Academicians came down heavily on the functioning of Distance Education Council (DEC) that is responsible for the determination of standards of open universities and distance learning institutes during a one-day seminar on quality assurance organsied by Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning on Sunday.
Former chairman of University Grants Commission Dr Arun Nigavekar said,”DEC was formed under the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) act and has IGNOU director as its chairman,which means when IGNOU has to go for assessment and accreditation,its chairman himself is expected to assess the university,” he said.
Nigavekar was speaking on ‘quality standards applicable for today’s education scenario’.
Dr Shakuntala Katre,former consultant with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) too agreed with Nigavekar. She said that NAAC awards its grades independent of the UGC,while the National Assessment and Accreditation Board (NAAB) formed under DEC has to seek the council’s approval for its grades.
Meanwhile,SCDL announced the launch of a ‘Quality Forum for Education’ to research and evolve new quality standards,protocols and models for the education sector.
“Both -individuals and institution can be members of this forum who will work together to exchange of ideas,arrange seminars,workshops,training programmes for the benefit of all education institutions,” said Swati Mujumdar,director,SCDL.
S B Mujumdar,president and founder director of Symbiosis Society announced the establishment of ‘Symbiosis Quality Excellence Award in Education’ starting from 2009-10. “The award will be given to an individual or educational institution in recognition of outstanding work in the area of quality assurance in education that has benefited the society at large,” he said. The nature of the award will be decided by the award committee,he added.