Thus, unproductive and/or irresponsible citizens are a burden to the larger society. This enhances the social costs of education and lowers the external efficiency of the system of education. Besides, we are also faced with the problem of high rates of wastage and stagnation in education i.
e., the internal efficiency of the educational system is also low. This implies that we need to pay utmost attention to quality of education.
A better quality in education will produce citizens in the next generation who are productive, responsible and satisfied and who would not get alienated from society. Though we have knowledge regarding how to improve our system of education, we are unable to cope with the ‘failure of the system’ or in some extreme cases, with the ‘collapse of the system’. Very often, the larger society in general, and educationist in particular, believe that quality of education will improve only if more funds are available to education. Money is not the only important ingredient necessary for improving quality of education.
For quality of education to improve, administrators, teachers, ‘management’ of the school or college and other institutional personnel need to develop new attitudes and beliefs which emphasize institutional, managerial and staff development, teamwork and accountability as well as learn to work with fewer resources. Very often, in order to bring about improvement in quality in our schools and colleges overnight, we borrow and implement Western educational practices and strategies (sometimes tried and discarded by Western countries) without paying attention to Indian context, situations, environment and problems. For example, some teaching methods and models used by American schools are meant for approximately 15-20 students in the classroom. We attempt to implement these in Indian classrooms without any modifications in the syntax of the methods and models and without paying attention to the fact that our class-sizes are sometimes as high as 80 to 120 students at school and junior college levels. Hence, in the ultimate analysis, teachers try out some of these methods and models in their initial enthusiasm and soon revert to the age-old lecture method. Thus, such quality improvement programmes fail to make a visible impact on the educational system and its products.
We need to realize that our country has its own problems and requirements. Besides, each institution has its own culture, environment, structure and processes. Thus, each institution should develop and design its own programmes specifically aimed at its own needs and not rely on a common, standard programme of quality improvement. Each institution should identify its own ways to improve its effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and quality of service. It should develop its own programmes, resolve problems and identify its mission, goals and objectives. Managing quality of education will enable it to cope with external and internal changes in a constructive manner.
Although the concept of quality is very old, today its importance has increased tremendously in the field of education. There are various measures of assessing quality in industrial organizations. However, those measures may not be completely valid ‘or educational institutions because, as pointed out by ‘Schools and Quality: An International Report’ (1989), “education is not an assembly-line process of mechanically increasing inputs and raising productivity”. In order to assess and enhance the quality of education, we must raise fundamental questions about the societal aims, the purposes served by educational institutions, the benefits of education and the nature of participation in decision-making.