The Regional Summit on Quality in Education
Creating Centres of Excellence: The Way Forward
"Bring about Technology in Education Process"
8-9 February 2008 : Coimbatore

Technology intervention in the teaching - learning process in educational institutions will help improve the quality of education said Dr S Subramanyan, former Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University while inaugurating the 'Regional Summit on Quality in Education' organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Coimbatore Zone in association with CII - Institute of Quality.

The education process, which was analogous to an industry that manufactured a product from raw material, processed and shaped a graduate through various teaching methodologies and infrastructure. Only 7 percent of students eligible to study in universities had access to higher education in India as against nearly 80 percent in countries such as the U.S, said Dr Subramanyan. Hence, one should ponder over and be aware of the ailments of the higher education system and what could be done to set them right. Government policies, institutions, schools, teachers, infrastructure and student participation were all important factors for quality education, he added.

As industries were adopting new knowledge and new technology to be competitive, educational institutions should be more dynamic right from school level training while students needed to be creative, innovative and motivated. He stressed the need for improvement in technology intervention in the teaching and learning process.

"We should think of the alternative methods such as use of software", he said. Through technology, available global teaching resources could be tapped and evaluation should be in assessing the knowledge acquired by the students. "If we can bring about a change in the teaching-learning process and inculcate in students the ability to learn to learn, quality of education can be improved", he added.

Dr G Bakthavathsalam, Chairman of K G Hospital, said it was important to be educated rather than just being a graduate. Quality education had the power to transform societies in a single generation and the aim of education should be to use the knowledge acquired for the right purpose.

Dr R Nandagopal, Convenor of the Education Panel of the CII, Coimbatore Zone, said that while the country with its different kinds of educational institutions mostly had the adequate infrastructure levels, faculty resources was a matter of concern. Hence, institutions should have a vision to care for the quality of teaching and faculty and not offer courses just to meet the market demand, he felt.

Mr K Thangaraj, Chairman, CII Coimbatore zone, said that CII offered training and consultancy on "total quality management in education" to various educational institutions to create awareness on "excellence in education" comparable to global standards. This helped institutions apply total quality management principles and recognize institutions making progress towards excellence.

The valedictory address was delivered byMr G Vishwanathan, Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology. Other eminent speakers included Mr J N Amrolia, Executive Director - HR, Ashok Leyland, Mr Muthukumar Thanu, Chief Human Resources Officer, Tractor and Farm Equipments, Mr Thothathri Raman, Consulting Editor, Business India, Prof Krishna Prasad, Advisor I, National Board of Accreditation, AICTE, Ms Nirupama Soundararajan, Research Associate, ICRIER, New Delhi and Mr V Kovaichelvan, Sr. Vice President HR & TQC, TVS Motor Company Ltd who spoke on topics like 'Is Excellence a useful mission for Higher Education?', 'Quality Dimensions to Excellence', 'Reaching out; What Education Institutions can expect?' and 'Creating Centers of Excellence - The Way Forward'.

To make the Summit more participative and interactive, most of the second day had interactive workshops wherein the delegates were grouped together to discuss and make presentations on suggested ways for improving the quality in education. This was very well appreciated by the participants.

More than 125 academicians, principals, lecturers, administrators and management representatives from various education institutions from across Tamil Nadu attended the two day Summit.

(Right to left): Dr S Subramanyam, Former Vice Chancellor, Bharathiar University lighting the lamp,
Dr R Nandagopal, Convenor, Education Panel, CII Coimbatore Zone (partly concealed),
Dr G Bhakthavathsalam, Chairman, KG Hospital, Mr K Thangaraj, Chairman, CII Coimbatore Zone and
Dr A Senthil Kumar, Senior Counsellor, CII Instititute of Quality