Education for Sustainability: Dr Pratik Mungekar

Today, the name of Prof. Dr Pratik Rajan Mungekar is no longer common but is emerging as a distinguished Scientist, Professor, World Educationist, Published Writer, Counsellor, Social Worker and an International Speaker

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Quality in education

There is no single definition for quality in Education and there is no universal consensus on what is the appropriate strategy to assure and manage quality in higher education. Quality can be defined in terms of excellence, perfection, value for money, and fitness to purpose. Quality in education is a multi-dimensional concept with different components. According to some researchers, the definitions of quality are: Quality is fulfilling & exceeding customers’ needs, Quality is everyone’s job and quality is continuous improvement. Quality is recognition and reward. Quality is leadership, teamwork, measurement and systematic problem-solving.

Quality education is a necessity for a sustainable economy of any nation. Sustainability is the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed to maintain a certain state or position. Necessity refers to an imperative requirement or need for something. The trends in the economic activity worldwide show that new methods, techniques and solution to a crisis that may arise in the economy of any nation is vital to avoid the collapse of that economy. Therefore the nations worldwide have been forced to adopt hence the development of newly founded IT programs that facilitate the production in any economy, the use of auto machines in factories etc. The main question is do the custodians of the firms in business possess the necessary skill. Now zeroing into the training and education that an individual would have got quality or the value of it does it make them competent individuals, does that particular skill they possess match that is required in the business market world. What would it mean if they don’t possess the necessary and what if they do? Quality education has got no universally accepted definition however The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (2010), defines education as the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession and quality as referring to character concerning fineness, or grade of excellence. The combination of these words however may mean different things depending on the perception of one person to another. Also, The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (2010), defines quality education as equipping learners with skills and knowledge that would help them develop psychologically and benefit them in future, being able to employ the skills they learnt in their days to day lives to sustain themselves even after graduation.

The quality of education provided by institutions however may vary based on multiple factors, the teaching system, programs provided, quality of lecturers, and the learning environment under which the education is being provided. The lecturers in charge of imparting knowledge to students have to be of certain qualifications; therefore a selection procedure has to be followed separating expert lecturers from the mediocre ones living only the best lecturers to do the teaching. Also, the teaching system that a particular institution employs has a detrimental effect on the quality, the kind of system that encourages research, citation and a plagiarism policy would prove more useful than one that does not in providing quality education. Furthermore considering the programs or courses the institution provides they should be relevant to the time and trends of the business world, avoiding the situation where graduates would roam the streets straight after graduation due to a lack of jobs. Furthermore, whether the environment in which teaching is conducted, does it meets the standards to be termed as conducive for learning. Lastly how a particular institution caters for diversity in its students for example catering for those with visual impairment or any other disability and the fact that the students might be of different backgrounds and international cases of different origin. Facilities with the attributes mentioned earlier could be said as those that provide quality education to students who enrol with them.

Importance of quality in education

Higher education plays an important role for the student and the society in which he lives. It represents the growth of the individual which allows him to lead a better life as there are more chances of getting a highly paid job; in turn, the society is benefited as the ideal citizens are created who will keep the society peaceful. “According to a research done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average earnings become high and the level of unemployment falls, with each education level acquired”

provided quality education brings about a glittering future to individuals, society and the whole world at large. Graduates who acquire quality skills and education from their respective institutions are most likely to be employable. If not so the graduates may be able to use what they have learnt to start up their own business for example a graduate from an accountancy college may if they do not find a job or if they so choose, start-up their accountancy consultancy agency offering accounting services and also by being able to employ their skills and start their own business, the graduates would be creating employment for other individuals in the society thus also helping in diversifying the economy of that particular nation investing in its private sector. Tertiary education also helps provide graduates with the basics of understanding economic activities that occur worldwide. A nation that possesses such people would be safe to be termed as a literate nation, a wise nation would in turn be able to prevent and run anti-economic actions such as corruption.

Quality education provided to the society inspires creativity and innovation, moreover improves the nation’s economy. Graduates and internship students do interact with the society to share knowledge, help the nation in making the decisions and come up with new ideas for doing things better as stated by the British Council, (2014). That on its increases the productivity of the nation thereby improving its economy. Examples can be alumni from technical college during electricity down a failure; they can apply the knowledge acquired from their programs to make solar street lights with the help of community members. The idea of coming up with solar street lights is creativity, diversification and amending ordinary ones to advance ones. The transition of skills and knowledge from one individual with expertise to another with less expertise would increase experts in that particular thus creating a pool of employees that organizations could recruit from. The graduates with expertise in certain fields would be in a better position to be leaders in their particular field of expertise, therefore good education produces ideal leaders.

Negative impacts of lacking quality in education

The economy of any state is reliant on its micro and macro economies; however if there is a lack in quality of education provided this would affect factors such as entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and employability. The failure to invest in the quality of education offered to pupils threatens the long-term competitiveness of the nation’s economy. With the rapid growth of manufacturing and tech jobs, worldwide nations would face a challenge in being economically competitive if the graduates produced do not meet international standards. Due to globalization the students should compete not only with people from their country but also with people throughout the world for jobs. The students should possess some unique skills which make them eligible for the job which is possible only through quality education. The level of entrepreneurship and the level of employment influence household income, which is determined bby determinedGross private domestic investment spending by firms and households which in turn affects the Gross National Product( GNP): which is the output by citizens ( irrespective of where they were produced) at home or abroad. And the Gross Domestic Product (GDP): refers to the output within a given economy over a given period usually one year. This output must be within the boundaries of the country by all the people in that country at the time regardless of nationality. Due to the rapid growth of the global economy, education has become an imperative aspect of innovation, growth and development. Investment in education is an investment in human capital, and a lack of the former equals a lack of the latter.

How to improve Quality in Education

In a response to tackle, the lack in quality of education tertiary institutions should engage, in project-based learning where students get to learn hands-on, this would ensure that they learn beyond the context of textbooks. The advantage of this initiative is that students would know field experience, unlike the traditional book-based lecturing where students are more likely to memorize the content not master it. Institutions should consider apprenticeships for teaching and lecturing the aim being to equip lecturers with experience and teaching skills before getting to work. While improving quality tertiary institutions should consider adapting to changes in technology blending technology to learning through different platforms. Tertiary institutions should revise their core curriculum and ensure that it meets required standards. The quality of education facilitated by tertiary institutions must be of certain standards. The great Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Its importance is immeasurable because it is a self-enlighten up process for a lifetime as added by Victor H, This is so because quality education equips one with the capability to interpret things rightly and apply the gathered information in real-life scenarios, therefore it wipes out the wrong beliefs from one’s mind and that makes one civilised and innovative. In summary, quality education is important in anyone’s life, to have it, access to it by all means for sustainability.