Higher, technical education to be the key growth propeller in Goa if accorded due priority: CII report


Education, especially higher education, plays a key role in the realization of a country’s potential and aspirations for economic and technological development. At the state level, it is imperative that the higher education system in Goa be able to cater to not only the state’s indigenous demand but also be suitably competitive to cater to the overall country’s demand.
 A CII report – titled Higher & Technical Education in Goa: A Status Report – was released during CII’s Higher Education Summit 2012 "Improving Quality of Higher Education to Drive Goa’s Economy" in Goa on December 14. The report highlighted the current higher and technical education scenario in Goa and focussed on certain measures that need to be implemented in order to transform Goa into a higher and technical education hub.
 Goa boasts of a high level of education awareness and literacy with literacy rates in Goa ranking above the all India literacy rate (2011). While most education indicators point to Goa’s relatively well developed primary education system, higher and technical education inGoa lags behind.
 The report pointed out, that over the past 35 years, higher and professional/technical education infrastructure in Goa has grown from 8 general higher education colleges and 10 professional colleges in 1985-86 to an estimated 21 institutes of general higher education and 29 professional education institutions.
 Goa’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher & technical education (between the ages 18-23 years) has also increased substantially – from 12.66 per cent in 2006-07 to 28.3 per cent in 2009-10. It is interesting to note that the GER for female students in Goa has consistently been higher than the GER for male students.
 However, with a growing number of graduates and post graduates entering the job market each year and with their aspirations of well paying jobs not being met, there is an urgent need to improve the overall quality of higher and technical education in the state. The report throws light on some issues in the system that need attention – faculty shortages, lack of adequately qualified and trained faculty, course content and curriculum not in sync with current needs, poor quality of infrastructure, and inadequate industry-academia linkages.
 The report also details the key measures required to enhance the quality and relevance of Goa’s higher education system so that it is more demand driven, quality conscious, and forward looking.
The study has also highlighted other forward looking initiatives which could be undertaken to revamp the higher education system like attracting high quality institutions of learning (both government and private) to Goa, emphasizing research, encouraging foreign education provider participation, exploring effective industry-academia linkages, and using Information and Communication technology (ICT) to enhance access to higher education in the state.  [NT]