Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
Murgaon Education Society's
College of Arts & Commerce
Section 1: Preface
The Murgaon Education Society's College of Arts & Commerce requested the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) Bangalore that the College may be considered for accreditation after proper assessment of the institution. Accordingly, the College submitted its Self-Study Report in March '99 and the NAAC constituted the Peer Team to visit the institution with the following members : 1) Dr. A.N.P. Ummerkutty, former Vice Chancellor of Calicut University ( Chairman ) and 2) Dr. C. Thangamuthu, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli ( Member). The Peer Team visited the MES College of Arts & Commerce on 25 and 26, March 1999.
The Peer Team wishes to thank Dr. A. Gnanam Chairman, NAAC for offering them an occasion to visit and assess the work of a leading affiliated college under the Goa University. The Team received full co-operation in their work from the college Principal Prof. Madhav Kamat and his colleagues. The Members of the Peer Team thank the college for this. They also thank Dr. Latha Pillai, Deputy Advisor, NAAC for her unstinted support and help during the assessment work.
M.E.S. College of Arts & Commerce, Zuarinagar, Goa was established in 1972 to provide opportunities in higher education to the youth of the educationally backward Mormugao Taluka and neighbouring areas of the State of Goa. It was first affiliated to the then Bombay University but the affiliation was transferred to the University of Goa after the latter was established in 1985. The College was shifted in 1985 to its present beautiful campus in the village of Dabolim, also called Zuarinagar. In the new 25 acres location ample opportunities are available for expansion. The Murgaon Education Society had a vision, namely, the preparation of the youth of the area in the mighty task of nation building through its educational endeavours. To achieve this goal, the Society worked with missionary zeal and introduced courses of studies that would impart not only relevant knowledge and practical skills, but also high ethical values and a sense of commitment to development activities.
It is interesting to note that the main intention of the college in volunteering for assessment and accreditation is to improve the quality of education and to move towards excellence. The college also hopes that the accreditation exercise is a step in the direction of attaining autonomy.
Section 2: Criterion-Wise Analysis
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
The M.E.S. College is basically a bi-faculty institution . It has only Commerce & Arts faculties. But these faculties are well-developed and they offer B.Com. and B.A. courses in a variety of combinations in relevant subject areas.
In addition, there is also the Department of Sports and Physical Education. The college also offers the UGC sponsored Vocational Degree Courses in 3 subjects, namely: 1)Travel & Tourism 2) Taxation, Procedure and Practices and 3) Foreign Trade.
What is notable in the evaluation of curricular aspects is that there has been a steady progress in respect of options available and in respect of the contents of each option. The three UGC-sponsored Vocational Degree programmes have been well integrated with the existing courses. Induction of foundation courses in Population Studies, Social Development etc and applied components such as Child Development, Environmental Studies, Co-operative Management etc. are welcome additions to the regular curricula. The curricula of various subjects have been redesigned as and when necessary in order to give them a clear career orientation. However, being an affiliated college, this objective had to be achieved through persuasion of the concerned academic bodies of the Goa University. The College has done well in this respect. They took initiative in designing and introducing, with the approval of the Goa University, new courses like Diversity, Unity and Nation Building, Social Ecology, Entrepreneurship Development, Services Marketing etc. Procedures and systems of peer / community consultation for curriculum review and reorganization may be well outlined and streamlined.
Criterion II: Teaching Learning & Evaluation
Out of the 24 confirmed teachers, 5 are Ph.D. holders and 6 M.Phil. holders. For an under-graduate institution this is very good. Teachers take keen interest in the progress of students and adopt non-lecture methods also in teaching. Personality development courses, career guidance, counselling, quiz programming, discussions, home assignments etc are in practice. It is found that some teachers take voluntary extra classes during holidays.
The final exam is conducted by the university, but the first and second year exams are conducted by the college on behalf of the university. Question papers are prepared by at the university and conduct of examinations and evaluation of answer papers are done by the college. An attempt is thus made by the Goa University to decentralise the evaluation system. However, since only the marks obtained in the final exam are taken into account for determining the overall grading, students do not seem to show as much interest as is desired in the exams conducted by the college. class tests also meet with the same fate though the college conducts them regularly. It is reported that attempts to externalise the first and second year exams, either partially or fully, were resented by students on some misapprehensions. Since the issue requires a clear policy shift on the part of the university, the college is not in a position to do anything to improve the system. As is done by some colleges, the Peer Team recommends that attainments in semester internal assessment may be made a requirement to send up students to sit university exams.
Teachers have shown great enthusiasm in implementing the UGC-sponsored Vocational Degree courses which will continue with the support of the state government even when the UGC assistance is stopped. This is indeed a welcome step. Also notable is the fact that the college succeeded in getting the Campus Diversity Initiative Grant of the Ford Foundation The scheme has helped to strengthen the quality of teaching -learning processes in some departments. Participation of teachers in national seminars, conduct of symposia, and other faculty improvement programmes are laudable features.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy & Extension
Being an affiliated under-graduate College, the research facilities available are limited. Yet it is gratifying to note that the college has shown interest in research by granting study leave to teachers proceeding to pursue research degrees. Four teachers are currently engaged in Ph.D. research. The college also provides funds to teachers to present research papers in national conferences.
Under the given research background, not much consultancy is to be expected. But it is reported that the research findings of the Ph.D. thesis of one of the teachers were used by banks in South Goa for improving their credit delivery system.
The extension activities of the college are good. Through the work of the NSS & NCC units a number of useful collaborative activities with other agencies were undertaken. Malaria eradication & AIDS awareness programmes, anti-tobacco campaign, Nature Club activities etc. are examples of socially useful activities.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning resources
The college has adequate buildings for the existing curricular programmes and they have been put to maximum use. Since the college classes are conducted from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., class rooms are utilised in the afternoons by the Junior college run by the same Management in the same campus. Further, college facilities are thrown open, outside class hours, for use by other agencies such as Institute of Chartered Accountants. MES Institute of Management Studies Research and Ship building and for the conduct of competitive exams.
The library which is functioning at present in the academic block in a limited space is expected to move shortly to a new spacious separate Library Block which is nearing completion. More than two lakh rupees is the annual budget provision for purchase of books for the library which has 13,000 volumes at present. There is a book bank and also inter-library loan facility. The library works from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. stretching out by 3 hours after the close of college classes but there is no open access system now due to the shortage of space.
The track record of sports performance of students has been found to be good, at the inter-collegiate, inter university/national levels. There is a multipurpose gymkhana providing for indoor game facilities. The foot-ball, volley ball, and basket ball grounds need improvement.
Since most of the students are from the neighbouring places, and they are to commute the distance daily, there is no felt need for hostel accommodation. The college has a good canteen and common room for women students.
As the computer facilities are shared with the Junior College they are inadequate to cater for the needs of all the first year students for undergoing a meaningful computer awareness course.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The student support services of the college include several merit scholarships, Students Aid Fund, Endowment Scholarships instituted by philanthropists and alumni, and other scholarships supported by Rotary Club, Lions Club and other agencies.
Welfare facilities such as the availability of full fee concession to non-teaching staff, (for one child at a time); cash incentives and subsidised supply of sportswear to sports students, student counselling, tutorial assistance, career guidance and placement arrangements especially for the students in vocational courses etc. are notable.
The academic calendar is indicated clearly in the college prospectus and accordingly the time schedule of academic activities strictly adhered to without interruption thanks to the campus peace and harmony. Remedial teaching for the weaker students is arranged by the college.
Though there is no formal mechanism of collecting systematic data on the progression of students into higher studies/employment, the Principal it is reported that most of the students are able to get fairly good employment/self employment.
The linkages and rapport maintained by the college with the industries and several service sector organisations in the region facilitate easy entry to employment.
Value education through foundation courses and communal harmony nurtured through Campus Diversity Initiative Project sponsored by the Ford Foundation need special mention.
Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
The following are the special features of the Management
· Steadfast adherence to the avowed objective of the institution, that is, to cater for the weaker sections of the region, particularly the working class, in the port city of Masco and its rural neighbourhood. The Management does not collect any capitation fees, nor does it charge any-extra fees on any score. The fee structure is within the affordability of the middle class and the lower middle class.
· The Managing Committee both in letter and spirit, draws up only broad policies and programmes, and as a rule, does not interfere in any of the internal administrative matters of the college, be it admission of students or appointment of faculty; this ideal principle of leaving the academic decision to the academics of the campus is something unique that this institution can be legitimately proud of.
· There is perfect co-ordination and harmony of perceptions among all sections of the college community, the Principal, faculty members, non-teaching staff and students. Such a spirit of oneness is largely due to the unquestioned credibility and reputation enjoyed by the father-figure, the Principal who has nurtured the college right from the scratch; the Principal has been able to inspire the confidence and unstinted co-operation every one of the College Community, both past and present, parents and also the local society at large.
· Faculty members, through their representation on several of the college committees such as Planning & Development Board, Calendar Committee, Examination Committee, Library Committee, partake in decision making at various domains; such a participatory style of decision making has reinforced the harmony and co-ordination in the campus.
· Faculty recruitment through All-India open advertisements purely based on merit.
· Teachers do make self-appraisal, but the self-appraisal is not systematically followed up.
· Computer training provided to non-teaching staff computerisation of administration has been initiated.
· Resource generation by the Management through donations from Parent Teacher Associations, Alumni, local institutional donors and philanthropists has been quite spontaneous as evidenced, for instance by the contributions currently made towards construction of the library.
· Budgeting and auditing, including the internal auditing by the Chartered Accountant have been systematically made and the resource management has been found to be efficient.
· The pace of expansion seems to be steady but very cautious and hence the college is yet to venture into new and currently significant programmes of study such as computer science, information technology etc.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
· The non-interfering style of the Management in the academic affairs of the college.
· Familial and informal relationship that exists between the Principal and the faculty members through excellent practices of personal rapport, for e.g., the Principal and all the faculty members freely interacting and exchanging views at the staff room, on daily basis, during tea time.
· faculty recruitment through all India advertisement.
· The Principal maintaining personal rapport with the members of the alumni and trying to get possible assistance from them for the development of the college.
· A close and informal teacher-student relationship and hence easy accessibility of teachers to students for getting academic counselling and guidance outside class hours
· Alumni organising functions to commend the services of the teachers every year.
· Functional linkages with local industries and service sector institutions.
· Close academic interaction between the college and the Institute of Ship Building Management
Section 3: Overall Analysis
M.E.S. College of Arts & Commerce is a limited faculty graduate level affiliated College with 27 years of history. Steady progress in the introduction of new courses and in redesigning curricula is seen during this period. When the Goan economy was expanding in the early seventies, the need for trained personnel in commerce and economics was keenly felt and the courses introduced in the College were a direct response to this need. Many of its faculty have membership or chairmanship of the Boards of studies concerned and thus are able to influence academic programmes of the University. This is indeed the way an affiliated College can extend healthy influence on the mother institution. The college has earned the goodwill and the support of the rural constituency it is serving. Much of the progress of the institution can be attributed to the close integration achieved between the two. A similar close co-ordination is visible between the Management and the academics headed by the Principal.
At present the M.E.S. College of Arts & Commerce and the Junior College run by the same Management are conducted in the same premises on a shift basis. The former works from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the latter after that. It is informed that this practice is resorted to due to lack of space and other facilities. From an academic point of view, this situation puts a great deal of constraint on the college. Since the faculty and the students of the Junior Section take over the premises at the prescribed time, those of the College section have to vacate the campus. The College faculty cannot spend their spare time for research and extra-coaching activities nor the students devote any time for extracurricular activities. The Management indicated that extra buildings would be put up for the Junior college. But the issue is to be given top priority to make the atmosphere more congenial for healthier functioning of both the colleges.
Commendations & Suggestions
· The College has striven to live up to its goals and objectives throughout its existence eradicating the educational backwardness of weaker sections in the neighborhood.
· Though a limited faculty Institution, attention was bestowed on strengthening the curricula and syllabi through integrating vocational courses,
· Many faculty members served and continue to serve as chairmen and members of the Boards of studies in commerce, economics, geography etc. It is through this academic activism, that faculty members have influenced the different university bodies both in modernising the contents of the courses and in redesigning their curricula.
· Congenial harmony exists between the Management and the Principal, the former leaving all academic matters to the latter and not interfering with them in any way
· Similar harmony exists within the institution between the Principal, faculty, staff and students.
· Linkages have been established between the college and the industrial and business houses of the locality to the mutual benefit of both.
· The Alumni Association and Parent Teachers’ Association are strong and have extended large support, including financial, to the college.
· Extension activities are highly diversified and socially oriented.
The College may consider the following suggestions for its further development:
· The introduction of choice based credit system which allows some horizontal mobility to students might be explored through the same academic activism which the College has shown in.
· The College may offer some more vocational courses similar to the UGC sponsored programmes.
· Partial externalisation of the 1st & lI year exam seems inevitable as presently it is not taken seriously by students as the Goa University does not give credit to these exams.
· Sponsored research projects relevant to the needs of the community can be explored. The presence of a few full time research fellows will greatly enhance the research culture of the institution. Teachers may be encouraged to apply for minor and major research projects.
· Introduction of a formal performance-appraisal method may provide valuable feedback for faculty improvement.
· The use of modern educational technology in classrooms may help in creating a more vibrant academic atmosphere.
· The allocation of separate buildings for Junior and regular colleges may ease the present burden on space.