Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
Stella Matutina College of Education
Stella Matutina College of Education was originally started in 1961 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) in Santhome with the philosophy of preparing ideal teachers for Secondary and Primary Schools in the State of Tamil Nadu. The institution was formed with a small nucleus of 60 students and 6 teachers in the premises of St.Thomas Convent. The institution has flourished under the dynamic and committed leadership of the first principal Rev.Sr.John Haughton. “Attaining truth by the path of love” is the motto of the institution which prepares the young minds to face the challenges of contemporary life.
In May 1977, the college was handed over to the Franciscan Sisters of Presentation of Mary, Coimbatore due to the change in policy of FMM sisters who decided to go in for social service in villages and some of the faculty members who were foreigners decided to leave the country. The institution continued in the same place for 8 years and only in the year 1985, it was shifted to Ashok Nagar, Chennai. The shifting of the college to Ashok Nagar provided an ideal base and rich socio-cultural climate, in chennai one of the major cities of India. The college offers programmes in pedagogy at three levels B.Ed., M.Ed. and research. There are 12 well-qualified teachers in the faculty of the institution and 200(which includes 180 B.Ed., 4 M.Ed., 3 M.Phil.. & 13 Ph.D.) students enrolled at different levels. The college is affiliated to Madras University and has grown into one of the most reputed institutions of education in the State of Tamil Nadu.
The college volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment Accreditation Council. The NAAC constituted the Peer Team consisting of Prof. M. Malla Reddy, formerly Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University as Chairman and Prof. D. S. Sivananda, formerly Professor of Education, Bangalore University as Member. The committee visited the institution on 24th January, 2000 and interacted with various departments with the Principal, the Management, parents, alumnae students and other functionaries. The Peer Team has recorded the data on various facets of institutional functioning and performance and prepared the following report in terms of their overall impression about the institution which are discussed under each parameter suggested by NAAC.
As this college is affiliated to the University of Madras, it has little freedom but to follow the curriculum prescribed by the university, both at B.Ed. and M.Ed. levels. The college offers the following seven programmes:
· Post Doctoral Fellowship and
· Certificate Course-Computers
· Short-Term Vocational Courses.
Many of the courses are conventional in nature, as the institution is an affiliated college. The college has applied for autonomy and the orders to this effect are awaited. If autonomy is granted it will be free from the constraints and will be in a position to redesign and restructure the present programmes to meet new demands and challenges. The college also envisages networking with industry especially with computer software in relation to education and with other sister institutions of the region.
At present the college offers programmes for all-round development of personality through a number of curricular and co-curricular activities. The trainees have ample opportunity to exhibit and develop their talents in arts, oratory, sports and games, singing, dancing and other asesthetic and creative ventures.
The college Management has about 18 co-operative schools where the trainees get trained in practice teaching. Teachers of these schools render lot of help to trainees in making their practice teaching meaningful and purposeful. The college has a “Womens’ Cell” through which a linkage is developed with the community to make women self-sufficient in terms of making them to earn and to become economically independent.
Curricular transaction is not only through lecturers but also it is carried out through team teaching, seminar and work-shops. The value component is given top-priority in the programmes.
Within constraints of the affiliating system, the college may respond to the pressing need for educators to respond to the phenomenal changes brought about by technology and by the conceptual revolution in the practice of pedagogy. It has come a long way from old classical psychological theories of teaching. The paradigm shift for practice through skills to skill acquisitive through cognitive and field exposure techniques can never be ignored. The CLT in language teaching is an instance in point. A corporate institutional exercise may help.
The students for B.Ed. are selected based on their performance in the test administered by the state government, which is aimed to assess their aptitude and attitude. The college helps the academically poor students by organising the remedial programmes to overcome their deficiencies.
The college has 11 members on the staff. Of them, 5 have with Ph.D’s, and 4 M.Phils and the two, M.A and M.Ed. Since the workload of the teachers is heavy, the Management has made temporary appointments to ease the pressure of work, on regular teachers.
The college has a very well established technology lab. The laboratory consists OHP; VCR, 16-mm film projector, slide and filmstrip projector. They are meaningfully used to supplement classroom teaching. Each student has to prepare slides, filmstrip and teaching aids that they use in their classroom teaching.
The evaluation of student performance in theory is carried out through regular tests, assignments, seminars etc. Their practice teaching is evaluated on the basis of their performance in the classroom. Students are oriented towards the evaluation procedures adopted by the college at the beginning of the year. The evaluation process is based on scientific principles and each student is allowed to grow according to his pace.
Faculty members are deputed to attend various educational programmes organised by universities, Academic Staff College, and other national bodies, which enable them to grow professionally.
There is a good mechanism of assessing the work of the teacher educators by the students. There is a grievance cell to look into the problems of students regarding the evaluation of students by the teachers.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
The college is aware of the need and importance of research in Education, it has therefore, made “Research Work(Thesis)” compulsory at M.Ed., without the alternative optional paper in its place. The quality of the work turned out by M.Ed. students, is satisfactory. As research level scholars they have addressed themselves to the problems in the area like cognitive development educational administration, learning abilities of special children, primary education, environment and ecology etc. Many members of the staff are also actively engaged in research. Some of them have done research and have published in national and international journals. Some have authored books in education in Tamil and English. In all, 6 books and 22 research papers have been published by the existing faculty.
The college also offers consultancy service to research scholars, helping them in developing good research designs and also in selecting appropriate statistical technique to test the hypotheses. Service is also rendered in the actual analysis of the data. Some staff members are recognized guides of Madurai Kamaraj University.
The college believes in the three main functions: teaching, research and extension. Members of the staff periodically organize programmes for the benefit of teachers working in various secondary schools in the area of innovative in teaching, lesson-planning, constructing quality test items etc., thereby helping their teachers to keep abreast of the changes taking place in the field of education.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The college has good infrastructure facilities in terms of building, laboratory, library and hostel, well-furnished auditorium. The facilities available are adequate enough for the intake of 180 teacher trainees. Efforts are made to have some additions to meet the future demand.
The college has a vast playground wherein the trainees can have their physical education activities and also sports and games. The facilities for indoor games like chess, carrom, table tennis are available. The premises of the college are kept very clean and tidy.
The library has about 11481 books and 40 journals, which the Management proposes to computerise. In addition there is a book-bank facility. The library works from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., so that B.Ed. students and the research scholars can make the maximum use of library facilities.
Computer facilities are also available for all students. The computer department has 7 computers and is managed by a technically qualified person. The computers are periodically checked and properly maintained. The college also has a guest house.
The science and psychology laboratories are very well equipped. The physical science laboratory and biology laboratory have all the equipment to carry out experiments by the teacher trainees while doing their practice teaching. The psychology lab has a number of tests of various types and the teacher-trainees have to administer them either individually or in a group and submit the report for valuation. The psychology lab includes tests to measure intelligence, attitude, aptitude, interests etc.
The college has a very well maintained hostel and a high-level of discipline is kept. Parents hold the institution in high esteem, which they expressed during their interaction.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The college offers a wide range of facilities for the student support and progression. It publishes a prospectus at the beginning of each academic year covering the philosophy of the institution and highlighting the advantages in pursuing knowledge at this reputed institution. The prospectus also contains course designs of B.Ed., M.Ed., programmes and various optional subjects, that are offered at different levels. The information on fee structure, attendance requirement etc. are included in the prospectus.
Admission to the college is made according to the admission policy of the state government and norms laid down for minority institutions. Under this criteria 50% seats are filled by Management under the “Management Quota”, and the rest of the 50% seats are filled by the state government following the reservation policy etc. A large member of students apply for the B.Ed. programme and admissions are made by with entrance examination and viva-voce. The college has been maintaining excellent results with 100% passes, which include several distinctions and ranks university examinations.
The drop out rate is nil and the institution obtains regular feedback from students. There is a placement cell, which is organised under the guidance of a placement officer, and teachers of the college participate in extending guidance in these matters to students.
The state government grants a large number financial aids to needy and deprived students SC, ST, MBC and BC. The Management offers 9 Scholarships, Student Aid Fund for 3 and 18 endowment prizes. The college also offers several sports and recreational facilities, which include indoor games, outdoor games, debate clubs, student magazine, cultural programme, audio-video, dance, music and essay writing competitions.
The college is managed by a governing Body. The Governing Body consists of the Bishop of Coimbatore as the president and the Mother-General as the Vice-president and Secretary, the Principal of the college as Treasurer. It has 6 other members including the university representative. The major function of the body is to make decisions regarding finances, facilities, appointment of teacher-educators. The Governing Body assess the need for man-power requirement and also to recruit the required staff.
The college also has a College Council headed by the Principal. All the members of the faculty are its members. In addition, the college has various committees like building committees, fund raising-expenditure committee, research committee etc., to look into their working.
The college has a well-developed teaching and non-teaching staff. There are welfare schemes such as financing for higher education and exempting from payment of fees, and such as other benefits as admissible to government employees. The grievance redressal mechanism is also there, to look into the grievances of the teaching and non-teaching. The college also has an inbuilt mechanism to check the work efficiency of the non teaching staff in administration, and finance.
The college intends to have more autonomy and is planning to adopt changes for the latter. The college mobilizes funds from different sources like donations, fund raising drives, from alumni of the college, consultancy, self financing courses, etc. The funds mobilized by them are just enough to maintain the annual expenditure of the college. The college is financially sound.
Ø The college has adopted many healthy practices, which have become almost an integral part of the regular curriculum. Under this practice, it organizes free medical camps for creating health awareness among rural people and also extending benefits of treating visual problems with the help of experts in the field. The college also organizes blood donation camps and hygiene orientation programmes annually.
Ø Teaching of values: with the help of Dharma Bharath, In this programme extension lectures are given on family life, national integration, freedom movement, life history of great men, etc.
Ø Childcare is another important concern of this institution. Mothers are given orientation in techniques of child rearing practices and their significance.
Ø There is a well-conceived Tutorial System in the institution, which enables students and teachers to interact on many issues covering professional and personality interests of students. This gives an opportunity for students to seek guidance from teachers on matters, of great significance.
Ø The practice of teacher evaluation by student is exemplary. However, it is desirable to evolve a pragmatic criterion to get a scientific and objective evaluation of teachers by students.
Ø The college organizes the talent day session for two days giving opportunity to display the talents of individual students in various walks of life, professional, aesthetics, fine arts and cultural, etc. This is a worthy attempt.
Ø The college organizes a three day orientation programme in areas like friendship, behaviour of students, personality development and how to interact with others. The importance of this approach needs no over emphasis.
Ø Meditation retreat: The college organizes meditation retreats to protect students from several distractions of the modern world and changing environment which is in conformity with the expectations of the parents and general community.
Ø The college conducts one hour common prayer every week and prayer meeting every day in the morning. A course on Bagavat Geetha, the Bible and the Quran form a strong source of secular education in the institution.
Ø The college conducts monthly staff meetings to enable teachers and the Principal to review the progress made in teaching-learning processes, student behaviour, syllabus covered, the resource mobilization, etc – a healthy practice.
Ø The college organises programmes for developing computer knowledge in all the students.
Section 3: Overall Analysis
Stella Matutina College of Education is an institution with a difference in the field of education in the region. The college is affiliated to the University of Madras and funded by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The college is trying for its autonomy, which is under active consideration of the University Grants Commission.
The college was founded in 1961 with the philosophy of preparing ideal teachers for secondary and primary schools and also promoting research in teacher education for the benefit of scholars who want to pursue M.Phil. and Ph.D. The college is situated in more than 5 acres in the centre of Chennai in eco-friendly climate with beautiful ambience. The college has a long history and great tradition of producing many eminent teachers in the field of education and therefore the institution enjoys justifiable pride.
The institution being a single faculty college is small in size and exists in the shape of a close knit community with rich facilities. The college has well-built hostels providing accommodation to a large number of students depending on the request from pupil teachers. At present 140 students reside in the hostel with a hub of intellectual, social and cultural activities organized around the entire academic year. Apart from residential facilities , many learning opportunities like TV, VCR, recreation room, prayer room etc. form a part of hostel life. The Management has undertaken further expansion of these facilities for the future, keeping in view its master plan.
The college offers B.Ed., M.Ed. and Ph.D. with curriculum prescribed by the University of Madras to which it is affiliated. Despite the fact that the curriculum is designed by several national institutions like NCTE, there is considerable scope for improvement. The college proposes to re-construct the curriculum with innovative approaches after attaining autonomy in the near future.
The performance of college in research, consultancy and extension is unmistakably progressive and commendable. Thus based on the overall performance of the institution, its strengths and weaknesses, the following recommendations are made for future development of the institution.
1. The college should create an active alumni association and involve them in developmental activities. At present the college is able to interact with ex-students on an informal basis. It must emerge into a regularly organised institutionalised programme.
2. The college has been established for preparation of teachers. It must undertake projects on teaching-learning processes and publish for the benefit of secondary and primary schools. For instance, many operational researches can be undertaken on classroom dynamics etc. and findings of research can be made available to teachers and schools in the region
3. As the college aims at preparation of ideal teachers, it is recommended to promote good communication skills among students, both in English as well as in the regional languages. Therefore the college should create a language-laboratory for promoting these vital skills among students without further loss of time.
4. The college is organises several enrichment programmes. It is recommended in this connection that the college should develop concrete guidelines covering various important areas relevant to this programme.
5. The Peer Team is informed that the college has applied for autonomy and it is under active consideration of the University Grants Commission. The college richly deserves autonomous status, in view of its proud record of achievements and best academic performance.
6. The college must introduce an element of empirical research at the B.Ed. level to enable the pupil teachers to undertake operational research as teachers during their service. This can be done in the form of a study of primary and secondary schools and problem students.
7. The teachers of the college may undertake, as a team, atleast one interdisciplinary research project on instructional technology and contribute to improvements in the learning processes in schools on continuous basis.
8. The Management should include a few distinguished scholars from the area of teacher education on the Governing Council who can contribute through their ideas and advice, for unfolding the potentiality of this institution further.
We place our appreciation on record for the warm welcome and cooperation extended in the evaluation of the institution.