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`Professional education needs vigilant regulator'

Staff Reporter

"A quality control system is the need as the number of colleges has increased"

INTERACTIVE SESSION: A section of the students who attended The Hindu Education Plus Fair 2005, held for the first time in Madurai on Saturday. — Photo: K. Ganesan

MADURAI: : A vigilant and efficient regulator is needed to ensure a proper mode of admission and quality control for professional colleges, Karumuttu T. Kannan, Managing Director, Thiagarjar Mills, said on Saturday.

The number of colleges increased and this meant more `traffic' on the road to professional education. This called for a strict regulator. The regulator must put in place a quality control system.

Presiding over `The Hindu Education Plus Fair 2005' held here for the first time, Mr. Kannan said business goals and education did not go together because of commercial interests; it was philanthropy and education that went together well. Unfortunately there was an element of business in education today. Hence, "we need a good regulator."

Mr. Kannan said 79,000 engineering seats in the State were fomenting an IT-revolution, and students could get into any college without any tussle unlike in the pre-1980s. To keep pace with the trends in information technology, he suggested that teachers and industry professionals swap places for two or three months. The industry could also play a role in retraining teachers.

He congratulated The Hindu on holding the event, bringing students, teachers and education administrators under one roof.

Single national test

"Multiplicity of entrance tests for admission to professional courses has become stressful for students who are now being subjected to unfairness and uncertainty," N. Ravi, Editor, The Hindu , said

He called for a nation-wide test to replace the multiple tests for/by different institutions on the lines of the Scholastic Aptitude Test in the United States. All stakeholders in higher education should give a thought to this proposal in the larger interests of students aspiring for admission to engineering and medical colleges.

Mr. Ravi, who inaugurated the two-day fair, said a standardised nation-wide test would help students of different backgrounds. The score in the test and school marks could be taken into account for admission.

Stating that the students faced a challenge during admissions every year, he said multiple boards and separate entrance tests were unfair, putting them to hardship. The Government, universities, colleges and other educational institutions should consider a nationwide test.

Another area he dealt with was to stop the stagnation and the `relative neglect' of social sciences such as history and economics, as the technology courses gained popularity. He hoped that the fair would lead to an educational resurgence in this region and bring more emphasis to higher education.

Mr. Ravi lauded the role of private educational institutions, which "fuelled the growth of technological education."

Madurai Kamaraj University Vice-Chancellor P. Maruthamuthu called for easy accessibility and affordability of higher education which, he said, was not accessible to all. Each and every one must get opportunity and rural children should not have difficulties.

Students, parents and teachers turned out in large numbers for the Fair.

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