A Dualistic Approach of ‘Quality’ in Determining the ‘Productivity’ of Education in Pursuit of Knowledge

A. Chakraborty


It is a well-known proverb in Sanskrit— "Jatha Bapati,Tatha Falati"; translating it results in 'As you sow, so you reap.' Hence, there is a direct ratio on the material to be sowed that is the ‘seed’ and result for ‘reap’ would be ‘harvest’. The theme content of the seminar relating to quality and productivity thus relates to the simple logic of quality seeds will give quality harvest, when keeping other factors constant, such as soil, water, weather, etc.
But, this logic in my study does not hold true with the theme proverb. This is because ‘quality’ is not a quantifier having an ultimate proximity, and ‘productivity’ has different connotation and different meanings varying from person to person, because productivity of mind is not measured on a 6-sigma scale with quantifier of poor, below average,…… excellent. Human mind is ever evolving and ever changing within our control and without our control. As the pragmatist say ‘nothing is ultimate, man changes values with time and circumstances’, hence, there’s no doctrine of absolute quality in ratio with absolute productivity.
Quoting John Dewey, a pragmatist of twentieth century who after Second World War philosophized that, “Education is investment and investment demand returns” primarily, indicated productivity in learning in terms of earning. For him, the time and money invested in obtaining education should yield dollars in employment. This outlook of Dewey and his forerunners opened new vistas of imparting education relating to economic thrive rather than idealism. In this threshold, many B-schools then and now, are confusing money building, character building and nation building under one umbrella, although all three should be complimenting each other equally, but the fact remains, more priority is given on economic turnover. It is in this paradox, the term ‘quality education’ is seeded by the philosophers, educators and facilitators as a face saver.
Studies on institutions where in the urge of ensuing quality education, managements have opted for standardized Organization like factories, hospitals, under ISO-9002 service sector. The researcher was directly involved in one-such certification for schools and now is a part of the UGC body making accreditation, a compulsory element in colleges or universities.
The prime question is the nature of quality and subsequently nature of productivity. It is an universal problem, not restricting to ones country but is a global epidemic where institutions are advertising on maintaining international standard in terms of quality but the output portrays that students churned out from those Institutes are creating massacre to humanity. Going back to Dewey, did the parents invest their money? the teachers and students invest their time to develop killer instincts and jeopardize the lives of many?
Time has come to define the term quality and productivity in the light of nobility and the findings of my study will help identify some of the burning issues through case-studies on institutions.
Keywords: Quality, Productivity, Investment, International Standardization

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