The importance of education is best described by a famous Chinese proverb “If you want to think one year ahead, plant rice, If you want to think 10 years ahead, plant trees, But if you want to think 100 years ahead, give education to people.” Best education is a guarantee for durable peace, progress, prosperity, integrity and honesty. The school is one of the most important formal agencies of education which plays major role in molding the ideas, habits and attitudes of a child with a view to produce well balanced personalities. Higher education is an important stage in the ladder-type continuum of education. The definition of higher education includes a hierarchy of institutions and programs. Central universities, state universities, private universities, IITs, NIETs, IIMs and various colleges offering general, specialized or professional education, occupy the spectrum of higher education. It is at the level of higher education that one’s shaping and sharpening into a quality human resource actually takes place. Just like we have high resolving power telescopes which can distinguish the constituents of a double star in space and a microscope of high resolving power which can distinguish germs from its surroundings, the basic objective of higher education is to increase this mental resolving power of the human mind and add real value to human resources to produce scientists, intellectuals, leaders, wealth creators and administrators who shape the future of our society. Today everybody seems to be after quality education and great talks, research papers in conferences, seminars and workshops are being presented but the reality is different. Once I was discussing quality higher education with a friend of mine, now a retired college principal and he narrated a humorous story that when he appeared for the principals interview in J&K PSC, some years back, the Chairman during the interview session told him that “how can he amuse us with some joke of his college?” where he was working as acting principal then. He told the panel that “what joke I can tell you …..We have 300 students in the college and among them 250 are Sumo Drivers….. “The whole interview panel burst into a peal of laughter. The huge quantitative expansion in the higher education over the last two decades with 80 degree colleges, 100 private colleges, many universities and dozens of extension centers has thrown us new challenges in terms of declining quality in these institutions in view of the inadequate infrastructure, faculty and other facilities. It appears that even if we meet our targets of higher access and enrollment, even if we spend huge amounts on higher education and even if we open a large number of new colleges, the issue of quality education will continue to hang over. Further, never has a college degree been more important and at the same time never has it been more expensive. With the result that our universities and colleges have remained as factories churning out thousands and thousands of graduates and postgraduates only to be unemployable.
Assistant Professor in Chemistry
Higher Education Department.
Govt. of J & K +919596225053