No quality

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Obtaining education from a reputed college is the dream of every student and their parents. Issues surrounding our college sector are varied, and are worsening and hampering their academic expectations. Our colleges don’t provide best opportunities for career path in academics and research. The nature of academic life in colleges is drawing flak and is a potential risk to campus crisis if timely not sorted out. Without caring to deal with these issues and redress the student sufferings, there is an exponential growth of college sector in the State. On quality front we are struggling and lag much behind. Why is the Government giving permission to open more degree colleges without understanding what to expect from these colleges? When we know that the colleges which were established in the recent past are still suffering in multiple fronts including lack of proper physical infrastructure, lack of adequate human resources, leadership crisis and deficit teaching-learning practices, what can we expect now? Achieving excellence in college education doesn’t mean sanctioning extra colleges on paper, but to address the issues faced by colleges at the grassroots level. This mushrooming of college sector is more a pro-politics rather than pro-academics affair. Rather than going for burgeoning of college sector, we badly need to review the current education system in our colleges including the examination system and question asking pattern to test student’s critical thinking and writing skills rather than merely testing their information or knowledge. An utmost thrust must be on improving the curriculum in tune with socio-economic needs of our society to make learning socially relevant. Similarly, we must think on the lines of enhancing and enriching the infrastructure and teaching-learning facilities in the existing colleges caring more for the quality learning and skill based education in practical terms. The mushrooming of degree colleges will not enhance the student learning or improve educational setup, but may result in its declining if the existing scenario of faulty infrastructure and compromised teaching-learning practices continues. The graduation rates will only increase but there will be no improvement in quality learning and gaining skill based education. It is an irony that in times when governments across the world are engaging their resources with best research and innovative educational policies and technologies to achieve excellence in academics and research, our policy makers are simply interested in quantity enrichment of our higher education without a proper plan. They are not addressing the basic academic needs of native populations as per their aspirations and cultural or socio-political setup. Innovation and technology is dreams apart here. Here our need of establishing more colleges should be in conformity with the percentage of population in college going stage. Maintaining proper ratio between higher secondaries and colleges, average pass percentage at 10+2 level and expected enrolment in local colleges is important. Do we get enough of the pass outs from higher secondaries actually available to take admission in these newly created colleges? We know that majority of students who are in college going stage prefer or choose to take professional graduate courses in government and private colleges either within the state, or outside the state. When very less number of students are actually willing to take admission in our colleges for the sake of degree only without showing any commitment towards academic excellence, then how will creating more degree colleges help us to do better in academia. No doubt, we need more colleges to provide educational access and facility to deprived sections of the society at their doorsteps. However, a proper plan or procedure should be in place to run unique courses and subjects in these new colleges to attract students in tune with better career options and job prospects. Further, most of our population lives in rural areas but majority of the quality degree colleges are located in the towns, particularly Dimapur and Kohima. A visible difference exists between infrastructure and academic expectations among rural and city colleges. This need to be looked into and made impartial. Making every college unique in terms of attractive and job oriented subject combinations or specific degrees and courses based on innovative and skill based education will surely help in achieving uniform enrolments and better academic expectations from them.