The teachers recruited in higher education institutions must undergo orientation or refresher courses of the Academic Staff Colleges (ASCs), said Professor K Ramamurthy Naidu, an official of the University Grants Commission. He was inaugurating a two-day All India UGC ASC Directors meet at the Pondicherry University.
Naidu said there were 66 academic colleges across the country and about one lakh teachers had benefitted through orientation programmes and 2.5 lakh teachers had been covered under the refresher courses of the ASCs. He asserted it was necessary to make such courses compulsory for teachers joining higher education institutions so that there could be promotion of quality education.
Pointing out the fact that Indian higher education sector is the third largest globally next to US and China, Naidu said it is imperative for the country to churn out well qualified faculty who will train the youth.
Naidu also mentioned about the five objectives of the UGC during the current five year plan (2007-2012): access and expansion of higher education, equity and inclusion, quality and excellence, promotion of relevant education and encouraging research activities.
The University Grants Commission had set up 66 Academic Staff Colleges (ASCs) in different Universities/ Institutions in the country. The Academic Staff Colleges so established are conducting specially designed orientation programmes for newly appointed lecturers and refresher courses for in service teachers.
The Orientation programme contributes to the teacher awareness of the problems of the Indian society and the role of education, higher education leaders and educators in the resolution of these problems to achieve desired goals in national development.
The Refresher course provides opportunities for serving teachers to exchange experiences with their peers and mutually learns from each other. It will be a forum to abreast of the latest advances in the subjects, technological spin off etc. The Commission has been providing cent percent financial assistance to the host Universities/ Institutions to run the courses mainly towards cost of resource persons, participants, books/materials, working expenses and salaries of the UGC- allocated staff etc. as per the norms under the programme.