Assessment Report of
Institutional Accreditation of
Mar Thoma College, Tiruvalla
Section I: Preamble
Founded in 1952, Mar Thoma College is administered by the Mar Thoma Church. The Church firmly believes that it has a vital role to play in the task of moulding the lives of young men and women who should prove themselves worthy before men and God and enquipping them to meet the stern challenges of life. Mar Thoma College, Tiruvalla is the pioneering venture of the Church in the field of higher education.
Staff and Student strengths
From a small beginning in 1950 with 250 students and 12 teachers, the college has grown into a premier educational institution with over 3000 students and 140 members in the teaching staff today. Out of the 3000 students 1700 are Pre Degree Students. The Government has initiated delinking of Pre Degree from the College and eventually the faculty strength will be above 100 for a student body of 1300. The college is affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. It offers U.G. programmes in English, Economics, History, Political Science, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Hindi and Malayalam and P.G. courses in Economics, English, Mathematics, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and Physics. Three of its departments - English, Botany and Zoology have been recognised as bonafide research departments of the M.G. University.
Of the 143 teachers, 21 hold Ph.D. degrees, 5 more have registered in doctoral programmes, 26 have M.Phil. qualification. 25 faculty members are trained teachers with B.Ed. degrees.
Over 60% of the students enrolled are women and a sizeable number of the faculty members, i.e. around 40% are women.
The college has been producing good results and winning a few University ranks during recent years. During the current year, the college won first rank in M.Sc. Botany and second rank in M.A. Economics. The pass percentage of the U.G. level is 78% and at the P.G. level 86%. Till date, they have produced five in English, two in Zoology and one in Botany.
The college is managed by the governing council, which is constituted by the Sabha Council. The Principal is the Secretary of the governing council and there is an elected representative of the faculty in the council. The governing council has to meet at least once in three months. All the deliberations and decisions are minuted properly and communicated to all concerned in time.
The Higher Education Commission of the Mar Thoma Church, a body appointed by the episcope Synod formulates guidelines for the college The commission has powers to review the functioning of the college and to give directions for the course of action to be taken for the future development of the college.
The commission arranges meetings, seminars and conferences to familiarise the academic community with the changing paradigms in the field of higher education. The College council is a statutory body consisting of the Principal, the Heads of Departments and some elected members of the faculty and this body makes regular assessment of curricular and co-curricularactivities of the campus. The college provides a whole range of support services such as college bus, photocopy machine, co-operative society, bank extension centre, canteen, etc,
The non-conventional courses offered in Mar Thoma College in communicative English, Functional Hindi and Computer Applications come under the purview of Mar Thoma Academy for Technical Education, a body constituted by the Church to offer job oriented occupational/vocational courses.
Mar Thoma College falls within the administrative jurisdiction of the Deputy Director of Collegiate Education, Kottayam. The college follows the administrative policies prescribed by the Government by which, 50% of the seats are filled purely on the basis of merit, 20% reserved for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, 10% reserved for the applicants from Mar Thoma Church Committee and the remaining 20% is designated as management quota and these are given according to the norms framed by the Church Sabha Council. Mar Thoma College is one of the few colleges in Kerala which does not accept donations for admission or for appointment of faculty members or staff members.
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the College are pursuit of academic excellence, character building, instilling moral and spiritual values, personality development, leadership training, promote concern for social justice, gender justice and environment awareness and contribute to the building of Nation and International harmony. The motto of the college is “Education par Excellence and Educated for the Society”.
Curricular and Co-curricular Activities
Many of the curricular and co-curricular activities of the college are directed towards the achievement of the objectives. The college has a tutorial system in which one hour per week is provided to the tutors to give personal attention to the needs of the students. The Consultative Committee on student affairs, which has representation from student political parties as well as the societies of the college serves as a forum where students are permitted to raise their grievances and difficulties faced in the campus. This forum evolves the norms for a general code of conduct of the college Union.
The College has a Union which is an elected body of students functioning with a Chairman and guided by a Staff Adviser appointed by the Principal. The Union arranges annual cultural competitions and edits and publishes the college magazine.
The college has a number of Clubs and Societies and interested faculty members supervise the activities of the clubs. Each department has its own Subject Associations which organises programmes related to their respective disciplines.
The college has some unique societies. The Brains Trust provides training in public speaking, debates, creative working, leadership training, preparing for competitive examinations, etc.
The Bestarts is a forum in which the best artists of the college are given special training to develop their talents.
The National Service Scheme volunteers undertake community development schemes.
There are about 100 cadets in the National Cadet Corps Unit of the college.
The NatureClub strives to develop love of nature and instil environmental awareness.
The Planning Forum organises lectures, symposia, workshops, etc. to critically analyse the socio economic issues and undertakes case studies or community issues.
The Academic Cell promotes research aptitude through publication of research works and publishes the journal ‘Rational Discourse’. This cell also organises remedial education programs for the weaker sections of the students.
The ADIC Club creates awareness among the students about the evil effects of alcohol and drugs by conducting conscientization programmes.
The Career Guidance Cell organises guidance programmes, coaching classes for competitive exams and has a career corner in the library.
The Women’s Cell organises a number of programmes for the general welfare of the women students.
The college assigns great importance to Sports and Games. It has been organising the Mar Thoma Trophy intercollegiate football tournaments for men for the past 35 years. Sports women are encouraged by giving free accommodation and food in the women’s hostel.
In addition to the regular seminars and conferences organised by the academic cell, endowment lectures are organised in the various departments.
The College Community is involved in a number of extension activities such as literary mission, adult education, AIDS awareness camps, medical camps and peoples planning.
The various departments offer consultancy services in their respective areas such as setting up of language laboratory in schools and colleges, water pollution control, establishing science laboratories in schools, updating of library services, training for football academy, etc.
Much of the financial support comes from the well organised Parent Teacher Association and the Alumni Association which have chapters in different parts of the world.
The college receives special assistance grants for its P.G. programmes from the UGC.
The college has long established links with many institutions and universities abroad - such as EZE, Germany, TAIZE, France, Monash University, Australia, Comel University, USA, Bosseyn Ecumenical Institute, Geneva, etc.
A review of the functioning of the college was done by the evaluation committee in 1996 and their suggestions are being implemented.
The Central library has about 50000 volumes and subscribes for 40 academic journals.
A wide range of technological aids such as overhead projector, microfiche reader, slide projector, etc. are available in the media centre.
Peer Team Visit
Mar Thoma College, Tiruvalla, has the distinction of being the first college from Kerala to submit itself for the assessment and accreditation process. Before the team visited the college, a previsit orientation was held, Prof. Arun Nigavekar, Director, NAAC and Dr. (Mrs). Latha Pillai, Deputy Adviser, NAAC, briefed the team. The Peer Team was given the formula “See, check and confirm” all the information given by the college in the self study document through discussion with the management, Students, lecturers, Staff and other beneficiaries both in a formal set up as well as in an informal manner.
The peer team had the pleasure of going through the affairs of the college both at a global level and at a macro level to understand the working of the system.
All the documents provided by the NAAC, the profile of college, the Self-Study Reports, the summary sheets of profiles of the departments and the guidelines for the visit were most useful. The peer team is thankful to the NAAC, for making its task easy.
The Principal, Dr. A.P. John was most helpful in convening meeting with the governing council members, alumni of the college, members from PTA, teachers, students and staff of the college at a short notice to suit the time available with the peer team members. The principal and the faculty members did not mind staying back late in the night for discussions. Hospitality was wonderful, the peer team members were treated to the delicacies of Kerala. The peer team members are most appreciative of all the arrangements made by the principal and the faculty members in looking after their comfort.
The Mar Thoma College has prepared a clear, concise factual report based on the parameters and criteria laid down by NAAC. The profile of the College, data on policies and practices of the College under the ten parameters and profiles of all the departments have been recorded in structured format.
1. From the Self-Study Report, it is found that the goals and objectives of the College are clearly stated and how the objectives are translated into action are pointed out. For example, how innovative teaching methods lead to good results in academic programmes, Nature club develops concern for environment among the students, remedial education ensures social justice, women’s’ cell promotes gender justice, etc.
Most of the faculty members are clear about the objectives of the college and try to achieve them in their respective departments.
2. The college, being an affiliated college of M.G.University does not have the academic freedom which autonomous colleges have, to design its own curriculum. But operating within syllabus prescribed by the University, the faculty members of the college, with 25 of them being members in vari ous Boards of the University, have been quite active in the revision of the syllabi of the various courses. They get feed back from their academic peers in redesigning of the programmes.
The college has also initiated job oriented courses leading to certificates and diplomas, to meet the employment needs of the region.
3. Teaching-Learning process is modernised to a certain extent, using discussion, seminar readings, special lectures, audio visual aids, technological media, etc. It is also found that some teachers do resort to dictation of notes as there is a demand from students. The teachers should go in for innovative techniques such as computer aided learning and using multimedia materials.
Continuous internal assessment is done by some of the departments. But it carries no weightage as the University follows the annual examination system. Remedial teaching is done, to cater to the weaker sections of students, language lab is used by P.G. students for developing their language skills, and tutorial sessions enable the teachers to give personal attention to students’ needs.
Teachers are encouraged to attend national, international seminars, refresher courses, etc. for their professional growth.
4. The college does try to maintain research culture. Teachers are encouraged to take up projects from various funding agencies. The college has started a journal ‘Rational Discourse’ where the teachers are encouraged to publish their papers. Some teachers have received awards for their research work. Students are encouraged to take up projects. A socio-economic survey has been completed by the students of Brains Trust.
5. The teachers of the college have been helping the schools and colleges in the area in setting up language laboratories, give technical advice for control of environmental pollution and been involved in people’s planning programmes at the municipal level. As a part of their extension activities, the college has been involved in organising medical camps, blood donation camps, literacy mission, adult education, health and hygiene awareness, AIDS awareness, etc.
The student volunteers conduct surveys, organise camps and cultural activities for sensitizing the community to the various social issues. The students are given citations, testimonials, shields and trophies in recognition of their work.
6. The powers and responsibilities of the college are decentralised and clearly assigned to various bodies and functionaries. The college has an academic calendar and it is followed meticulously. The college does its planning through its Committees and the Committees of the Heads of Departments have an important role to play. There is transparency in the recruitment of faculty and supporting staff and in admission of students. The college campus is non-political. With a dedicated Principal and Committee Faculty, the college is able to function effectively. Admission, student attendance and progress reports are computerised.
The non-teaching staff of the college is a committed lot too. But they do not seem to have had any specific training in modern management techniques. Some of the key persons could be sent to the in service training programmes conducted by NIEPA, Delhi.
7. The college has a spacious campus, with open spaces, play grounds and gardens and there are sufficient number of classrooms, seminar halls, auditorium hostels, etc. A new laboratory for physics department is being built and construction of a Library Complex is planned. There is budget provision for the maintenance of all the infrastructure facilities.
8. The library is well organised by a dedicated librarian and has sufficient holdings to support the teaching programmes. There is a career guidance corner in the library. The college has computer facilities for the central office as well as the departments.
The college promotes sports and games, has sports hostel for men and women, service of coaches, summer camps, etc. The hostel is approved and financially supported by the Sports Council of Kerala. It holds the Championship award for football. The college has a hobby workshop and the students are trained in lab equipment production and photography. The college offers students aid and scholarships, Consultative committee, discipline committee and staff council are the agencies for grievance redressal of students. The students have direct access to the Principal. Teachers association are active in restructuring courses, syllabus revision, updating the library, etc. There are two hostels for women and they are run by the students themselves on a distributive basis. The canteen is run on ‘no loss no profit’ basis.
9. Student feedback, in most of the departments is informal. A few teachers use the NAAC proforma for their own professional improvement, to know their own strengths and weaknesses. The employment cell of the college conduct career guidance programmes and train the students to face interviews.
There is a very active alumni association, it has chapters in many parts of the world. The Parent-Teachers Association is quite dynamic and these two organisations help the institution by raising funds for construction of buildings, institution of scholarships and prizes and establishing links with institutions abroad.
Most of the developmental programmes of the college are met only by the funds raised through donations. With a strict budgetary control and audit process, the college is able to manage the multifarious activities.
The college could try and raise some funds through their consultancy work.
Broad objectives and general policies are framed by the governing bodies and the Principal and his Committees are given a free hand to implement the policies. The Church seldom interfere with the day-today administration of the college. Most departments are active and keen to develop the college as a centre of excellence. All the curricular and co-curricularprogrammes are working well and the students express satisfaction in most areas of their activities and feel that the college is helpful to realise their own goals.
The peer team is happy with the performance of the college and feel that the college deserves accreditation.
Section II - Parameter-wise Analysis
I. Principles and Parameters of Assessment and Accreditation
Assessment and Accreditation of institutions of higher education is being practiced in most of the Western Countries. It is the need of the hour in India too, as there has been a phenomenal expansion of higher education, since independence and it has become too unwieldy to be able to meet the aspirations of the beneficiaries. Financially unsustainable increse in enrollment and the consequence decline in quality make it imperative for the institutions of higher learning to do some introspection, try to assess themselves, identify their areas of strengths and weakness and find out ways and means of improving themselves.
The National Policy on Education(1996) recommended that a mechanism should be set up which will encourage self-assessment in institutions and also assessment and accreditation by a Council. In fulfillment of this recommendation, the NAAC has been set up and it aspires to play a catalytic role to motivate institution of higher learning to achieve excellence in academic activities and to impart quality education. The process of assessment and accreditation is voluntary and NAAC does this exercise only for institution that come forward to undergo this process and also grade them.
The three stages in the process of assessment and accreditation are :-
1. Preparation of a Self-Study Report by the institution and its submission to NAAC.
2. Validation of the report by the peer team visit and
3. Final decision of NAAC based on the report of the peer team
NAAC has identified ten parameters of assessment which embrace all the activities of an institution in their totality. The parameters for assessment are:
1. Institutional goals and objectives
2. Curriculum design and review
3. Teaching, learning and evaluation
4. Research and publications
5. Consultancy and extension activities
6. Organisation and management
7. Infrastructure facilities
8. Support services
9. Student feedback and counselling
10. Generation and management of financial resources
II. Institutional Goals and Objectives
The institutional goals and objectives are given in the College calendar and Handbook. The goals and objectives of the College as stated in the College Handbook are as follows:
The aim of the college is to provide education of the highest standard to build up character, instill moral and spiritual values, to strive for promoting social justice and to attain fullness of life as revealed in Jesus Christ. The College stands for seeking and cultivating new knowledge, promoting research and developing professional competence in an atmosphere of academic freedom. The institution seeks to provide training to meet human power requirements of the changing times. The objective of the college is to develop leadership qualities, creativity and physical and mental fitness with a concern for environment, gender justice and human rights so as to contribute to the building of the nation and international harmony.
Apart from these goals and objectives mentioned in College Handbook, the College Calendar under the title ‘aim of the College’ describes the way in which these goals are sought to be achieved as follows
The aim is sought to be achieved by sharing with others the mystery of the word of God as revealed in the Bible and by strengthening the bonds of true fellowship between the community on the campus and the community outside the college.
The goals and objectives are well publicized to faculty and students through meetings and booklets e.g. prospectus and hand book. The motto of the college I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE seems to be the guiding spirit in all the activities of the college. From the Mar Thoma Church Supremo Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma and Metropolitan the manager of the college, down to faculty, students and staff there seems to be an awareness of the duties, responsibilities and powers for promoting the goals and objectives of the institution.
Many of the academic programmes of the College will satisfy part of the stated objectives. The constraint that the college has is that it has to operate within the syllabus prescribed by the M.G. University, Kottayam to which it is affiliated. But the college has tried to fulfill its aims by creating a number of co-curricular and extra-curricular programmes.
The institution is ably governed in its day today affairs by the principal Dr. A. P. John who unfortunately, will be retiring by the end of this academic year. For the past two years, the Principal seems to have transformed a dormant low lying institution into a dynamic, trouble free, monolithic organisation catering to the educational needs of the community, students and teachers. His leadership seems to be the main strength of the college. Several innovative ideas such as tutorial (personal attention to students) system, Hobby workshop, nature club, women’s cell, de-addiction centre and career guidance cell, that he nurtured are praiseworthy. All these programmes are working well and students are extremely happy about it. It is also praiseworthy that there is an active Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and Alumni Association working for the promotion of the college. It is laudable that members of both PTA and Alumni association viz. former students of the college, help the institution in raising funds for expansion schemes and development of the infrastructure. However, there does not seem to a systematic and exhaustive record of all alumni members which would possibly help to promote the cause.
III. Institutional Effectiveness
The institution does planning through its various committees. The committee of Heads of Departments is used by the Principal effectively to let its plan trickle down to Departments. Therefore, the role of HOD is very important. We have seen that where there is an active and committed HOD, the Department is able to come alive to the various activities planned by the college and where it is lacking, there is absolute failure.
The Principal of the college is a man of clear vision. He oversees the academic aand administrative functions of the institution very effectivelyand efficiantly.
The college examinations and evaluations are being carried out systematically.
The students were able to give a good report of the various activities of the college. Similarly, the P.T.A. and the Alumni Association have been quite active and participative in various developmental activities of the College.
Strengths of the college are highlighted as follows:
1. Dedicated management, Principal and faculty.
2. Vibrant non-political campus.
3. Fairness and transparency in the recruitment of faculty, supporting staff and admission of students.
4. Holding of classes without losses due to agitation by the teachers/students. No hesitation shown in inviting local political leaders for resolving issues.
5. Gender justice in recruitment of the faculty and admission of students.
6. Settlement of problems through deliberation and dialogue.
7. Easy access of principal and his genial nature
8. Decent women’s hostels
9. Buildings/infrastructure built over 45 years, green and picturesque campus.
In general, the overall administration is good. The church has established a right relationship of helpful co-operation and its seldom interferes in the day-today administration of the college. Setting up of broad objectives by the Governing Bodies and telling the Principal work on the implementation is a good policy. The management is willing to give financial inputs to the college which is a sign of positive involvement.
The Principal does not feel to be fettered to any significant tent.
All Kerala campuses are highly politicized and Mar Thoma College is no exception. But the students do not seem to be politically motivated. It is a case of a few determined leaders disrupting the peace of the entire campus, and the majority are unwilling participants in such episodes.
Most Departments are active and want to do something, more than what is normally done. The tutorial system appears to be working well and most of the teachers seem to know what they want to do.
The students express satisfaction in most areas of their activities and feel good that their college is helping them to realise their own goals.
Other organizations such as P.T.A. and Alumni Association lend a very helpful hand to the college.
The next phase of growth to this college should be ‘College Autonomy’
IV. Academic Programmes
The goals and objectives of the college are promotion of academic excellence among students through teaching and research and promotion of personality development.
The handbook of the college states “The college stands for seeking and cultivating new knowledge, promoting research and developing professional competence in an atmosphere of academic freedom”
The strengths of the college in terms of its academic programmes are
· Reasonably equipped laboratories for conducting practical classes, computer centre and the library.
· Personal attention to the needs of the students.
· Vigorous seminar activities in most of the Departments.
· Active academic cell, publication of a research journal.
· Dedicated faculty for promotion of physical education not only among the students but also among local school children.
· Students participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities such as Media centre, Nature Club and Hobby workshop.
· Value based Education
· Optimal strengths in most of the classes.
Following points highlight the areas where improvement can be brought out.
Teachers seem to follow outdated books while covering the syllabus. Many teachers are not aware of the latest books in the area of their specialization. However, considerable freedom seems to exist in purchase of books by the faculty/department. The lacuna may lie in the syllabus and evaluation itself which does not lie in the purview of the college. In most of the cases, it was observed that teachers give notes which should be discouraged. Problem solving sessions/tutorial sessions do not seem to exist. The students are tuned to memory based evaluation methods followed by the university rather than the understanding of the subject. In this regard it is suggested that one class per week in a given subject for both undergraduate and postgraduate level should be reserved for problem solving/quiz/tutorial/ seminar/research paper reading sessions. Students should be encouraged to come out with original thoughts, and keep up with latest literature. Teachers should be encouraged to suit the teaching methods for UGC JRF examination/UGC/CSIR NET. A dynamic and motivated action from faculty is required for this purpose as the library cannot cater to the full needs of the research activity. They can photocopy recent papers in the area for analysis by the students. It was surprising that most of the postgraduate students are not even aware of the best journals in their area of subject specialisation.
Even though it is laudable that the college has started a half-yearly journal, ‘Rational Discourse’ to cater to the research needs of the faculty, the journal itself has limited circulation therefore, it has a limited reach. We suggest that the journal publish only review articles solicited from the most active researchers from within the country and abroad. This will serve twin purpose of upgrading the knowledge base of the students/faculty in the college and coming into contact with peers in the subject. Academic council can make eminent members of alumni, particularly those serving in reputed academic institutes of learning as editorial board members to keep up the standard of the journal. With the advent of e-mail and internet communication the process of soliciting papers and processing may not be difficult. The cost of the journal may be made realistic with differential rates for the individuals(subsidized) and institutions(suitably priced).
The dissertations of the postgraduate students seem be quite routine. Since there is sufficient faculty strength in almost all the disciplines, research work can be upgraded with the introduction of newer topics. Ofcourse lack of sophisticated instruments in science departments is an impediment in this regard. The idea of sending students to reputed institutions in the area is laudable and can be stepped up.
Research funding from outside agencies seems to be at a very low level. Faculty should be encouraged to apply for projects, starting from minor ones in the beginning.
Soliciting project money should be the norm and this aspect may be used for promotions of the faculty.
Innovative teaching methods such as interactive/communicative classes(discussions rather than monologues) utilisation of media methods(OHP, audio visual aids, language labs) etc. can be further encouraged to upgrade the teaching methodology.
Student evaluation of teachers(confidential in nature) can be conducted systematically at a global level through a centralised agency which has student representatives. The evaluation sheets can be used to plug loopholes in teaching of individual teachers and also for recognition of the best teacher in the college.
For a monolithic establishment, surprisingly, there are many student failures in the University examinations. Efforts should be directed at locating problems which may lie with individual teachers or lack of remedial coaching.
If autonomy is granted by the University/the government semester and credit system of education may be introduced to increase efficiency and accountability. The college can then think of introducing integrated M.Sc./M.A. programs in science and humanities departments.
Self-Study Report indicates that there are separate goals and objectives for individual departments (other than what is there for the college) but we did not notice any specific evidence of it. They are probably corollary to those of the college.
Faculty can be given individualised sitting space(cubicles) to encourage greater involvement in studies/research. Modern office floor management methods can be utilised for this purpose.
Financial assistance to poor students for the job work that they do after class hours(for example in the library, hostels) under Student Service Scheme(SSS) may be introduced.
Specific remarks pertaining to the departments are included here since general remarks given under global findings would apply for individual departments also.
Science departments : Physics Chemistry Botany Zoology and Mathematics
· Strengths of the institution is reflected in the running of the departments excepting to some extent in Botany and to a large extent in Mathematics Department.
· Dedicated faculty is a clear asset.
· Special mention may be made of the research work done by one or two teachers in the Zoology Department.
Weaknesses/Difficulties/Remedial Measures applicable to the Departments
The difficulty in raising the teaching levels is due to not following latest texts and problem solving in the classes. Partly, university syllabus and examination system may be responsible for the state of affairs.
Theory oriented courses such as group theory computer programming and numerical methods, electronics lab can be introduced to augment knowledge transfer in Physics and Chemistry.
Micro-scale experiments can be introduced in chemistry practical classes.
Conscious effort may be made to acquire sophisticated instruments such as UV-Vis., IR, NMR, Massbauer, powder X ray, through outside support.
There is a clear need for the fine tuning administrative work in the Botany and Mathematics Departments.
Most of the students in Mathematics department would like M.Sc. Applied Mathematics courses where as they are taught only pure mathematics as the University has sanctioned the same and the college has no freedom to change it. The Computer related theory paper does not require practical training on computers. However it was understood that the facilities of the computer centre were available to them.
Department of Physical Education
· The department has only two but highly motivated and dedicated faculty.
· All the programmes run by the Department are highly appreciable.
· Lack of well equipped gymnasium, field track, etc.
· Charges may be levied for entrance into highly popular competitions such as Mar Thoma Cup for football and cricket tournaments. The finances so generated can be utilised for adding on sports equipment.
Language Denartment(English, Hindi and Malayalam)
Of the three language departments English department deserves special mention for the well equipped language laboratory and the efforts taken by the department in remedial teaching, communicative English courses and the outstanding results in the UGC JRF exam/NET(National Eligibility Test). Out of five students who appeared for the exam, three have qualified. A suggestion to the English department is that they should offer communicative English course through their language lab for the students who are weak in language skills at the UG level also.
Hindi and Malayalam are offered only at the U.G. level as second language. Malayalam department is engaged in research in comparative literature, comparative linguistics and grammar. They run workshops in creative writing and conduct Kavi Arangu.
Hindi department offers Functional Hindi course. They have seven scholars working for their doctoral degree under the guidance of the HOD.
If these language departments would take up interdisciplinary projects and interdepartmental research work working with History and Economics departments, funding agencies like ICHR, ICSSR would be most willing to aid the projects.
History, Economics and Political Science Departments
All these departments are involved in extension activities such as peoples planning at the Municipal level, literacy mission and other community development activities. The teachers participate in the syllabus revision work of the University, organise career guidance programmes and prepare the students for competitive examination. The department of Economics deserves congratulations on their two lakhs research project on ‘socio economic attainment of women’ in Kerala.
Some of the teachers of these departments dictate notes to students which should be discouraged.
Faculty and students responses
In the discussions of the peer team with the faculty members, it is found that the faculty members are a highly motivated enthusiastic lot and in their work, try to be innovative, pioneering and effective. They believe in team work and expressed their dream of getting recognised as second to none’. They are fully satisfied with the transparency shown by the administration, the two way communication between Management and faculty and the way policy decisions are taken after discussion. The confidential feed back they get from the P.G. students they say, are ploughed back into the system for improving matters.
The peer team met a cross-section of students and the students acknowledge that teaching is good, there is support between faculty and students and that the tutorial sessions were very useful in establishing such rapport. They are happy with the opportunities they get for service oriented activities as members of Brains Trust, Bestarts, ADIC, Nature Club, etc.
The informal meetings with the management, PTA members and Alumni Association members showed the great involvement these members have in the development of the college.
The administrative staff are quite co-operativeand helpful in running the administration. Some of them expressed a desire to prepare themselves for greater efficiency and responsibility by attending courses in modern management techniques.
V. Infrastructure Facilities and Support Services
The infrastructure facilities need improvement. The class rooms appear to be all right. But general halls need to be improved.
In these modern days of communication, the college needs to have Intercom, Fax and E-mail facilities.
The Library has 50000 volumes of books and that is good. But the journals subscribed to are not enough, especially to meet the research needs of the college. Moreover the holdings of the Library have to be computerized and the Library has to be automated. The UNESCO library package CDS/ISIS is the software used in most libraries in our country. The college has to make serious plans towards modernizing its library.
· Library is headed by a dedicated librarian.
· It is reasonably organised with career guidance cell working under its aegis.
· Sufficient holdings to support. Present teaching programs.
· No book bank and reference section in the library.
· Journals are too few to support research. Instead of journals, the library could opt for current contents with abstracts to keep track of the current developments.
· No cubicles for library users.
· Books are not arranged strictly according to international call numbers though efforts are being made in this direction.
· Internet/E-mail facility should be placed in the library. The facility can be extended to students on payment basis.
· Students should be encouraged to sit and read in the library.
· Extended library hours (8 am to 5 pm to start with and upto 11.30 pm during exam times). Issue of books can be during working hours (upto 5 pm).
The research laboratories need to be better equipped as revealed in the visits to departments. A computer with a printer may be essential in each department.
VI. Financial Management and Resource Generation
From the pie charts given in the Self-study Report and discussions with the governing council members, it is found that income from management, general sources and hostel as well as the expenditure incurred by the college under these heads have been systematically collected. It is also seen that the college is able to balance the budget only because of the strict budgetary control and proper monitoring.
Handsome donations from PTA and Alumni Association enable the college in meeting the expenses needed for developmental projects, building up infrastructure facilities, construction of buildings and other welfare activities. Strict procedure is laid down for purchasing of capital items and there is time slotting for clearing the bills. There is an effective internal audit mechanism and there have not been any audit objections in the last two years.
The college could enhance its financial resources by encouraging its faculty members to take up more counselling projects, applying for major research projects from funding agencies such as UGC, DST, Planning Commission, ICSSR, ICHR, etc. A few more self financing courses in the evenings, could help mobilize additional resources.
VII. Organisation and Governance
The flow charts of the organisational structure and of the functionaries given in the self study report are self-explanatory. The powers are decentralized and duties and responsibilities are clearly assigned to the various bodies and the functionaries.
The college is managed by the governing council; the principal is the Secretary of the council. and there is one elected representative of the faculty in the council. The governing council met 19 times during the last three years to take important decisions regarding admission, starting of new courses, development of infrastructure facilities, review of policies, etc. The Governing Council functions democratically with absolute transparency. All the deliberations and decisions are minuted properly and communicated to all concerned in time.
Next in importance is the college council which consists of the principal, the HOD s, four elected members of the teaching staff. The council makes regular assessment of the curricular and co-curricular activities, recommends nomination of teachers to the various Committee and Associations which steer the activities in the Campus.
The discretionary powers of the Principal in academic matters, administration and finance management have been made explicit. The work efficiency of the various functionaries is checked through computerised reports feed back from teachers and students and the review by the Principal.
The academic calendar is prepared, implemented and maintained by a formal committee, adequate publicity is given to this calendar through the college hand books, notice board, circulars, departmental meetings and teachers meetings.
The governing council initiated the process of self analysis in 1996. Educational experts, local community members, P.T.A. members, faculty, staff and students were involved in this process. The report was discussed by the governing council, action plan was prepared, prioritised and is being implemented.
Staff are recruited by open selection and they are encouraged to participate in the developmental programmes. The college has streamlined the admission process. Some aspects of administration such as admission, attendance and finance management have been computerised. The college is in touch with the college development council of the University and utilises the council services in faculty development, getting the UGC grants, etc.
Most of the feed back from students, teachers and staff are informal. A formal mechanism for self appraisal of the faculty and staff on their work statisfaction needs to be instituted.
To summarise, the peer team is impressed by the sense of commitment shown by the management, the members of faculty, the students and the non-teaching staff. The college responds to the local needs. Academic activites are carefully planned and executed to help the students realise their dreams. Students are also allowed to have their say in academic matters.
The students also get an opportunity to express their opinions on all the affairs of the college.
The Peer team commends the institution for the following noteworthy features:
1. Encouragement to teachers for improving their professional qualifications.
2. Extension activities undertaken by the college demonstrate its social commitment.
3. The development of forums as vehicles for formulating policies and disseminating information.
4. Remedial courses conducted to help to weak students to achieve expected levels of satisfactory programme in examinations.
5. The active participation of students in sports and extra curricular activities.
6. The dynamic Alumni and PTA Association which gives immense moral and financial support to the institution.
7. Gender justice in the recruitment of faculty and admission of students.
The team would like to make the following suggestions for consideration by the college:
1. Introduction of more-learner centred approaches in the classroom.
2. The Peer team is aware of the efforts of the colleges dedicated faculty but would emphatically suggest the need to discontinue dictation of notes in the classes.
3. The team feels that there is an overall urge among the faculty to undertake research, which may be further upgraded through use of current topics for dissertation by PG students.
4. A formal mechanism for student evaluation of teachers may be established which may serve as a positive feedback to teachers.
5. The team while appreciating that some of the difficulties regarding teaching levels lie in the prescribed syllabus, the introduction of modern add-on components in lab work and practicals may enrich the student experience.
6. The infrastructure facilities on campus are adequate but a general face-lift through maintenance will help improve the over-all ambience.
7. The computerisation of the library will provide a good boost to strengthening of support services on the campus.