water to students and staff at work.
The library has a collection of 18467 books and 35 journals and periodicals. 565 books worth Rs.45,000/- were added to the library during the last two years, out of which 68.14% are textbooks. A library advisory committee allocated funds to different departments for purchasing the books on an annual basis. The committee also supervises stock registers of all the departments. It was also noted that all except the Department of Chemistry maintain their own libraries. The concept of the Book Bank is to be developed for the benefit of needy students.
Though the Department of Mathematics possesses 3 computers, centralized computer facility is to be made available. Funds for the centre may be generated through the Old Students’ Association (OSA) and Parents-Teachers Association (PTA). The present subscription of OSA and PTA may be enhanced. Further, it will provide a scope for imparting computer literacy to students by offering introductory courses spread over short intervals of time during an academic year. The college has recently acquired a photocopying machine, fax facility and internet access for administrative purposes. These automation facilities may be strengthened further.
The Physical Education Department has facilities for ball badminton, shuttle and volley ball courts; and facilities for kho-kho, chess, kabaddi and gymnastics. Hitherto, the participation of students has been confined to college/ university level sports and games events. Students should be encouraged to participate in more sports events. Adequate training should also be provided through intensive sports coaching. A Marker for the games may be appointed. The college should also introduce the National Cadet Corps to facilitate participation of students. This will be in line with the national agenda on co-curricular activities.
The college provides adequate facilities for students to excel in fine arts and the basic infrastructure facilities are also being optimized by way of offering a certificate course in DTM after working hours and on weekends.
Members of teaching and non-teaching staff have welfare schemes like G.P.F., housing loan, vehicle loan, and thrift society. Though the college possesses a redressal cell, it has to be further focussed and a feasible method adopted.
The admission to the college is thrown open to women irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The updated college prospectus gives details of courses, fee structure and the rules for admission. The college has a strength of 1001 students. It has produced results with an average success rate of 60% including a few ranks in the university examinations during the last two years. The statistics show that the success rate is greater in the English medium courses than in the Tamil medium courses. The drop out percentages of 19 and 14 for batch I and II, respectively, needs to be studied for remedial measures. It may bring out the possibilities for structuring built-in corrections in the learning and teaching processes. One fourth of students enjoy fee concessions through various schemes (440 during 97-98 and 498 during 98-99).
The Tutor-Ward system is designed in most of the departments to provide academic and personal counselling to students and is practised through informal ward meetings held once in a fortnight. A career guidance centre is to be developed on the campus as a support system to students the assistance for which may be sought from PTA. The college has begun an attempt to organize a placement cell in association with the Rotract Club of Tirupur. It collects feedback in an informal manner from students. The method for obtaining feed back from students is to be systematised in order to develop a healthy equation between the teaching and learning components. Annual medical checkup for students at the beginning of the year has been practised in addition to the emergency visits of doctors led by a doctor.
The OSA is active on the campus and it provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to students and funds for the purchase of furniture to the college.
Being a governmental college, its system of administration has been structured as per the governmental directions. The Principal heads the administration in the college with supporting staff and teachers involved in administration at different levels. The college Council, a body of the Heads of the Departments and the Principal, makes decisions on academic matters. Besides, a number of committees, viz., Admission Committee, UGC Committee, Magazine Committee, Audio-visual Committee, Fine Arts Committee, Calendar Committee, Sports Committee, also share administrative responsibilities. Funds received under different heads like, Plan, Non-Plan and the UGC are allocated among the different departments by the college Council according to needs.
Members of the non-teaching staff are recruited by the government as per the norms in force. The built-in mechanism as prescribed by the government ensures the efficiency of the support staff and transparency of administration. Personal registers maintained at the office for the non-teaching staff and they help in monitoring performance of personnel. The college administration is careful in spending the funds allotted to it with in the stipulated time.
The Peer Team has recorded the following healthy practices in the college.
· A decent ambience for an educational institution with notable campus cleanliness and a good peripheral garden.
· The existing premises, classrooms and laboratories have been maintained fairly well.
· The teacher-student relationship and interpersonal interactions among teaching and non-teaching staff are cordial, thereby allowing a smooth functioning of the college.
· The democratic pattern of the annual student union elections and its smooth functioning.
· An effective Tutor-Ward system and maximization of temporal teaching programmes.
· A sizeable student community enjoying one or the other available scholarships/ freeships.
· A significant and healthy relationship between the PTA and OSA members and the college Management.
Based on the data of the Self Study Report and the information gathered during the visit of the Peer Team, the LRG Government Arts College for Women is commended for the following features:
· A sincere attempt to provide low-cost basic undergraduate degree programmes to an essentially rural and semi-urban women student population in and around Tirupur.
· Social accreditation gained from the local community for being the only government women’s First Grade College in Coimbatore district.
The Peer Team also wishes to record its concerns and makes the following recommendations for the future development of the institution.
· A separate library building with adequate library automation and inter-library linkages are to be developed.
· Since the college has adequate vacant space, both, additional infrastructure facilities for more classrooms, better laboratories with modern equipment and an exclusive library building and auditorium are to be developed.
· It is essential that the college sets up a computer centre to cater for the educational and administrative requirements. Assistance of the PTA, OSA, APTECH and the community at large towards this goal should be sought.
· Either in place of existing courses or in addition to them, more relevant and need-based courses with job opportunities may be developed in due course of time.
· A formal grievance redressal cell, placement/ career guidance centre and a strong physical education/ NCC programme should be initiated.
· In the coming years the institution should strengthen its research and extension activities so that it can start postgraduate courses and perhaps seek autonomy to give itself an opportunity to structure its own courses, and develop future outreach educational programmes of the institution.
The Peer Team records its appreciation of the Principal and staff of the LRG Government Arts College for Women for their co-operation during the visit.