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St Johns College, Kollam (Quilon), Kerala



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St Johns College, Kollam (Quilon), Kerala
Address:P. B. No. 3, Anchal, Kollam, Kerala
Kollam (Quilon)
Kerala, India

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St Johns College, Kollam (Quilon) Kerala is a recognised institute / college.
St Johns College, Kollam (Quilon) Kerala is situated in Kollam (Quilon) of Kerala state (Province) in India. This data has been provided by www.punjabcolleges.com.

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Media coverage of St Johns College, Kollam (Quilon) Kerala, Kerala

NAAC report of St Johns College

Section-I: Preface
St. John's College, Anchal, Kollam District, Kerala is a grant-in-aid College affiliated to University of Kerala. It was established in the year 1964 by the Archdiocese of the Malankara Archiepiscopal Syrian Catholic Church. The College is located in a rural area in the forest belt of Western Ghat, and is about 65 Km south-west of Trivandrum. The College aims to impart higher education to the economically and socially deprived students of this rural area. Thus it strives to develop overall personality of the students by instilling in them social, ethical, moral and cultural values and empowering them to get into the National main stream. It has got UGC recognition under 2(f) and 12(B) in June, 1972.

The College has a laudable motto of empowering the students of this rural area through quality higher education. Towards this goal, the college presently caters to the higher educational needs of 1115 (male 334, female 781) students, mostly from the native District of Kollam. There are 16 Departments - 6 in Science (Mathematics, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics and Zoology & Environmental Science), 8 in Arts (English, Malayalam, Economics, History, Hindi, Sanskrit, Syriac, and Politics and Public Administration, 1 in Commerce (Commerce) and Physical Education. A total of 22 academic programmes are offered by these departments - 9 UG, 3 PG and 10 self-financing certificate courses. The teaching faculty consists of 69 members, 54 of them permanent (male 34, female 15) and 15 temporary (male 07 and female 08). There are 12 members in the administrative staff, 16 in the technical/laboratory wing, 5 in the Library and 14 last grade staff. The College has several support services and facilities: Library, Computer Centre, canteen, Health Centre, Sports Facilities, a ladies hostel, staff quarters, vehicle parking facility and various welfare schemes. The unit cost of education excluding salaries is Rs.5648/- and 18,154/- including the salary component.

The College volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore (NAAC) and submitted the Self-study Report (SSR) to NAAC. A Peer Team was constituted by NAAC to visit the institution and validate the SSR. The Peer Team, consisting of Prof. A.M. Pathan, Vice Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh as Chairperson, Dr. R.M. Ranganath, Professor, Department of Botany, Bangalore University, Karnataka as Member-Coordinator, Dr. K. Meena, Professor and Principal, Indira Gandhi College for Women, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu as member and Dr. M.S. Shyamasundar, Deputy Adviser, NAAC as coordinating officer visited the institution for two days- 28th and 29th March, 2005..

The Peer Team carefully perused and analysed the SSR submitted by the institution. During the institutional visit, the team went through all the relevant documents, visited departments, acquainted itself with the facilities and interacted with various constituents of the institution. The academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, sports and extension facilities of the institution were taken note of during the visit. The Peer Team also interacted at length with the Governing Body, Head of the institution, Faculty, administrative staff, students, their parents, and alumni of the institution. Based on the above exercise, and keeping in mind the criteria identified by NAAC, the Peer Team has made a value judgment. The assessment of the Institution under various criteria, the commendable features of the institution as well as the issues of concern are listed below.

Section-II: Criterion-wise Analysis
Criterion 1: Curricular Aspects
As an affiliated college of University of Kerala, the College follows the syllabi prescribed by the University for the courses offered in the faculties of Arts, Science and Commerce. The examination is under semester scheme for BA communicative English, M.Sc. Mathematics and Environmental Science and M.A. Public Administration, and non-semester (annual) pattern for the others. There are 6 departments in Science (Mathematics, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics and Zoology & Environmental Science), 8 in Arts (English, Malayalam, Economics, History, Hindi, Sanskrit, Syriac, and Politics and Public Administration), 1 in Commerce (Commerce) and Physical Education. The students have limited freedom with regard to elective options. Along with regular courses such as Public Administration ten certificate courses in Communication and Journalism, Computer Hardware and Maintenance, Computer Programming in C Language, Computer Skill Development, Numerical Skill Development, Communicative English, Yoga, and three preparatory courses for PE-1 for CA, TOFEL and IELTS are offered to enhance the employability of the students . Two P.G. courses Public Administration and Environmental Science have been started by the College in the last three years.

The College aims at empowering the deprived sections of rural poor through higher education at their doorstep and make them competent to join the National main stream. It encourages co-curricular and extracurricular activities to build self-confidence and thirst for knowledge among the students. Seminars, Symposia, extension lectures, industrial visits, field trips, study tours and cultural celebrations in addition to the curricular aspects are also conducted.

In an affiliating system, the College has to implement the curriculum designed by the University. Despite this constraint, the College could introduce modularity as well as multidisciplinary approach in teaching even if the affiliating University does not prescribe the same. It would be advisable to network with business/industry-neighbourhood for mutual benefit, offering expertise and in return getting financial and other assistance from them.

Feedback on programs and interaction with academic peers & employers are some of the ways to become relevant in the changing context. The College could establish a formal system of feedback on programs; embark on regular interaction with academic peers and employees, preferably with external experts facilitating the proceedings.

Several of the Faculty members have been and are serving members of the Academic bodies of the University of Kerala and their expertise could be utilized by the College to usher in modularity and modernity to the syllabi of various subjects.

Criterion II: Teaching - Learning and Evaluation
The College admits students based on their academic records for the UG courses and M.Sc., courses excepting for Environmental Science for which admissions are on the basis of an entrance test conducted by the University. All the students admitted hail from the native district. 1137 students were admitted to UG courses in 2002-2003 with 45 of them dropouts as compared to 72 admitted to PG courses with only one student discontinued. The corresponding figures for 2003-2004 are 1116 students admitted to UG courses with 57 dropouts as compared to 75 students admitted to PG courses with 1 student discontinued. Thus, the dropout rate for UG and PG for the years is low. However, the success rate in the last two batches has been 230 out of 312 appearing for the final examination in UG (2002-2003) and 262 out of 344 in UG in the succeeding year (2003-2004). However, the number of I classes are more than 55% of the successful students at the UG level and above 90% at the PG level. The College has bagged a total number of 13 University ranks with 3 at the UG and 10 at the PG level examinations for the years 2002 to 2004.

At the start of each term, the departments are expected to formulate their own teaching plan to cover the syllabi set by the University. The syllabus is unitised accordingly. Student-centred learning methods such AV-Aids and discussions are utilised. Study tours are organised wherever the curriculum/rules permit. Various internal tests are used as means of assessing students' knowledge and skill. Self-appraisal, result analysis, inspection by HOD and Principal as well as oral appraisal by students are being used as ways of quality check.

The College has 263 and 267 working days, of which 189 and 190 are teaching days in the last two years, respectively. Full-time/permanent teachers do most of the teaching (92%).

The College has 54 permanent and 15 temporary teachers. Among the permanent faculty, 17 have Ph.D. Degree and 27 have M. Phil Degree as highest qualification (44/54, 84%). Even among the 15 temporary teachers, 2 are with Ph.D. Degree. New faculty is recruited according to government and university regulations. The College has freedom to introduce new certificate courses under continuing education and resources to appoint and pay temporary faculty. In the past two years, twelve of its teachers have attended orientation programmes, five in refresher courses and twelve in workshops. A few teachers have acquired Ph. D Degree in recent years. More frequent assessment of students' knowledge and skills for a particular program after the admission, special care of advance learners, more use of central media facility for preparation of learning packages, more AV and other teaching aids, organising faculty development programs, institution of teaching awards, etc. would enhance the quality of education. The College could make an effort to establish more national linkages and linkages with parent departments of the University for teaching as well as research.

During the years 2002 to 2004 the staff members have participated in 56 seminars/conferences/workshops - 22 in National level, 6 in International level and 29 in local/University conventions etc.

It is commendable that in the last five years, 32 students have passed UGC-CSIR (NET), 2 in GATE, 9 in TOFEL and 29 in SET (State Level Entrance) examinations.

Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
The College promotes a research mind-set through giving study leave and adjusting teaching schedule of those involved in research. About 35% of its teachers are active in research. 44/69 of the teachers hold at least one-degree higher qualification than the minimum required. Among the 17 permanent staff with Ph.D. Degree, 8 are recognized research guides. So far, 4 students have been awarded Ph.D. Degree under the guidance of the teachers of this college.

The teachers of the College have made more than 70 publications in Journals and proceedings of International Conferences. Of these, more than 15 are in the last five years. Thus, the College has established a research culture. One of the staff members from Mathematics Department has made valuable contributions in a reputed Journal of high impact factor and also is a referee of the International Journal of Sound and Vibration. Similarly, two staff members of the Physics department have also published papers in reputed International Journals. The Department of Chemistry has also established an informal network of chemistry teachers of schools in the surrounding area and has periodic interaction for updating their teaching skills in the subject.

In the Faulty of Arts, Departments of Malayalam, and Political Science and Public Administration have made a mark by publishing books and networking with their academic peers for academic interactions. The department of English conducts a add-on course in spoken English for students of the surrounding area, in general. A staff member each from the Department of Physics and Mathematics have availed International funding for their post-doctoral work abroad (UK, Korea and Australia). Staff members from the Department of Zoology & Environment and Physics have received financial assistance of about Rs. 6,00,000 each for their research projects. In addition, the College also encourages student projects as part of its quality enhancement programme.

The College presently uses a women's hostel facility of a sister concern to house 5 % of the girl students.

The extension activities of the College are carried out through NSS under the direction of a teacher with additional charge. Broad areas of extension activities of the College are community development, social work, health & hygiene awareness, medical check up, adult education, blood donation, AIDS awareness and environmental awareness. Spiritual programmes such as retreats, yoga, renewal sessions are also made available. The students are encouraged to participate in these activities through recognition, certificates and prizes. The College could expand these activities by collaboration with GOs and NGOs in its outreach programs.

The College has a NCC wing with a single unit of 160 cadets. Although, headed by a staff member as Office-In-Charge, it has done creditable work. Two of its cadets have participated in the RD parade and two others in a programme under the RD banner. Another noteworthy aspect of the NCC training imparted is the 'obstacle course' designed on the lines of Commando Training in the army. This has yielded positive results since one of the cadets is commissioned by the Indian navy. The Physical Education Department has also shown good performance with 14 students participating in national events (cricket, athletics and cross-country events) and several students winning medals and certificates in long distance running at the inter collegiate competitions. Talented students in these activities are recognized and encouraged by cash awards and medals.

The College could further strengthen its research culture among its teaching staff, particularly who are not presently engaged in research/projects/publications etc. Providing seed money, encouraging teachers to avail of Minor/Major Research Grants, using their expertise to offer more relevant consultancy, providing incentives to teachers to present papers as well as publish them in academic journals, honouring those who engage in research activities etc. would help to further develop its research culture.

National and International collaborations should also be attempted by the College which enhance its educational services. The College could also encourage staff members who are not presently engaged in research activities to seek financial assistance for research from different external agencies like CSIR, DST and UGC to encourage the faculty to carry out further research.

The College could give preference in admission and other such incentives to students to participate in extension activities. The staff involved in extension activities could be recognised and honoured for their services. The College could be more innovative in its extension activities, finding out more ways and means to make its expertise available to the general public.

Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The College has its own building located in an area of about 29 acres. Although, there are several other education Institutions located in the same campus, the College has adequate space and infrastructure to carry out its goals and objectives. The physical facilities available at present include central library, lecture rooms, laboratories, AV facilities, computer centre, sports facilities, vehicle parking-shed and toilet facilities. Maintenance work is by maintenance staff and need-based.

The library has a collection of 49,734 volumes and 23 Journals are subscribed, of which 8 are national Journals. The library is open for 9 hours a day on all working days. The library works under the general administrative control of the College and the Principal.

There is a computer centre facility shared by all the departments and thus needs to be expanded to meet the increasing demand. It has one server with 30 terminals and Internet facility. The computers are accessible for 9 hours a day on all working days. The computers are maintained through a service contract. The Computer Centre needs to be expanded further and made accessible to all staff and students.

The computer Centre could also be used to impart training to its Library and office staff for helping them for automations and constructing operational and administrative platforms.

Addition of Computer aided learning packages, providing computers to more departments, making use of inter-university facilities/centres like INFLIBNET, computerisation of the office, library and other facilities are desirable. Providing facilities for indoor games, encouraging more participation in sports and strengthening its grievance redressal cell would help to enhance quality of education and services of the College.

The College provides facilities for outdoor games and sports like 200 m track with necessary athletic equipment, Football, Handball, Volleyball, Tennis, Table Tennis, and Kabaddi. The College encourages sports by giving attractive incentives. In the past year, 6, 10 and 1 students have participated at the State, regional and national level sports events, respectively. Several students have also participated in sports at the inter-college and one at the inter-university levels.

Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The College publishes updated prospectus every year. The prospectus provides information on admission procedure, courses offered, eligibility conditions, fee structure, scholarships, various rules and regulations, information about various facilities etc. Various scholarships and financial assistance schemes of the state government are available to students. Teachers offer academic and personal guidance to students. Recreational and leisure time activities of the College include indoor games, outdoor games, various competitions, cultural programs, AV facilities etc. A ' Mar Gregerios Noon Meal Scheme' tries to ensure that poor and needy students will not go hungry when attending the College.

The pass percentage of the College in the last two years is 66 % and 68 %, respectively. The percentage of the last two batches of students appearing for the qualifying exams after the minimum period of studies is 98%. Although, the number of first classes among the successful candidates is satisfactory, there are also considerable number of students who are unsuccessful. A system of feedback from all the stakeholders is another area that the College could strengthen. The College would do well to have a better system of documentation and keep more systematic record of students' progression to further study, employment and other data. Student Guidance and Employment cell could be established to guide students for employment in more systematic way. The College could motivate the Alumni association to chalk out plans for various activities and get its assistance for achieving the educational goals of the College.

There are several central government (National merit and backward class) scholarships, State Government (Open merit, service personnel, fee exemption) scholarships, merit scholarships awarded by the Institution and awards by PTA, departments and individuals, made available to the deserving students. However, during the last two years only 3 have received merit scholarships whereas more than 950 scholarships awarded have gone to backward classes category (SC/ST/KPCR). A Employment Cell with a placement officer help the students with seeking post-educational employment opportunities. The College has employed a trained student counsellor to address the emotional problems of the students.

Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
This is a Grant-in-aid college and as such follows rules and regulations laid down by Government, University and its own Governing Body.

The management and the local managing committee take active interest in the progress of the College. There are various committees to take care of different responsibilities in the College. Heads of Departments coordinate their departmental activities under the general supervision of the Principal. Each teacher is expected to submit self-appraisal in a prescribed format. Principal, Vice-Principal, Librarian and Office Superintendent supervise and check work efficiency of the administrative staff.

The staff and students can avail of various government welfare schemes. A Co-operative bank facility is available on the campus for the benefit of the staff members, but its utility needs to be strengthened .

The departments submit their requirements to the Principal, which are screened by a Purchase Committee. Effective financial management, internal/external auditing and need-based budget allocation have helped the College to support its various activities, in spite of facing a deficit budget in the last two years.

The efficiency of the non-teaching staff has yo be improved by providing them office management and computer training on an a priority basis.

It is appreciable that there is a general Grievance Redressal Cell for staff and students and a separate Grievance Redressal Cell for women. These initiatives have made the campus a better place to live. The staff members have access to several welfare programs. The College could supplement these by establishing some staff welfare programs of its own. It would be good to mobilise resources, better organise association of past students, get assistance from society at large and offer benefit of quality education to it in return.

Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
The Peer Team notes with appreciation the following healthy practices of the College:
Introduction of value-based education

Training programmes to improve language skill and short term programmes for spoken English; similar efforts to improve numerical skills

A Human Rights Cell

PTA taking active interest to enhance quality education by giving special prizes to achievers

Establishment of a system of internal quality check.

Inspection by concerned authorities, establishment of several committees for sharing responsibility of various works of the College and annual self-assessment of teachers are some of the means adopted by the College for internal quality check

Co-curricular and extracurricular activities serve as sources of imparting moral values as well as shape the overall personality of the students. NSS conducts traditional social service activities with the aim to inculcate value of service.

The College promotes general/transferable skills, team spirit, individual excellence etc among the students by organising various competitions, educational tours etc. The students are encouraged to participate in these events and develop their talents.

Section 3: Overall Analysis
After going through the SSR and after its visits to various academic and physical facilities, and keeping in mind the quality of students admitted, the Peer Team would like to commend the College for some of the positive features in its approach to quality assurance and standards and at the same time point out some of the issues of concern to College authorities for their consideration.

The Peer Team would like to commend the Institution for the following aspects:

Committed Management, dedicated Principal, faculty and administrative staff

Good inter-personal relationship among Principal, faculty, students and management.

Excellent documentation presented to NAAC by all the departments

A women's development centre

University ranks at both UG and PG levels

Staff members participating in national/International Conferences/Workshops
Success in National level tests such as NET (UGC-CSIR), GATE, TOFEL and State-level SET examination

Recognition of some of its staff as research guides

A number of research publications in National and International Journals.

Adequate support to the staff for participating in seminars/workshops etc.,

Harmonious interactions on the campus irrespective of the caste, creed or religion with a spirit of national integration

Participation of students in state, regional and national level sports events
Establishment of a weather station, rain water harvesting facilities

With the view to its further improvement and better service, the Peer Team would like to suggest the following to the Institution for its consideration:

The College could experiment with twinning programs, student exchange programs, MoUs with industry and research organisations to become better equipped to perform its role in higher education and achieve its specific goals and objectives.

The College could explore starting a few value-added courses to empower the students to face the challenges of modern occupational challenges in state level public service examinations.

Establishment of feedback channels on programmes and interaction with academic peers and employers

Network with business/industry-neighbourhood for academic excellence and assistance

Encouragement for more participation, paper presentation at national/international seminars/workshops/conferences and publications. Encouragement to faculty members to avail of minor research grants, initiate research projects; provide seed money, offer consultancy, establish teaching awards, in short, further strengthen research culture

Encouragement for use of new technology in teaching-learning-evaluation
Introduction of some more relevant, need-based PG/value added courses in some departments.

Augment infrastructure and learning resources by making computers available to staff and students of more departments, become members of INFLIBNET.

Strengthen the existing computer centre and utilize the same to c

Computerise Office and library facilities on a priority basis

Strengthen the alumni and parents associations, and use their services for the College.

Establish formal mechanisms to get feed-back from all the stake-holders and collaborators

Professional development programs for faculty and staff

Innovative teaching methods to address the problem of success rate at the UG level; special care for advanced learners to help them realise their full potential

Establish linkages with the University and other reputed academic institutions for teaching and research

Recognize and honour the staff members involved in extention activities

Improved accommodation facilities in the women's hostel

A system of feedback and documentation of student progression to higher studies and employment

Strengthening of the employment cell and placement services by strengthening awareness and training initiatives for State and central services examinations

The peer team is of the opinion that this exercise will be useful to the institution to initiate and sustain quality enhancement strategies towards further growth and development.

The Peer Team places on record its appreciation of Management, Principal and the entire team of staff for the introspection undertaken.

We wish them all the best in their pursuit of excellence in higher education.

Prof. A.M. Pathan,
Chair Person

Prof. R.M. Ranganath
Member-coordinator

Prof. K. Meena
Member

Rev. Dr. Samuel Kuttukallil
Principal

Date: 29th March, 2005




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