Discourse on Education and Quality

Dr. Khandaker D Islam

Quality, when talked about education, is often misunderstood. This misunderstanding is akin to the misjudgment to some extent when we have courted education quality as a form of literal interpretation rather than quantifying it through more rigorous and intelligent details. The analysis of the fact of the current education system is like that, it must sell in a way that the people must fall on it. This is in fact a confusion of the human psychology the idea and impression of which cannot be allowing itself to be too obvious for this falling talks for capitalism, the materialistic view of education. This is not enough. Since the choice in determining the true enlightenment was taken away from education, and then it escaped from all possible ways of building a moral society, education was put to an obvious risk of aroused capitalism. But yet, it was marketed as quality. The current discussion will be on how the education quality can cause human minds to succeed and every single education policy at least begins speaking of what it really is and can relate the cause and effect of the educational organizations whose work will be solely for research and then development for a country or region. With this, it has to be remembered with equal care that, you put yourself in a sideline and you are not going to get created a sustainable policy for education. You have to be at the center of the problems, and the process. Our current education system demands that. I am talking like this, because I think our account of justice is that, the whole education process is tied closely to the provisions the educational institutions possibly have. The value of the quality education will be bound to comply with the rules that the policy can be built up – a sustainable set of policies of course.    

For Bhutan, a beautiful country in the lap of the Himalayan range, what will be those policies that can greatly work for its economic resurgence? ‘Resurgence’ is dangerously beautifully a positive word when it relates the policies of education, energy and industrial development and their implementation in a sustainable manner. It is a form and kind of huge increment of something after a period of little activity or effort. So what education we opt for that can better work for the real and sustainable development of the country? For her, there needs to have the experienced and sagacious relationship of the sensible and pertinent compresence and continuity of pragmatic education. The students truly madly deeply searching for research opportunity should be given proper care to their related fields with sufficient resources. It is not possible to get that ‘resurgence’ with only some empty blabbing. The goblet of the country will only be filled with the drops of joy, and the heart of the country will only be melted down with the majesty of heroism when some prefigured and fundamental principles implementations of which will shape the education system (especially in science, engineering and technological education). It’s not just a political fantasy, of course. It needs experience, willingness, far-sightedness, and true patriotism.

Often I ask myself that, indeed aren’t our imagination and method of working deceiving us? What quality of education prevailing as of now on which we have tried to get over the difficulty in analyzing the distinction between the trues and false in the education sector? The perceptions of quality education is interrupted in the sense that we think we are convinced with our resembling perceptions of education quality to be identical, continual and mutually independent. Theoretically, quality will bring many profits to educational organization, and practically too once it is able to create the satisfaction of the customers (here pupils in general and of the first kind) of the product (here education). However, it is important to identify higher education customers. Many higher education institutions and related bodies consider identifying true customers in the education sector a major challenge. But now it’s almost recognized that students have the highest ranks from a variety of higher education clients. The rest of these are employers, society, teachers and families. The philosophy behind the ranking was that the needs / expectations of different customer groups could be different or inconsistent and should be prioritized.  

No university wants to specifically define a higher education customer, but defining a student as a higher education customer is even worse, some would say. This is a thorny problem for governments and universities (i.e. higher education institutes, HEIs). Most faculties do not agree to define a student as a customer of education for it suggests the assumption that “customers are always right”. But aside from that, quality education does not necessarily mean giving students what they want. In fact, in their view, it is assumed that students are primarily concerned with short-term satisfaction, and students are only concerned about passing grades and graduating. This is in contrast to actual learning and long-term educational objectives. Rather higher education customers should be considered stakeholders. In that case, we may consider both internal stakeholders such as employees and external stakeholders such as students and society. It probably will be able to settle the dispute of the customer concept in education sector.

Good quality will increase the customers’ satisfaction and loyalty in general, and students’ in particular. What will be that ‘quality’? It will be termed as those set of entities of education that will cause cost reduction leading to higher productivity of the students in terms of perception, understanding, and expertise. Improved quality will increase the level of success of the students individually and prosperity in the nation as an integrated manner. This success can be appeared as being in a stronger job market position, making the lead times in the supply chain shorter. Besides this, educational organizations will have the ability to provide education in a way that more job opportunities for the pupils and this opportunities will yield national capital. Improved quality education will lead to improved profitability in the higher education sector while poor internal quality will lead to incur different problems in production, longer lead- time and at last students’ and other stakeholders’ dissatisfaction. When education customers are dissatisfied, national profitability decreases. This is why high internal quality is a necessity higher education sector, and so is just in time (JIT) in order that the overall education cost will decrease, and at the same time, turnover will increase.

Another objective of the quality work in education sector is to continuously improve the productivity, and in higher education, productivity will have significant effect on their ability to offer more services to the nation. In today’s higher education arena in Bhutan, it is very important for HEIs to have pragmatic and meaningful productivity, and they must have plan for reducing different kind of wreckages and unnecessariness in the current curriculums, at the same time initiating courses fit for the students fighting well for the job market. This will, unless otherwise, surely be termed as quality in education sector. And, this is how the education defect of the country can be remedied, since quality can be well adjusted and equally justified to suit with any given situation that the people associated with education sector are well induced to accept and implement it. 

In fact, the objectives of every higher education institution should cover the answer to this question precisely that, what quality our education provides for the learners? The objectives of every university (grossly all HEIs) should be to give each student opportunities to improve in knowledge, know how, wisdom, and character. The first concept enables students to understand and verify their knowledge-base pertinent for a certain era that happens to fulfill the national demand in many ways and transfers to the next era. This is sustainability. The second one facilitates them to do what the nation needs to do for its development. The third one enables students to set priorities, and finally the fourth one provides the possibility for them to cooperate, to persevere and to become respected and trusted members of the society. It is high time, for this nation, to dig into these analytic parameters, within the province of relation of ideas, submitting them to scientific procedures, so that it can rightly claim the exquisiteness of education. 

The contributor is an assistant professor in Sherubtse College at Kanglung under the Royal University of Bhutan