QUALITY OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN
The needs more attention & reworks for continuous improvement.
Sep 25 - Oct 01, 2006
The declining quality in education is one issue which is being widely addressed these days due to the fact that there are less quality graduates available in the market. Companies are complaining about the poor standards of education and at last they bear a large cost on their part in re-training.
Let's see where the loop hole is in this entire scenario where higher education institutions are bearing cost of external & external failures. The basic problem lies in the primary education of the candidates coming with not so very good primary education background. Since all the concepts are developed during the basic primary education, so there is much more emphasis needs to be given on the school level.
The problem which basically companies face with the fresh graduates is their lack of understanding of the processes in the real word scenarios and also lack of understanding capabilities which is an interpersonal skill. Nowadays companies require employees who have confidence on what they are saying. These areas are the most critical in the professional world and should be considered as pre-requisites before starting a professional career.
In many institutions, students face difficult conditions for study. Severely overcrowded classes, inadequate library and laboratory facilities, distracting living conditions, and few, if any, student services are the norm. The financial strains currently faced by most universities are making conditions even worse.
Many students start their studies academically unprepared for higher education. Poor basic and secondary education, combined with a lack of selection in the academic system, lie at the root of this problem. Yet rarely does an institution respond by creating remedial programs for inadequately prepared students.
Most of the students do not have communication, presentation and interpersonal skills. University management finds it difficult to arrange extra-cullicular activities for not having sufficient funds and also due to lack of interest in this area. At student's part, those who tend to be shy and join groups during research projects and do not present fail to develop confidence in them. This however does become a problem for the student in the long run.
One of the important issues is that most of the teachers do not give time on research work. Teachers working for institutions (without prior experience of any other organization) as permanent faculty members and giving preference to only teaching do not add much to the knowledge of the students. Students learning all the bookish concepts must also have some real life examples as well, so they can learn the application of the books concepts in the real world. Case Studies and previous local and international research work and business journals are a great source of information in this concern.
External failure costs arise when a defect is discovered after the customer has received the product or service. Once the candidates step outside their institutions with a lot of bookish knowledge, they face a lot of difficulties while going through the interviews. And of course once a candidate does not perform up to the organization's expectations; he/she becomes a bad symbol for his institution. This is the highest cost which is being bared by the institutions and hence their external failure.
Companies face a lot of problems while going through the selection process when they recruit the wrong candidate; they create a wrong perception regarding the institute of the candidate.
CONCLUSION & REMEDY
Increasing the prevention and appraisal costs is the right solution to all these problems. Prevention costs are associated with preventing defects before they happen. They include the costs of redesigning the process to remove the causes of poor quality.
*In this area, hiring more visiting faculty, who are well experienced in their respective fields would make a good difference. Experienced visiting faculty members help students relate their books related concepts with the real life examples from the local and international perspective.
*Involving students in more research work and presentations would help students reduce their shyness and increase their interpersonal, presentation and communication skills.
*Universities should arrange seminars and invite key industry people to present their papers to the students. This would eventually help students to look at the bigger picture and decide what they want to do in near future.
*Arranging seminars and job fairs helps universities increase good will and create a better image in the corporate world. This helps the students in getting jobs easily once their institute is recognized in the corporate world.
*Also placement of students in different organizations for internships in their relevant area of interest would help create professionalism in the candidate before starting their professional career.
*Rotation of a proper graduate directory is the most effective medium nowadays.
Appraisal costs are incurred in assessing the level of quality attained by the operating system. Appraisal helps management identify quality problems. As preventive measures improve quality, appraisal costs decrease, because fewer resources are needed for quality inspections and the subsequent search for causes of any problems that are detected.
There are many deliverable from the student's part and the institution's part as well. Both must play their roles significantly and carefully. All in all, good assessment at initial levels helps institution get the best out of the students. And also other then the regular studies, there is a lot to be done in order to create better quality candidates which will conform to the corporate requirements.
This article was written by Mr. Salman Zakir. Mr. Salman is a graduate from Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences and currently working for an IT & Telecom company for more then a year. Mr. Salman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.