Quality Clubs address on-campus issues

Educational institutions in the city do not have to look far to analyse issues on campus and come with solutions for them. With Quality Circles (QCs) gaining prominence, students have begun to take the lead in bringing about a qualitative change on campus.

“Quality is never an accident. It is the result of intelligent and sustained efforts,” says W. Daya Shyamala, Principal, SBOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School. “We have QCs engaging primary and middle school students who take up various issues and prepare case studies,” she adds.

Through QCs, students identify issues on campus and carry out a thorough case study by applying the ‘Plan-Do-Check-and-Act’ method. “Students function with QC tools and techniques to carry out their case studies which can be used to measure social impact,” explains Selvi Santosham, Coordinator of QCs at TVS group of institutions.

Projects on campus

Thiagarajar College of Engineering, which has eight departments that make up the QC, has chalked out an elaborate plan. “While we have classroom committees which focus on core academic issues, the QC works on issues related to infrastructure, teaching and research activities,” says Emil Selvan, Professor, Department of Computer Science, and QC Coordinator.

Recalling one of the first successful case studies of a QC, M. Palaninatha Raja, Registrar, says the low placement rate of engineers in core companies was analysed by students. “When we made qualitative changes based on the findings, there was a drastic improvement in the number of placements in core companies in the following years,” he notes.

At school level, the TVS schools and SBOA schools have worked on QC case studies which have resulted in the campuses becoming a plastic-free zone. And there was a dip in sale of junk food. “School libraries were also given focus. A ‘book review’ system was implemented in our libraries after a QC case study. Students are given a review form when they return a book and the reviews help other students in choosing books,” Ms. Santosham says.

Point of view

Mr. Selvan explains that the perspective of the students through the QCs in identifying issues was vital for an educational institution. “Issues that the faculty might dismiss as simple might have greater impact on students,” he says.

Echoing his view, Ms. Shyamala adds that when students talk about the issue at hand with their peers, it has a wider reach. “When the larger student community sees the QC addressing an issue such as avoiding junk food or littering on campus, the results are visible in a short span of time,” she concludes.

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