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  • 1. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Perceived Readiness of Teachers for Online Instruction in Nigerian Universities Nwokike Obinna (Corresponding Author) Information Resources Management, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo. Ogun State, Nigeria Tel; +234-080-36738913, Email; Ihekeronye Promise Educational Technology Department, University of Ibadan , Oyo State, Nigeria Email; stReceived: October 1 , 2011Accepted: October 11th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractThe necessary skills and a good understanding of information and communication technologies is requiredfor designing and implementing any appropriate policy for the use of online education in teaching, learningand research in the university. This study investigated the perception of teachers toward online instructionin faculty of Education, University of Ibadan. The findings revealed that teachers have a positiveperception toward online instruction due to their perceived value of online instruction. Also factors foundto affect the teachers’ perceived readiness include his facilitation skills, enthusiasm, confidence, manpowerskills, perceived benefit/drawback, time constraint, obsession, ease of use and perceived usefulness whileother factors such as social pressure, classroom culture and inadequate facilities had no significant effect onteachers’ perceived readiness. The study indicates that there is the need for appropriate review ofinformation and communication policies, training programmes and infrastructural support our teachers inexploiting the use of online instruction in their faculty.Keywords; perceived readiness, teachers, online instruction, Nigeria University 1. Introduction Among Nigerian-Universities the level of information and communication technologies acquisitions isquite high as observed from massive empirical reports. But to dismay studies by Hopkins (1996) pointedout that in acquiring ICTs, universities exhibit blind faiths in technology, a sort of technologicaldeterminism seeming to suggest that merely installing a machine will lead to its efficient and rational use.This perception of technological determinism seems to prevail in the process of acquiring and providingaccess to ICTs in Nigeria universities. There have been reports of department and faculties that acquirecomputers before deciding what to do with them. Information and Communication equipment arepurchased but never used and internet access have never been personally utilized by academic staff for avariety of reasons (Adagunodo & popoola, 2003 as cited in Ihekeronye 2010) This paper seeks to investigate the teachers’ perceived readiness for online instruction in the faculty ofEducation University of Ibadan so as to enable the university authorities to formulate policies that willenhance the process of quick adoption and use of ICTs at their disposal for online instruction. 2. Review of Literature 1
  • 2. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011A survey of universities by Mbawonku (1987), in Ihekeronye (2010) investigated the determinants of useand non use of instructional media by lecturers in two selected Nigeria universities and found a significancerelationship between discipline and use of instructional media (including computer assisted instructionCAI) and positive correlation between perception and use of media. She, however, found no significantrelationship between academic status and use of media. In another study Klowu (1997) examined the use of computerized information system in Nigerianuniversity and research institute libraries. Results from the study revealed that librarians were highlypositive in their attitudes towards the use of computers. The gender, age, length of service and type oflibrary were not significantly related to the attitudes of librarians towards computers. Frequency of use ofcomputer and previous training experience in the use of computers were however significantly related topositive attitudes towards computers. In addition, frequency of use of computers has no significantrelationship with place of training as librarians, type of library where they worked, and subject backgroundof the librarians. (Ihekeronye 2010) A similar study by Jumba (2000) found no relationship between attitudes towards online education byScientists in six Nigerian agricultural research institutions and the value they derives from ICTs use. Theyalso found no significant relationship between accessibility to ICTs and research productivity of theScientists. However, there was a significant association between the value derived from frequency of ICTsuse and research experience of respondents in his study. A University of Ibadan-based study investigated prevalence and correlation of computer anxiety,phobia, obsession and work stress among students and staff of the University of Ibadan. Among theirfindings, they reported an inverse correlation of computing experience with information anxiety, computerphobia and obsessive computing, they also found that discipline, occupation and self-esteem weresignificant factor for explaining computer experience while age, locus of control and personality types wasnot (Tiamiyu, Ajayi and Olatokun, 2002). Ehikhamenor, (2001) investigated the use and non-use of internet facilities by scientists in ten NigerianUniversities and found 4.4% of the scientists had computers at their disposal while 50.4% had access to,and were using the internet. His study attributed non-use of the internet to problems of accessibility, ease ofuse and cost. He also reported that the university in which a scientist worked might have had the greatesteffect among the background factors that influenced the data in his study. In addition, he found significantdifferent in internet use by scientists in different age groups, academic ranks, and disciplines. (Ihekeronye,2010) In another university of Ibadan-based study, Sangowusi (2003) investigated the impact of informationand communication technologies on scholarly publications of scientists of university of Ibadan. He foundthat even through 76% of the lecturers were computer literate and 33.5% have been using ICTs for overfive years, only 32.8% owned a personal computer. He also found that ICTs had made very little impact onthe productivity of scientist, especially those in the rank of professor. He concluded that professors in hisstudy seemed to be overwhelmed by teaching and administrative chores which allowed them very littletime for research (and by implication, for using ICT). (Ihekeronye, 2010) In an international study sponsored by the United Nations, Adeya and Oyeyinka (2002) comparedinternet use by academics in four Nigerians and six Kenyan Universities with a view to understanding thedynamics of ICT use in academic research, teaching and information dissemination. They found that 87.7%of the Nigerian respondents in their study used computers while the figure for the Kenyan respondents was98.2%. In addition, they found that computer use among Nigerian University academics had only becomerampant in the last five years while most respondents from Kenyan Universities had been using computersfor between five and ten years. Also, more Kenyan (96.9%) than Nigerians (55.9%) received formaltraining in the use of computers and the internet.Among the two study groups, word-processing was more widely used computer application followed by e-mail. Kenyan University academics also used computers for a wider variety of tasks than their Nigeriancounterparts, use of, and access to the internet also differed among the two groups. Kenyans tended to 2
  • 3. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011access the internet more from their offices while Nigerians accessed the internet more from either otheraccess points within their universities or from cyber cafés. In addition, unlike the Nigerians, none of theKenyans respondents accessed the internet from their homes or from friends/colleagues’ places. The studyconcluded that even though academics in the two universities had access to the cluster of technologies thatmake up the internet, there were differences in the speed, ease and quality of access to the internet.Constraints to internet use also varies, Cost was the highest constraints to the Nigerians while availabilityof affordable internet connection was the highest constraints to the Kenyans. Due to the focus and comparative nature of Adeya and Oyeyinka (2002) study, only four Nigerianuniversities, all from the south-western part of the countries were sampled; this creates a knowledge gap asto what obtains among academics in universities in other parts of Nigeria. Their research also did notinvestigate perception (as an attitude) as a factor that can affect adoption and use of ICT by academics. Other existing studies of ICT use in Nigerian Universities are not detailed enough to enable one makegeneral conclusions about factors that significantly influence ICT adoption and use by individuals. Forexample, a study by Agbonlahor (2005) revealed that (Ogunleye, 1997; Ojo-Igbinoba, 1997; Ehikhamenor,1993; Idowu Mabawonku, 1999; Oduwole, 2000) the use of ICTs in Nigerian University libraries exploresthe potentials of ICTs for the development of Nigerian universities and their libraries. Even though thesestudies found the level of ICTs use to be quite low, there were no attempt at finding out individual-levelfactors that could account for the level of ICT use and rate of adoption in the University libraries. 2.1 Distance Education and Online Education: With the advent of the information communication revolution fuelled by advances in computer,networking technologies and World Wide Web, the world is witnessing an expansion in distance education.As seen in the provision of a broad range of options for its implementation.Information revolution, brought about by the convergence of telecommunication and computertechnologies has enabled academics institution in several parts of the world to provide a flexible and openlearning environment for students, via online distance learning. It has given rise to concepts such asElectronic University and Virtual University, which are emerging at a fast space. This indicates thatdistance learning as a means of providing higher education will continue to grow. In view of this trend,online education via the web (e-learning) as a means of approaching distance learning in Nigeria must notbe overlooked, since it is a cost –effective and quick method of communication between learners and theteachers. (Ahmed, 2006). Online training was classified as an all encompassing term that refers to training done with acomputer over a network, including an Organization’s intranet, local area network and the internet (Autzen,2007). He mentioned that online training is also known as net-based training. Moron & Kim (2001) arguedthat online learning constitutes just one part of online instruction/education and describes learning viainternet, intranet and extranet. They added that levels of sophistication in online learning vary. It can extendfrom a basic online learning program that includes text and graphics of the course, exercises, testing andrecord keeping, such as test scores and book marks to a sophisticated online learning program.Sophistication would include animations, simulations, audio and video sequences peer and expertdiscussion groups, online mentoring, links to materials on corporate intranet or the web, andcommunications with corporate education records. Like Hubona & Geitz, (1997), Autzen (2007) purportedthat online learning is any technology-based learning and added that this usually implies linkage to acomputer. Given the broad definition of online instruction, it would seem safe to assume that web-basedtraining is online instruction. Hall (1997) defined web-based training as instruction that is delivered overthe internet or over a company’s intranet. Accessibility of this training, related Hall is through the use of aweb-browser such as Netscape Navigator. Hall and Snider (2008) define e-learning as the process oflearning via computers over the internet and intranets. Hall and Snider extended that e-leaning is alsoreferred to as web-based training, online training, distributed learning or technology for learning. Distancelearning, was not included in the e-learning definitions and was defined as its own entity as a learning 3
  • 4. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011process meeting three criteria: a geographical distance separates communication between the trainer andparticipant; the communication is two way and interactive and some form of technology is used tofacilitates the learning process. Hall (2000) contends that e-learning will take the form of complete courses,access to content for just-in-time” learning, access to components and services, and the separation of“courses” to acquire and test knowledge Vs. content as an immediate, applicable resource to resolve animmediate, perhaps, one time only problem. Learning is and will continue to be a lifelong process, thatcould be accessed anywhere at any time to meet a specific need or want. Hall added that more links to realtime data and research would become readily available. Thus, web-based training, online learning, e-learning, online instruction, distributed learning,interest-based learning and net-based learning all speak of the same thing (Hall and Snider, 2000; Urbanand Weggen, 2000). Similar also to e-learning and it related terms are technology-based learning (Urbanand Weggen 2000). Urban and Weggen shared that e-learning covers a wide set of applications andprocesses, including computer-based learning, web-based leaning, virtual classrooms, digitalcollaborations. For the purpose of their report, they further customized their definition to the delivery ofcontent via all electronic media, including the internet, intranet, extranets, satellite broadcast, audio/videotape, interactive TV and CD-ROM. They warned, however, that e-learning is defined more narrowly thandistance learning, which would including text-based learning and courses conducted via writtencorrespondence. Like Hall and Snider 2000), Urban and Weggen (2000) have set apart distance learningand e-learning in their glossaries, making in their glossaries however, online education inclusive andsynonymous to all computer-related applications, tools and processes that have been strategically aligned tovalue-added learning and teaching processes. Berge (1998) explained the difference between distance education and distance learning. Distanceeducation was seen as the formal process of distance learning, with information being broad in scope forexample, college courses. While, distance learning was seen as the acquisition of knowledge and skillsthrough mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning ata distance. This may be why most educational institutions used the term distance education. Institutional definition of distance education which the main tenets: training offered to learnerswho are in a different location than the source or provider of instruction. Berge (1998) went on to say thatthe technologies used in distance learning, the structure of a course or program, and the degree ofsupervision for a distance learning course can be varied to meet a particular’s group’s needs or interests. Reverting to Halls (2000) online education in all-inclusive form, distance learning plannedinteractive courses, as the acquisition of knowledge and skills at a distance through various technologicalmediums would seem to be one of online education possible disguises. Interestingly Urban and Weggen(2000) saw e-learning as a subset of online learning. With this review of terms, ‘Subset’ does not appear to be the most likely word to describe therelationship among the words and their forms. The definitions show a great depth of interdependenceamong themselves. While one scholar narrowly defines a term, another could give it the all encompassingpower. This communicates that e-learning, if given the all encompassing form, can be the larger circle ofwhich all other terms would be overlapping at different times and extents given their used intention.Another rationale is that “just-in-time” learning is a major advantage of e-learning but not of distancelearning. Distance learning purports planned courses or planned experiences. E-learning does not onlyvalue planned learning but also recognizes the value of the unplanned and the self directedness of thelearner to maximize incidental learning to improve performance. Online instruction is a continuum from basic use of technology in or around the conventionalphysical classroom (e.g. use of a course management system to distribute materials and track grades) towholly online delivery. Online instruction is the art of using internet; computer and other technologies toenhance teaching process or learning process. Online technologies such as computer and the internet can beused creatively for collaborative learning at anytime and anywhere. It enables sharing of knowledge, lessonplan, research project and notes. Apart from teachers and students, it also involves parents, field experts,international students, teachers and society via the internet, anytime and anywhere. New technologies 4
  • 5. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011associated with e-learning have created opportunities and threats to the institutional structure of highereducation, the learning patterns of individual and learning certification systems. E-learning or onlineinstruction is offering the potential for more accessible, flexible and cost-efficient (and even superior)higher education. Online instruction is viewed by some as central to fashioning higher education systems that are fit-for-purpose in the 21st century. A negative view (e-learning as threat) pictures e-learning as unproven,disrupting legitimate public control of higher education (e.g. enabling students in one country to takeprovision from another and undermining national quality assurance) and is incapable of replicating thedisciplinary breath and socialization of “traditional” Higher Education. Apart from these threats, there areothers affecting online instruction. Factors investigated in this study included inadequate facilities,classroom-culture, social pressure manpower skill, confidence, perceived ease of use, time constraint,obsession, perceived usefulness and enthusiasm. 2.2 Limitation; This study did not explore actual online teaching and learning practices. Responses were related torecent issues that may or may not be sustainable. In addition, we did not survey students for theirperceptions of online learning trends and possibilities.3.0 Method This study adopted an ex-post-facto survey design covering a cross-section of teachers in all thedepartments of faculty of Education, University of Ibadan. Data collected were subjected to factor analysis; which is a statistical approach that can be used toanalyze interrelationship among a large number of variables and to explain these variables in term of theircommon underlying dimension (factors).4.0 Results4.1 Research Question OneWhat perceived values are associated with teachers’ use of online Instruction?Table: Teachers Perceived Values for Use of online instructionS/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean Std.D1. I believe the computer 7 - - - 9 76 can be useful tool for teaching & learning (7.6) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (9.8) (82.6) 4.52 1.342. I don’t think there is 60 32 - - - - need for me to explore (62.5) (34.8) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) 0.35 0.48 any concept through computer and internet 5
  • 6. Journal of Education and Practice ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Table shows that the lecturers strongly agree that they believe the computer can be useful tool for teaching and learning ( X =4.53). They also strongly disagree that they do not think there is need for them to explore any concept through the computer and internet ( X = 0.35). From these, it can be inferred that the teachers perceived values are: (i) computers are useful tools for teaching and learning, (ii) There is need for them to explore concepts through computer and internet. 4.2 Research Question Two What is the influence of prior computer use experience on teacher in the current online instruction usage? Table: Summary of T-test Statistics shows Differences between those with prior knowledge in computer and those that do not have prior knowledge in Computer compare to their level of computer usage. Variable (Computer N Mean Standard T Degree of Sig/P Remark usage) Deviation Freedom Those without Not Significant Prior knowledge of 7 21.0 4.8.6 -1.662 89 .100 computer Those with prior Knowledge of computer 84 26.3 8.27 Table shows that there is no significant difference between lecturers with prior knowledge and those without computer experience in their level of computer usage. (t=-1.662); df = 89; p > 0.05. This implies that prior knowledge has no significant influence on the computer usage of lecturers or prior computer experience of teachers has no significant influence on their online instruction usage. 4.3 Research Question Three What is the perceived influence of Organizational culture toward online instruction usage? Table: Perceived influence of Organizational culture towards Online Instruction Usage.S/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean Std.D1. Educational culture in the 10 13 10 5 46 8 faculty is ready for online (10.6) (14.1) (10.7) (5.4) (50.0) (8.7) 2.96 1.59 instruction2. Online instruction can be - 9 - 16 35 22 easily implemented in my (0.0) (9.8) (0.0) (17.4) (38.0) (23.9) 3.55 1.24 department3. The University Authority - 7 - 29 41 15 6
  • 7. Journal of Education and Practice ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 plays an important role in (0.0) (7.6) (0.0) (31.5) (44.6) (16.3) 3.62 1.01 support of the use of online instruction4. There are no technical 14 7 6 9 33 23 supports for teacher to use (15.2) (7.6) (6.5) (9.8) (35.9) (25.0) 3.18 1.76 online instruction in the faculty Table shows that the lecturers slightly agreed that the culture in the faculty is ready for online instruction ( X =2.96); they also agreed that the online instruction can be easily implemented in the department. ( X =3.35); they agreed that the University Authority plays an important role in support of the use of online instruction. ( X =3.62) and slightly agreed that there are no technical supports for teacher to use online instruction in the Faculty ( X = 3.18). This shows that (i) Online instruction is welcomed in the departments (ii) adequate support of the University Authority for online instruction (iv) Availability of Technical supports for teacher to use online instruction. 4.4 Research Question four What is the perceived benefit/drawback of using online instruction for teaching/ learning and research among teachers? 4.4.1 Table: The Perceived Benefit of Using Online InstructionS/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean Std.D1. Online instruction has - 7 - - 61 24 potential of practicing team (0.0) (7.6) (6.0) (0.0) (66.3) (26.1) 4.03 0.98 work and sharing knowledge2. Online instruction is able to 7 - - - 54 31 promote the acquisition of (7.6) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (58.7) (33.7) 4.03 1.25 skills (e.g. communication skills, computer skill, problem solving skill etc) Table shows that the lecturers agreed that online instruction has potential of practicing team work and sharing knowledge ( X = 4.03); they also agreed that online instruction is able to promote the acquisition of skills ( X = 4.03). This implies that the perceived benefits are: (i) The potentials of practicing teamwork and sharing knowledge (ii) promoting the acquisition of skill (e.g. communication skills, computer skill and problem solving skills). 4.4.2 Table: The Perceived drawbacks of using online instruction for teaching & learning.S/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean SLD1. There are insufficient number of 5 3 7 12 42 23 computers in my department for (5.4) (3.3) (7.6) (13.0) (45.7) (25.0) 3.65 1.32 teaching and learning2. There is insufficient internet 7 - - 3 36 46 access in my department for (7.6) (0.0) (0.0) (3.3) (39.1) (50.0) 41.6 1.32 teaching and learning 7
  • 8. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Table shows that the lecturers agreed that there are insufficient number of computer in their departmentsfor teaching and learning ( X = 3.65). They also agreed that there is insufficient internet access in theirdepartments for teaching and learning. This implies that the perceived drawbacks for using onlineinstruction in Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan are: (i) insufficient number of computer forteaching and learning in the departments (ii) Insufficient internet access in the department.4.5 Research Question fiveWhich of the following factors affect the perceived readiness of teachers for online instruction? enthusiasm,classroom culture, social pressure perceived usefulness, confidence, time constraints obsession, ease of use,inadequate facilities and manpower skills.Table: Factors affecting perceived readiness of teachers for online instructions. CoefficientsModel Non-standardized Standardized T Position Sign. Coefficients Coefficients Β Std.err or BetaConstants -2.958 .620 - -4.769 .000Enthusiasm 1.236 .120 .352 10.316 3rd .000 SignificantClassroom -6.22E-02 .164 -0.052 -0.380 8th .705cultureSocial pressure -0.122 0.104 -0.32 -1.182 9th .241Perceived .168 .068 .072 2.458 5th .016 SignificantusefulnessConfidence -338 .084 -.206 -4.034 4th .000 SignificantTime .227 .106 .067 2.152 6th .034 SignificantconstraintObsession -.162 .065 -.062 -2.478 7th .015 SignificantEase of use 1.623 .306 .414 5.299 2nd .000 SignificantInadequate -4.34E.02 .069 -.020 -.628 10th .532facilitiesManpower 772 .149 .573 5.185 1st .000 SignificantskillsThe table above shows that manpower skills, has the highest significant contribution (β=0.573; t = 5.185; p<0.05); followed by ease of use (β=0.414; t=5.299; p <0.05); followed by enthusiasm (β=0.352; t = 10.316;p <0.05); followed by confidence (β= -0.206; t = -4.034; p <0.05); followed by perceived usefulness(β=0.072; t = 2.458; p <0.05); followed by obsession (β=-0.062; t=-2.478; p<0.05). Other i.e., classroomculture, social pressure and inadequate facilities have no significant contribution.5.0 Findings; 8
  • 9. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 The findings show that the following factors affects the perceived readiness of teachers for onlineinstruction: Enthusiasm, Manpower skills, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use obsession,confidence, time constraint, classroom culture social pressure, inadequate facilities. It also shows factors affecting teachers perceived readiness and have significant contribution as;manpower skill, confidence, perceived ease of use, time constraint, obsession, perceived usefulness andenthusiasm while those factors with no significant contribution are; inadequate facilities, classroom-cultureand social pressure.5.1 Implication of the Findings;The findings from this study bring a number of issues to light. • There is an obvious need for Universities to adopt a proactive approach to the issue of integrating online instruction into the job functions of our Nigeria University lecturers. The current technological deterministic approach is obviously flawed as this study has shown that by simply providing computers or internet access does not ensure that the equipment will either be used at all or used effectively by these lecturers. • Organizational facilitation especially towards the use of online instruction by lecturers is important. Their needs have to be catered for in the University especially the need to provide functional resource centers where lecturers who have problems (with information and communication equipment or software) can go and receive prompt attention whenever they run into problems with using online instruction. • Another implication of this is the need to ensure that academics are equipped with the skills to effectively, search, retrieve and evaluate materials from the internet and they can also serve as role models of effective internet use and help train peers, aside from formal training programmes that might be organized by the University.Over all, the findings indicates the need for a review of existing policies, training programmes andinfrastructural support, to help lecturers fully exploit online instruction in teaching, learning and research.6.0 Conclusions; It can be concluded from this study that the teachers have the right perception for onlineinstruction as they are aware of the perceived benefits and usefulness of online instruction in theeducational system. Time constraints, perceived usefulness, poor confidence, perceived ease of use, andlow enthusiasm are a relatively common phenomenon among lecturers in the faculty of Education,University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Therefore awareness, seminar and workshop should be provided toencourage the use of online instruction among lecturers in Nigeria Universities.ReferencesAdeya, C. N. and Oyelearan-Oyeyinka, B. 2002. The Internet in African Universities: Case studies from Kenya and Nigeria. Study carried out for the Institute of New Technologies (INTECH), United Nations University, Maastricht, The Netherlands: UNN / INTECH 100 – 109p.Agbonlahor, R. O. 2005. Utilization levels and Attitudes towards Information Technology among University lecturers. (Doctor of Philosophy) Africa Regional Centre for Information Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Thesis 102 – 181p.Ahmed, H. 2006 “The impact of erectness on e-Government in Developing Nations – case study of Egypt” proceedings of the 17th Information Resources Management Association International Conference on Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management. Washington DC, USA, 21 – 24 May 2006. 9
  • 10. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Ajayi, A., Olatokun, W. M. and Tiamiyu, M. A. 2001. Computer anxiety, phobia, obsession and Work stress at the University of Ibadan: part 1 – prevalence and correlates. African Journal of Libraries, Archives and Information Science, 11 (2), 167 – 183p.Auzten, B 2007. Quality of usage as a neglected aspect of information technology acceptance. Retrieved May 30, 2010 from paper 2007 Quality of usage.pdfBerge, Z. L. 1998. Conceptual frame works in Distance Training and Education. In Schreiber, D. A. and Berge, Z. L. (eds.), Distance Training: How innovative Organizations are using technology to maximize learning and meet business objectives. (Pp.13 -36). San Francisco: Jossey – Bass.Hall, B. (2000). New Study seeks to bench-mark enterprises with world-class e-learning in place. E- learning 1(1)18-29.Hall, B., and Snider, A. (2000). Glossary: The hottest buzz words in the industry.Hopkins, J. D. (1996). Information Technology and the Information Society in Europe: expectations and barriers to the Implementation of New Media in Higher Education and Research Sector. Deploy project summary Report, August 1996. Prepared for the Confederation of European Union Reactor’s Conference. Retrieved January 4, 2000 from http://www.uta.fl/FAST/JH/iteurope.htmlIhekeronye. C.P. (2010), factors affecting teachers readiness for online instruction, A case study of faculty of Education, University Ibadan. M.ED Thesis. Unpublished.Moron, J.W. and Kim, Y.G 2001. Extending the TAM for a world-wide context. Information and Management. 38, 217 – 230.Urban, T. A. and Weggen, Z. 2000. Corporate e-learning: Exploring a New Frontier Webber, C. G. et al. Journal of Software, Vol. 2 No. 1. Retrieved on 18th August, 2010 from 10
  • 11. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Relevance of Competency Based Training in Polytechnic Education for National Development Emmanuel Amankwah Email: trustee7a@ yahoo.comReceived: October 2nd, 2011Accepted: October 11th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractThe educational system in Ghana has undergone various forms of transformation over the last few decades.These transformations aim at improving the educational system to produce the right caliber of graduates fornational development. The Ministry of Education in 1987 introduced new educational system whichgradually replaced the British-based G.C.E Ordinary and Advanced level systems. In September 2007, thecountry gave birth to another educational reform which emphasized on Science, Mathematics, Technology,and Technical & Vocational Educational Training (TVET). This is to provide employable skills forgraduates and help reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country. Over the years, TVET has beenlimited to the apprenticeship, vocational and technical institutions. Learning at the tertiary level has alwaysbeen the acquisition of theoretical knowledge with very little hands on training. Industries have no otheralternative than to give their employees many weeks of “on the job training”. Introduction of CompetencyBased Training (CBT) at the polytechnics which aims at providing graduates with the employable skills istherefore welcoming news and must be cherished and sustained by all. CBT is the acquisition ofappropriate knowledge, attitudes, personal traits and skills to efficiently perform work place roles inindustry, commerce, management and administration. This paper highlights the need for polytechnics torun their programmes on the principles of CBT. It outlines the importance of CBT in polytechniceducation, gives overview of the structure of the CBT curriculum, its development and implementation inagricultural engineering, assessment criteria and challenges. It was concluded with some recommendations.Keywords: competency based training, curriculum development, polytechnic education, competency andskills1.0 IntroductionThe growing need of Technical and Vocational Educational Training for national development has broughtseries of educational reforms over the last few decades. In 1987 the Ministry of Education introduced a neweducational system which gradually replaced the British-based ‘O’ and ‘A’ level system. After 20 years ofit existence, it has become necessary to introduce another reforms which could address pertinent nationaland international challenges. The current reform which was introduced in September 2007 focuses on therole of science, mathematics, technology, technical and vocational training and ICT. The goal is to impartgraduates with essential skills needed for personal growth, community development and exploitation ofeconomic opportunities. The herald of Competency Based Training (CBT) into the polytechnic educational system will provide thenecessary skills and competencies in graduates for sustainable development (Gasper, 2005). ThePolytechnics have been mandated to train graduates for industry, commerce, business and administration.This is indeed a challenge to our educational system. The concept and principle of CBT in the educationalparadigm could be connected to the 3Rs: learn what is relevant; learn far more rapidly; and learn forredistribution. This statement emphasizes on the acquisition of basic skills and knowledge to produce the 11
  • 12. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011desired outcome. Competency Based Training has been found to be an appropriate training instrument forindustry and business (Delker, 1990).1.1 DefinitionsCompetency: A competency is a combination of knowledge, skills, personality traits and attitude forproper functioning of a professional situation.Skill: A task or group of tasks performed to a specific level of competency or proficiency through the useof instrument, equipment and other tools.Competency Based Training is therefore a way of approaching (vocational) training that places primaryemphasis on what a person can do as a result of training (the product), and as such represents a shift awayfrom the emphasis on the process involved in training (the inputs). It is concerned with training to industryspecific standards rather than an individuals achievement relative to others in the group (Wolny, 1999).A practical example of competency is that “when medical doctor is to persuade an overwrought andheadstrong patient to rest fully and take the proper medicine, the doctor will need the following to managethe situation:Knowledge: must be able to identify or diagnose the symptoms leading to overwrought (e.g. stress andsleeplessness) and also prescribe the right medicine for the patient.Skills: must be able to handle basic equipment such as stethoscope and communicate effectively. Forinstance, he must be able to communicate unpleasant news to the family of a patient in a reassuring way tomake them accept the news with ease.Personality traits: everybody has an innate trait which might be essential to the profession. The doctorneeds patience, exactitude, honesty and other characteristics to enable him persuade and convince hispatients that he is a good doctor.Attitudes: every profession has standards, ethics and values. The doctor must work within these principlesand exhibit the right attitudes towards the profession.Also a mechanical engineer must acquire all the above competencies in addressing a problem insomebody’s vehicle. He must be able to diagnose a fault in an engine and fix that fault without difficulty(Grit et al. 2006)In summary, CBT= Do It Yourself (DIY) = Knowledge + Skills + Attitudes + Personality Traits1.2 Principles of Competency Based Training Student Centred The student is the active player. The student generates the learning goals and is responsible for his or herown learning activities in terms of time and rate. The lecturer as a coach guides the student to develop these competencies. Task Based Learning activities are directed towards performing the professional task. This ensures active learning instead of passive learning. Competence OrientedLearning tasks are formulated to develop competencies that are needed to perform the professional tasks of the student’s future working environment.1.3 Diagrammatic representation of the development of CBT curriculum of Agricultural EngineeringThe development of Competency Based Training curriculum was quite strenuous and very expensive.Below is a flow chart which represents the development of CBT. 12
  • 13. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Professional task Personal Development Plan Task Analysis Who am I What are my capabilities? What do I want to become/achieve Where do I fit in there? Learning Task How do I get there? Readers Assessment Lessons Practical Routines Demonstrations Trainings Individual studies Figure 1: Flow chart of CBT curriculum development1.4 Methodology and Expansion of the various items in the curriculum development of CBTProfessional Task: the Professional tasks are basically the modules of each course and was developedusing the results of job market survey undertaken by staff of the Agricultural Engineering Department ofBolgatanga, Ho, Tamale and Wa Polytechnics. The staff was divided into 7 groups of 3 participants each.They visited various industries, irrigation schemes, organizations and civil services in Tema, Ho, Accra andthe surrounding communities to find out the roles of agricultural engineers. The results were grouped andsimilar jobs were combined and others were critically analysed. The professional tasks were thenformulated from the outcome of the job market surveyed. 13
  • 14. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Learning task: the learning tasks were generated from the Professional tasks after a critical task analysishad been carried out. The learning tasks were all geared towards the realization of the professionalassignment. Lesson plans (lectures), practical lessons, demonstrations and routines were prepared for thestudents to enhance their acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Time is also allocatedfor their individual studies. The learning task is concrete, authentic and whole task experience. They areorganized in a simple to complex sequence of task classes. This implies that the learning tasks increase indifficulty as the student progresses. It also enjoys high level of support at the initial stages and the supportdisappears at the end of the task class. This process is referred to as scaffolding (Merrienboer et al. 2002).Readers: readers are reference materials prepared for the students to facilitate their learning processes.They contain all relevant information required to accomplish the professional task. References to specificbooks, journals, magazines and reports are also given to the students to enhance their studies at the library.Assessment: students are then assessed in theory and practical including industrial attachment. Thestudents must pass both the theory and practical assessment before they can progress to the next stage oftheir studies.Personal development plan is also prepared for the students and run concurrently with the professionaltask. This is all about students’ goals, ambitions, and aims and how to realize them in relation to theprofessional task and future career. Students are guided to develop their work on their development plan byasking certain questions about their personality. This is to help shape their attitudes and personal traits.They ask questions such as: • Who am l? • What are my capabilities? • What do I want to become / achieve? • Where do I fit? • How do I get there?Students will continue to manage and review their personal development plans until they complete theirprogramme of study.2.0 Structure of Competency Based Training CurriculumThe structure of CBT involves the development of formats for the professional task, learning task whichcomes with the various items as depicted in figure 1. The sample formats where were designed anddeveloped by the lecturers of the four polytechnics are presented at the annex. The curriculum also comeswith teaching guide which contains all the materials and information needed by the lecturer (coach) tofacilitate the learning process of the student andlearning guide, which also contains all materials and information required by the student to perform theprofessional task.3.0 Assessment in Competency Based TrainingStudents are assessed on knowledge, skills and attitudes but emphasis is on the acquisition of skills.Assessment involves both internal and external assessors. During the assessment, a person from theindustry or any other organization with an in depth knowledge in the topic is invited to take part in theassessment. Examinations are conducted to test students knowledge acquisition but do not form the basisfor progression. Assignments are based on the formulation of real life situation and the use of simulations.A combination of ORCER (Observe, Record, Classify, Evaluate and Report) and LSD (Listening, 14
  • 15. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Summarising and Deepening) methods are also used during the assessment of students in practicalexamination sessions to assess the competencies of the students. List of generic competencies and theirdescriptions are presented in the annex.3.1 RubricsTo avoid or reduce the temptation of awarding marks based on the lecturer’s opinion and judgment, Rubricis used in assessing the students as well as the assessment criteria. Rubric is a set of criteria and standardslinked to the learning objectives. It makes grading simpler and more transparent. Sample of the rubric formis presented in the annex.3.2 Industrial AttachmentIndustrial attachment forms an important component of CBT curriculum. It forms 16 credits of the totalcredit hours. Various job profiles have been identified where students are expected to have their attachmentand possible placement after graduation. It is designed to help students to learn and familiarize themselveswith real life situation at the industries. It also helps students to network and make contacts so as to get jobeasily after graduation. It also guides students to make appropriate choices in terms of career development.Sample industrial attachment assessment form is presented in the annex.4.0 Uniqueness of CBT in Polytechnic EducationWhile the new educational reform emphasises on science, mathematics and technology as well as technicaland vocational education and training to position the country for accelerated development, polytechnics areto structure all their programmes to conform to the principles of CBT. Polytechnics unlike the universitiesare mandated to provide tertiary education in the field of manufacturing, commerce, science, technology,applied science and arts. The polytechnics therefore have a herculean task of training graduates to fill themiddle level man power needed for industry, commerce, business and administration. Competency BasedTraining however, seeks to address the above challenges through the principle of “do it yourself”.Nonetheless, CBT programme should be executed in an environment that duplicates or simulates the workplace (Norton, 1987).Unlike the traditional method of teaching which results only in passive learning, CBT ensures that studentsengage in active learning because the unit of progression is mastery of specific knowledge and skills. Thetraditional system is associated with information or memory overload, inadequate time for real learningprocess but rather memorization, lecturer directed and time bound; even though the traditional system alsohas some advantages such as large students’ enrolment, large amount of information delivered per lectureand the lecturer having command over the learning process.Among the things which make CBT more relevant to polytechnic education are: • The student requires less training on the job and acquires working experience more rapidly • Industrial attachment forms a major component of the programme thus graduates fit more easily into the job market after graduation. • The students develop their own learning goals and time frame and learning experiences are oriented by continuous feedback. • The student develops competencies and skills relevant for the job market • Learning is flexible but challenging, and does not require traditional examinations to determine the progress of the students. • Learning guide, practical manuals and readers (reference materials) are made available to students. • CBL does not require detailed study of subjects that are irrelevant to the performance of the Professional tasks. • It makes teachers prepare thoroughly and in advance and respect the choice of the students. • The curriculum is flexible in terms of study time per student. This means that students progress at their own pace and not at the pace of the teacher.4.1 Challenges 15
  • 16. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011CBT is very expensive and comes with its own challenges both in curriculum development andimplementation (Agodzo & Songsore, 2005). Already, there are plans to convert most of the polytechnicprogrammes into CBT. The challenges outlined below and many others are to be considered seriouslybefore new CBT programmes are introduced by all polytechnics. The National Accreditation Board (NAB),National Commission for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and National Board for Professional and TechnicalExamination (NABPTEX) should therefore work together to address some of the pertinent challenges toensure the successful transition of polytechnic programmes into CBT. These challenges are likely toimpede the successful implementation of CBT programmes: • Commitment of polytechnics to provide adequate resources, training materials and consumables for CBT. • Too much work load on lecturers thus they work beyond the recommended teaching load. • Conflict of CBT time tabling and the traditional time table • Difficulty in getting industrial attachment places for CBT students • Lack of adequate equipment for CBT programmes • Cost of photocopies of readers (reference materials) put too much financial stress on CBT students5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations5.1 ConclusionThe CBT emphasises on the product students demonstrate after their training period and focuses onpractical training in ensuring that students acquire the necessary competencies and skills. It begins with aclear identification of competencies and skills students need to master and state clearly the criteria andconditions by which performance are assessed which are made available to the students in advance(Norton, 1987)Competency based system may be new to most of the polytechnics but the concept and approach have beenaccepted worldwide in industries and many training organizations. Industrialists, scholars and opinionleaders are all emphasising on technical and vocational training thus the polytechnics are challenged tocome out with new modalities and teaching methodologies that address the training needs of the nation.Competency Based Training has therefore come at an appropriate time to ensure that graduates acquire thenecessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and personal traits to efficiently perform professional roles. This is inline with the old Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.”5.2 RecommendationsTo ensure the success and sustainability of CBT, the following are recommended: • There should be enough funding necessary for CBT training and purchase of equipment • Stronger links and collaboration with industry and private sector for industrial attachment • Commitment and support from all stakeholders in polytechnic education is necessary for sustainability of CBT • Trainers/lecturers should be motivated so as not to slip back to the traditional system of teaching • Training materials and consumables should be made available by the polytechnicsAcknowledgementI would like to thank the facilitators of the NUFFIC-NPT project which resulted in the replacement of thetraditional curriculum of the Agricultural Engineering programme into CBT. I want to also thank thevarious Rectors of the four polytechnics (Bolgatanga, Ho, Tamale and Wa) for the leadership role theyplayed during the design, development and implementation of the CBT programme. I would like say bravoto all my colleagues for the team work and the commitment exhibited to get the work done. I wish to alsothank the various authors whose works were used as references. Thank you all. 16
  • 17. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011References: Afeti, G., Kantey R.A., Ibrahimah, M.Z. & Agodzo, S.K. (2006), Proposal for a new curriculum in Agricultural Engineering at the polytechnics in Ghana based on Competency Based Learning. Unpublished Agodzo, S.K. & Songsore, J. (2005). Competency Based Learning; the Case of Wa Polytechnic of Ghana. Proceedings of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) Seminar on the Role of Technical Education in Africa in the Post Secondary Millennium Era)’ Qualitype Limited, Accra. Delker P.V. (1990), Basic Skills Education in Business and Industry: Factors for Success or Failure. Contractor Report, Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress. Gasper, O.A. (2005), Competency Based Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum for Human Capital Development in Nigeria. Proceedings of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) Seminar on the Role of Technical Education in Africa in the Post Secondary Millennium Era)’ Qualitype Limited, Accra. Grit, R., Guit, R & Sijde N.V. (2006), Managing Your Competencies; Personal Development Plan. Wolters-Noordhoff Groningen / Houten. Netherlands Merrienboer, J.J.G., Clark, R.E. & Croock, B.M. (2002), Blueprints for Complex Learning: The 4C / ID-Model. Vol. 50, No. 2 Norton R. E. (1987), Competency-Based Education and Training: A Humanistic and Realistic Approach to Technical and Vocational Instruction. Paper presented at the Regional Workshop on Technical/Vocational Teacher Training in Chiba City, Japan. ERIC: ED 279910. NUFFIC CBT workshops (2005-2008), Curriculum design, development and implementation. Bolgatanga, Ho, Tamale and Wa Polytechnics. Wolny, M. (1999), Competency Based Training in the Aviation Environment. Appendix Structure of Competency Based Training CurriculumProfessional Task format: Course AE 141: Irrigation Water ManagementShort DescriptionTimeLT 1LT 2LT 3LT 4LT 5LT 6L.SOURCESSupportiveinformation 17
  • 18. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Total MaterialsGeneral CompetenciestrainedAssessmentLearning Task Format: LT 131.1: Estimating the water requirement of the cropShort DescriptionSupportive InfoJIT-infoLevel of SupportMaterials Steps Ex Activities Attend Lecture Individual Study Supporting learning activities Group Work Attend Demo Do Practical Acquire skills-routine Participate in workshop Train Competency Hrs TotalLesson Plan Format: L 1.1 Introduction to water management in irrigationSubjectSpecific ObjectivesTime Phase Resources120min Remarks20 min Orientation50 min Exploration 18
  • 19. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 201130 min Evaluation20 min TransferField Practical Format: P 141.1 Taking Field Data on the SoilStudent instructionPractical subjectTimeLearning objectivesContextDescription of assignmentInstructionReflectionLecturer instructionOrganizationActivities of lecturer NUFFIC Workshop, 2007Format of Competency AssessmentAssessment form task AE131 scoreAssessment criteria Fail Pass Good Excellent Has the student: 1. PLAN AND ORGANISE Students organize work in an appropriate sequence 1. Clear statement of the objective. {level 2 No 1} 2. Written presentation of sequential arrangement of things to be done. {level 2 No 2} 3. Good time plan with respect to the sequence of things to be done. {level 2 No 3 4. Adequate organizational skills. {level 2 No 4} 2. TO GATHER INFORMATION On appropriate materials, tools, and methods. 1. Has the student been using the right toolsequipment in getting the information? {level 2 No 1} 2. Has the student been using the right approach? {level 2 No 2} 19
  • 20. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 3. Is the information gathered relevant to the PT? {level 2 No 3} 4. Has sufficient information been gathered? {level 2 No 4}Total Grade Rubrics for competencies Competency Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 INDUSTRIAL ATTACHMENT ASSESMENT FORM Please complete this confidential assessment form and give it to the student in a sealed envelope. Kindly sign across the envelope before giving to the student.NAME OF STUDENTINDEX NUMBER / YEAR OF STUDENT HND PROGRAMME/COURSENAME & ADDRESS OF ORGANIZATION(name, addr, tel, mail)DEPARTMENT ASSIGNEDDURATION OF ATTACHMENT 0 = Void 1 = Weak 2 = Minimum 3 = Average COMPETENCIES 4 = Good 5 = Outstanding 0 1 2 3 4 5 COMMENTS SPECIFIC TASKS1 0 1 2 3 4 52 0 1 2 3 4 53 0 1 2 3 4 54 0 1 2 3 4 5 GENERAL EMPLOYMENT SKILLS1 Ability to complete work on schedule 0 1 2 3 4 52 Ability to follow instructions carefully 0 1 2 3 4 53 Ability to take initiative 0 1 2 3 4 54 Ability to work with a little bit of supervision 0 1 2 3 4 5 20
  • 21. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 20115 Ability to work with other staff 0 1 2 3 4 56 Adherence to organization’s rules & regulations 0 1 2 3 4 57 Adherence to safety and environmental rules 0 1 2 3 4 58 Resourcefulness 0 1 2 3 4 5 ATTITUDE TO WORK1 Attendance to work 0 1 2 3 4 52 Punctuality 0 1 2 3 4 53 Desire to work 0 1 2 3 4 54 Willingness to accept new ideas and suggestions 0 1 2 3 4 5 HUMAN RELATIONS1 Relationship with subordinates 0 1 2 3 4 52 Relationship with colleagues 0 1 2 3 4 53 Relationship with superiors 0 1 2 3 4 54 Ability to control emotions when provoked 0 1 2 3 4 5Additional Comments Total score Name of Supervisor: General remarks ………………………………………. (TO BE COMPLETED BY HEAD OF DEPARTMENT) Signature and StampNumber of credit hours …………………………..Recommended score / grade Place: Date:Signature: Date: ……………………., ……………….Source: CBL – NUFFIC Workshop, 2007List of generic competencies and their descriptions .Generic Competencies Description To Observe Observe and identify with respect to the task the signal, problems, trends, needs and opportunities in the performance of a whole job. To Reflect Describe properly own behaviour and performance and make an analysis to detect points for change or improvement. To Train Provide a participatory training using different teaching methods. To Coach Coach and guide workers and learners. 21
  • 22. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 To Record/Report Prepare a report, arranging the topics / chapters oriented on specific target groups of readers. To Work methodically Work in a methodical way using appropriate tools at the right moment, using adequate procedures. To Gather information Gather information relevant for optimization of the analysis. To Plan/Organize Derive a plan from the objectives to be achieved and plan / organize the work within the standard schedule for execution. To Implement/Execute Implement by following strictly the supplied instructions.To make Oral presentation Give an understandable presentation in very clear, orderly, logical well structured way. To Optimize Optimize the performance of people, materials and other inputs by following instructions. To Assess Assess the analysis following the standard instruction and map out standard strategies to provide solutions. To cooperate Ability to work with others (peers, known people) without difficulties in the group. A requirement for associates with people, group work, listening ability, devotion and confidence in people. To Control Control the quality and quantity of the materials and product, by comparing at recommended acceptable standard. To Analyse Analyze the gathered information, by comparing the standard instruction and information.Source: Afeti et al. Proposal for a new CBL curriculum in Agric. Eng., 2006. 22
  • 23. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Parliamentary Committee System in Bangladesh: Functional Analysis of different Parliamentary Committee. Md. Ruhul Amin (Corresponding Author) Lecturer, Department of Public Administration, Comilla University. Bangladesh. Cell: +8801712290298; E-mail: Mohammad Maksudur Rahman, MBA Deputy Registrar, South East University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801715702222; E-mail: Mst. Saria Sultana M.Phil (Researcher), Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801719185130; E-mail: sariasultana_kst@yahoo.comReceived: October 1st, 2011Accepted: October 12th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011Abstract:“Parliamentary Committee System in Bangladesh: Functional Analysis of different ParliamentaryCommittee.” this article examines the patterns and performance of Parliamentary Committees inBangladesh. Committees are ubiquitous. They are found in all types of parliamentary old or new, large orsmall, The Jatiya Sangsad, as the parliament is called in Bangladesh, is no exception. The evidencepresented in this paper clearly shows that the committees set up by recent parliaments have fared far betterthan their predecessors in almost every function, including scrutinizing legislation and exercising oversightover executive departments. The creation of an elaborate committee system is necessary, but is notsufficient to ensure that it will work unless some other conditions are met. Comparative experience showsthat the recommendations of Parliamentary Committees are generally honored. But Bangladesh appears tobe a deviant case.Keywords: Jatiya Sangsad (JS), Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Committee on Government Assurance(CGA), ad hoc.1. Introduction:Bangladesh is a small but resourceful country of South Asia. Despite years of military and autocratic rule,Bangladesh enjoyed a popular familiarity with parliament that was much deeper than in many othercountries in the Third World. The parliament in Bangladesh is called Jatiya Sangsad (JS) and it is aunicameral parliament patterned after the Westminster model.In modern democracies, parliament has numerous duties. As a key state organ it examines the legislativelegislative proposals in the process of their passage and is entrusted with overseeing executiveresponsibilities and keeps an eye on government activities. Parliamentary committee system is the most vitalstructure that permits the legislators to divide up their labor and specialize in particular areas ofactivities. It is therefore the most significant legislative mechanism and is often referred to as“miniature legislatures” or “microcosms" of their parent bodies. Parliamentary committees in Bangladeshowe their origin to and gain legitimacy from two sources: the Constitution of the People’s Republic of 23
  • 24. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Bangladesh, and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament (rules). The constitution makes it mandatory forparliament to set up a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and a Privileges Committee, and empowers it toconstitute as many standing committees as it considers necessary. Committee members enjoy immunity forwhatever they say and/or the way they vote. Thus, parliamentary committees in Bangladesh formally enjoyimportant status and extensive powers.The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) has traditionally setup three types of committees: standing committees, selectcommittees, and special committees. The main difference between the different committees centre’s on theirnature of appointment. Standing committees are relatively permanent; they are normally constituted for theduration of the parliament. Special and select committees are ad hoc bodies; they cease to exist when theirjob is completed. Standing committees are generally classified into a number of categories, the mostimportant of which are DPCs. The other categories are scrutinizing committees, financial committees andhouse committees.2. Objectives of the Study:Focusing on the following issues this article attempts to assess the parliamentary committee system inBangladesh: An Analysis of its working, Bangladesh Parliaments with necessary Example and illustrations. 1) Formal arrangements of the committee system including composition, structure and functions of the committees. 2) Institutional mechanism affecting the functioning of the committee system in Bangladesh. 3) Performance of the committees of the Jatiya Sangsad regarding the legislative and overseeing processes. 4) The parliamentary committees and the society nexus focusing on the role of the media and the civil society.In today’s political systems, the legislative organ as the national representative body is consideredindispensable for proper governance. In democratic framework the working of the parliament andparliamentary structures in establishing responsible government can hardly be overemphasized. It istherefore argued that of all political institutions, none is more vital to the process of linking governors andgoverned in relationships of authority, responsibility, and legitimacy, than the modern legislature.3. Methodology of the study:The methodology applied in this Article is a combination of qualitative & quantitative approaches. Adoptingthe above approaches present Article intends to identify the role of historical forces and factors in theevolution and development of parliamentary committee system in Bangladesh.The Present Article analyzes working of the committees in the Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) by bringingtogether new information and data, most of which were unavailable in the existing literature. Data andinformation for this are collected from two sources: primary and secondary. The secondary source includesbooks, articles published in various journals, working papers and study reports which are found relevant forthe study. Seminar papers and publications of different political parties are also taken into consideration. Inaddition to the secondary sources, information and data are also collected from the primary sources. Much ofthe analyses are based on the examination of the parliamentary proceedings, committee reports and Rules ofProcedure of the JS. The socio-political characteristics of the committee members are calculated throughparliamentary records. Information is also gathered from the discussion with prominent political leaders,civil servants and academia.4. Literature Review:The role of parliamentary committee system can be understood in the contexts of its emergence andworking. Here, a review of the existing literature about various issues of the committee system will bediscussed. In the age of parliament, Committees, however, are referred to as working horses of theparliament. Until 1950s, parliamentary committee system was not studied deeply and extensively by the 24
  • 25. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011scholars. A pioneering comparative research on committee system was carried out in 1979 by a group ofscholars, titled Committees in Legislatures: A Comparative Analysis, edited by John D. Lees and MalcolmShaw. The Journal of Legislative Studies published a special issue in 1998, with some of these papers andagain appeared in a book in 1998 titled. The New Roles of Parliamentary Committees, edited by LawrenceD. Longley and Roger H. Davidson. In this book, scholarly works illustrate changing pattern of ninecommittee structures. They show that in many ways parliamentary committees have emerged as vibrant andnerve centre of democratic parliaments and have begun to define new and changing roles for themselves.Bangladesh Institute of Parliamentary Studies (BIPS) has taken a significant step in doing some researchworks on the Bangladesh parliament from different aspects. With the assistance of UNDP, BIPS haspublished nine monographs. This section reviews some of these monographs, particularly, which includedparliamentary committees in their discussions. Riazur Rahman Chowdhury analyses the parliamentary dutiesof the CAG in ensuring public sector accountability in the monograph titled Parliamentary Duties of theComptroller and Auditor-General in Bangladesh. This monograph examines the relationship between CAGand parliamentary committees (particularly PAC). In the monograph Women, Democracy and Parliament,author Barrister Rabia Bhuiyan analyses women representation in the parliament from historical aspects. Theauthor also examines their position in different political parties. In this research, the author gives a detailedaccount about women participation in the committee proceedings. She noted that during the seventhparliament, although the opposition Members boycotted the parliament, they were regular in the committeesessions. As a result the Members in the committees exerted more power and control over the Executive thanin the parliament. It is worth mentioning that during the seventh parliament women members have beenincluded in all committees. The author also identifies barriers to women’s participation in legislative process.Al Masud Hasanuzzamn in his Role of Opposition in Bangladesh Politics exclusively studies oppositionpolitics in Bangladesh from the first parliament to the seventh parliament. The writer in his research workshows that some of the important standing committees became moribund due to lack of legislativecompromise between the Treasury Bench and the opposition both in the fifth and the seventh legislatures.After the election of the fifth JS, committees were given greater emphasis in making the parliamenteffective. From this aspect, this article analyzes the performance of the committees. Similarly Nizam Ahmedgives a detailed account of the committee structure and procedure in his article, “Parliamentary Committeesand Parliamentary Government.” From this brief survey of the sources referred to above it is evident thatpartially they may shed Luster on some points or aspects of the research to be undertaken. They may come touse for the clarification of some ambiguities pertaining to the work. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume thatthis work will fit in the gap and ventilate or the materials relating to this work.5. Parliamentary Structure in Bangladesh: A Historical Account:Until the promulgation of martial law in 1958, there were two legislative assemblies constituted in theprovince of East Pakistan. The first Legislative Assembly was constituted in 1947 and continued untilMarch 1954. The second Assembly was elected in March 1954 and was dissolved in October 1958, whenthe military took over the state power. The parliamentary procedure, devices and committee structure wereinherited from the Bengal Legislative Assembly in accordance with the section 84(1) of the Government ofIndia Act 1935. The Assembly first appointed a Rules Committee on October 2, 1956 to make a draft Rulesof Procedure for the Assembly that appeared in 1958. But the Assembly was dissolved before itspresentation to the House. Like the National Assembly, there were two types of committees: the standingcommittees and the ad hoc select committees. The select committees were either selected by the Speaker orelected by the House. The Select committees were elected in the Assembly on the spur of the moment toscrutinize a particular bill as referred to them by the plenary. Such committees were ad hoc in nature astheir terms of reference were limited to examine and report on the referred bill. The Committee wasconstituted with not more than 17 members representing various parties and was chaired by the Minister incharge of the concerned department. At the committee stage, bills were discussed clause-by-clause. Expertsand representatives of special interest groups were called for gathering or for gaining opinions. Most of thebills passed by the Assembly were not sent to select committee. These were mostly non-controversial innature or ordinary amendment bills. 25
  • 26. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Among the standing committees the PAC was set up for each financial year with nine members includingthe Finance Minister as an ex-officio member. The committee members were elected by the assembly andthe chairperson was elected from among its members. The committee composition was roughlyproportional to the party strength in the Assembly. Its responsibilities were to scrutinize and report onappropriation of accounts of the provincial government by examining the report of the Auditor General.The experiences reveal that such a potential and powerful watchdog weapon could not work properly. Thereasons that made the committees dysfunctional are as follows: firstly, the Auditor-General’s office did notsubmit audit report to the Assembly duly; and secondly, the PAC meetings were not called regularly. Forexample, between 1948 and 1953, committee did not call any meeting. Explaining the delay the ChiefMinister accused the Auditor-General’s office for not submitting any appropriation statement since 1947.Despite all of these limitations, the PAC attempted to find out the irregularities in various governmentagencies and criticized some of them for lack of proper control of expenditure.61 Comparatively, PAC ofthe Second Assembly was far more active. It met more frequently and scrutinized more audit reports. FromAugust to December 1957, the PAC met nine times and examined the audit reports up to the period from1951-52.The House Committee was constituted with the Deputy Speaker as the chairperson and with six members.This committee looked after all the matters connected with the comfort of the members. TheAccommodation Committee was added to the Second Assembly to deal with any matter affectingaccommodation of the members in or out of the session. This committee consisted of six members with theChief Minister as the chairperson. The committee members were elected on the basis of proportionalrepresentation of the party. The parliament and the committee structure that were transplanted in Pakistandid not function properly. The legislators failed to develop necessary skill to compromise as solutions toconflicts. The parliaments at the central and provincial level could not resolve a wide variety of conflictsand differences within the society. In fact, the political elites who were in the government did not try toaccommodate the ideas of the opposition in the decision-making process. House was regulated by the oldROP and from July 22, 1974 onwards by the new ROP. According to the provisions of the old ROP (Rules77 to 233A), the JS had set up seven standing committees and the new ROP provided for four morestanding committees. The first parliament constituted eleven standing committees including three financialcommittees; two investigative committees (i.e. the Petitions Committee and the Government AssuranceCommittee) and six domestic committees. According to the ROP, the House appointed select committeesonly three times for the scrutiny of bills.65 It is observed that the first parliament could not ensure itssupremacy over the executive due to overwhelming majority of the government party and their refusal torecognize the opposition party officially. Soon, the parliamentary form of government was replaced by oneparty presidential form of the government in 1975.In a sweeping change, Bangladesh was placed under military rule in August 1975 and remained undermilitary dominated civilian regimes until December 1990. It is important to find out the nature of themilitary, which ruled over Bangladesh for such a long time. The political scientists observed that theprocess of politicization of armed forces in Bangladesh was linked with the tradition of colonial rule.During the colonial rule the British-Indian Army was not politically neutralized. They were trained with aview to promoting imperial interest. They were by nature anti-national, anti-political and anti-democraticand they kept themselves away from the mass peoples. After the independence in 1947, the Indiangovernment did not follow the methods of training, recruitment and motivation applied by the colonialrulers. On the contrary, the structures and regulations of the Pakistan army in many ways developed a closeresemblance to those of the British Indian Army. Hamza Alavi argued that the Pakistan army, which wasthe predecessor of the Bangladesh army, remained culturally and physically distanced from the civiliansector. This was reflected in their attitudes towards the political institutions. Regarding this aspect, thepolitical scientists analyze that the ambition of the army to capture political power was one of the mainreasons for the declaration of martial law in Pakistan in 1958. It is also argued that the Bangladesh army,which is the lineal descendant of the British-Indian and Pakistan Army, has inherited its orientation againstcivilian rule and its sensitivity to state power. Most of the military officers who led military coups since1970s were recruited and trained under the shadow of Ayub Khan’s martial law regime. The Ayub regime 26
  • 27. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011had affected them in many ways: they became confident that the military could play important rule in thepolitical system and they became sensitive to political power. Since the independence, the Bangladesharmy was in state power directly and indirectly about 15 years. During these periods, three parliamentshave been formed to civilianize the civil military government. It was expected that parliament would play aproper role in establishing parliamentary supremacy over the executive. But none of them had any realscope to minimize the executive dominance. In the real sense, the public did not have positive image ofthese parliaments. The legislative power of the parliament passed into the hands of the executive. Theparliament was frequently used as a tool for endorsing policies and granting legitimacy to rulers whoassumed power through unconstitutional means. The parliamentary image began to change after the fall ofthe military dominated civilian government in December 1990 by a mass upsurge. After the fall ofauthoritarian regime, the parliamentary system of government was reintroduced in 1991. From thebeginning of the democratic set up, committee system has gained importance for strengtheningparliamentary democracy in the country.6. Parliamentary committee’s formal-legal frame work:Parliamentary committees in Bangladesh owe their origin to and gain legitimacy from two sources: theConstitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament (Rules). Theconstitution makes it mandatory for parliament to set up a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and aPrivileges Committee, and empowers it to constitute as many standing committees as it consider s necessary.The Rules, on the other hand, specify the actual number of committee s to be set up and delineate theirformal scope of operation. These also specify the composition of different committees and prescribe someother important matters, such as the way(s) decisions are to be taken, the procedures to be followed toconvene meetings of a committee and the methods used for examining witness. A committee can sit whilethe parliament is in session. Normally, the sittings of a committee are held within the precincts of the House.However, if it becomes necessary to change the place of the sitting outside the House, it can be done with thepermission of the Speaker. Committee meetings are held in private and are not open to the public. Except forcommittee members and staff, no outsider s may attend when a committee is deliberating. A committee canregulate its sittings and the way it conducts its business. It can obtain cooperation if deemed necessary. Acommittee may appoint as many subcommittee s as it considers necessary. Each subcommittee has the powerof the main committee. The Rules, however, require that the order of reference to a sub-committee mustclearly state the point(s) for investigation. A committee has the power to send for persons, papers andrecords. No document submitted to a committee can be withdrawn or altered without its knowledge. Theconstitution also authorizes parliament to confer on committee s powers for enforcing the attendance ofwitness and examining them on oath, as well as for compelling the production of documents. Paradoxically,parliament, rather than taking measures to give effect to these provisions, has empowered the government todecline to produce a document on the grounds that its disclosure would be prejudicial to the safety or interestof the state. Committee members enjoy immunity for whatever they say and/or the way they vote. Thus,parliamentary committee s in Bangladesh formally enjoys important status and extensive powers.7. Working of different parliamentary committee system in Bangladesh:Parliamentary Committees formed exclusively of members of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) (Parliament) for suchpurposes as to evaluate legislative proposals and scrutinize activities of the executive government. In effect,these committees in most democracies provide a means of keeping the parliamentarians busy and feelinguseful and remaining watchful on the policy-management processes.The Constitution of Bangladesh provides provisions for establishing various parliamentary committees.The Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) is empowered through Article 76 of the Constitution to appoint anumber of standing committees, including the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee ofPrivileges, for the purposes of examining legislative proposals, considering bills, inquiring or investigatinginto the performance of the ministries, and reviewing measures for enforcement of laws for propergovernance. The rules of procedure framed by the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) itself guide and regulate functionaldetails, overall operation and terms of reference of these committees. There are provisions also for the 27
  • 28. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011formation of sub-committees within the committees. The standing committees in Bangladesh are generallygrouped into such categories as ministerial committees, finance and audit committees, and a number ofother committees of standing nature. These however, exclude select or special committees.The members of the standing committees are either appointed by the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) itself ornominated by the Speaker. Members of the financial and ministerial committees, including those of thecommittees on privileges, government assurances, rules of procedure and private members bills, areappointed by the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) while the members of the house committee and the business advisorycommittee, including the two committees on petitions and library, are nominated by the Speaker. Thesittings of the committees and their hearings and deliberations are held in private. In order to have quorumfor the sitting of a committee, the presence of one-third of the committee members is required. Agenda ofthe committees are addressed by a majority of the members present. The committee chair has a casting votein case of a tie of votes. The committees prepare their respective reports that are subsequently placed beforethe Jatiya Sangsad (JS) in session.The standing committees involve themselves in activities of the day-to-day parliamentary business and insuch other matters as facilities to be provided to the members of Jatiya Sangsad (JS), control of financialactions of the executive, examination of the functions of various ministries, and scrutinizing on matters ofspecific issues. The select committees are appointed on ad hoc basis to deal with the proposed bills. Inorder to examine and report on certain assigned subjects, special committees are also formed temporarily.The standing committees on ministries examine the activities of the executive government. They alsoreview bills and other issues referred to them from time to time by the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) in session. Theyare supposed to meet at least once a month to review and examine various affairs of the administration.Finance and audit committees are considered as special mechanisms of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) to performits supervisory role over the government expenditures. Thus the Public Accounts Committee chaired by amember of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) scrutinizes annual financial accounts and appropriations as approved,and pinpoints the irregularities of the government bodies with necessary recommendations and remedialmeasures. The Committee on Estimates examines estimates throughout the financial year and givessuggestions for ensuring economy and efficiency in governance process. Accounts and reports of publicinstitutions are reviewed by the Public Undertaking Committee, which points out the gap between theaffairs of the public offices and the on-going government policies. The functions which are discharged byother standing committees include: rights and immunities of the members of Jatiya Sangsad (JS), specificcomplaints made in the petitions, allocation of time for the stages of government bills, private membersbills, conduct of business in the house of Jatiya Sangsad and matters of procedure, enhancement of libraryfacilities, and accommodation facilities and other services for the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) members.Through the parliamentary committee system attempts are made to demand transparency and accountabilityof the government. The meetings of the standing committees are attended by senior members ofbureaucracy who explain their respective performance and, whenever necessary, submit information beforethe concerned committee. While scrutinizing administrative actions in the committees on ministries, thepeoples representatives keep themselves informed of the ongoing state business. In the process ofexamining accounts and public expenditure, the financial committees determine whether the governmentsfinancial powers are exercised properly and public money has been spent following the approvedprocedures.Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) has altogether organized its committee structure. The first Jatiya Sangsad(JS) had eleven committees. With the passage of time and increase of state business, the number ofstanding committees rose to 49 in the fifth Jatiya Sangsad (JS) and 46 in the seventh Jatiya Sangsad (JS).With this the number of sub-committees has also increased. Until the sitting of the seventh Jatiya Sangsad(JS) the ministers themselves headed the committees on ministries. In the fifth session of the seventh JatiyaSangsad (JS) an amendment to the rules of procedure was adopted under which no minister but only a 28
  • 29. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011member of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) was made chairman of each of these standing committees. This wasdone to give impetus to the committees for effectively demanding executive accountability.7.1. Finance Committees in Bangladesh:In order to examine draft bills and legislative proposals, to review the enforcement of laws and proposemeasures for such enforcement in relation to any matter referred to it by Parliament as a matter of publicimportance, investigate or enquire into the activities of administration of ministry and to perform any otherfunction assigned to it by Parliament Article 76 of the Constitution of Bangladesh provides the scope forformation of standing committees of Parliament from among its members. These committees are:A) A Public Accounts Committee;B) A Committee of Privileges; andC) Such other standing committees as the Rules of Procedures of Parliament require.From the functional point of view these committees may be classified as:1) Finance Committees;2) Other committees; and3) Standing Committees on Ministries.The following standing committees in respect of financial matters of the government form financecommittees:A) Public Accounts Committee (PAC);B) Committee on Estimates (CE) andC) Committee on Public Undertakings (CPU).Financial management in the government is as needful as oxygen in human living. Hence D.D white(Introduction to the Study of Public Administration, 1955) stated, "Finance and administration cannot bedivorced, every administrative act has financial implications as inseparable as a man and his shadow". It isbelieved that imprudent financial management alienates the people from the government, ultimatelyendangering latters existence. Since the finance committees perform the functions of watchdogs to overseefinancial management, these committees are of great importance. In order to make things transparent nominister is eligible to become member of these committees. If we go through the history of theparliamentary committee system in Bangladesh we can see that all these three committees were presentfrom the 1st Parliament in 1973. Only in the 3rd Parliament (1986-87) these finance committees were absent.7.1.1. Committee of Public Accounts (CPA):The CPA is commonly known as Public Accounts Committee (PAC). It is responsible for examination ofthe annual audited accounts of the public expenditure. It consists of not more than 15 members of theParliament other than ministers. The functions of the PAC are laid down in the Rules of Procedure ruleNo.233. The main functions of the Public Accounts Committee are to oversee: A) that the moneys shown in the accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for, and applicable to, the service or purpose to which they have been applied or charged; B) that the expenditure conforms to the authority which governs it; and C) that every re-appropriation has been made in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf under rule framed by competent authority .7.1.2. Committees on Estimates (CE): 29
  • 30. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011The Committee on Estimates is to examine the estimates presented before the Parliament as to whether theyare prepared with maximum possible efficiency and economy. This committee is also composed of notmore than ten Parliament members other than minister. Rule 235 has assigned the following functions tothis Committee: A) to report what economies, improvement in organization, efficiency or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates, may be effected; B) to suggest alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration; C) to suggest the form in which the estimates shall be presented to the House.7.1.3. Committee on Public Undertakings (CPU):The Committee on Public Undertakings constituted by the Parliament is meant for examination of theworking of the public undertakings. It shall consist of not more than ten Parliament Members other thanminister. The functions of the committee are specified in Rule 238 of the Rules of Procedure as follows: a) to examine the reports and accounts of the public undertakings specified in the Schedule IV; b) to examine the reports, if any, of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on the public undertakings; c) to examine, in the context of the autonomy any deficiency of the public undertakings, whether the affairs of the public undertakings are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices; [the Committees shall report to Parliament on remedy of irregularities and lapses of the public undertaking and recommend measures to free the institution from corruption and, if considered necessary, a part of its report in this respect may be sent to the Government before the report is placed before Parliament; and d) to exercise such other functions vested in the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Estimates in relation to the public undertakings specified in the Schedule IV as are not covered by clauses (a), (b) and (c) above and as may be allotted to the Committee by the Speaker from time to time: provided that the Committee shall not examine and investigate any of the following, namely: (i) matters of major Government policy as distinct from business or commercial functions of the public undertakings; (ii) matters of day-to-day administration; and (iii) matters for the consideration of which machinery is established by any special statute under which a particular public undertaking is established.7.2. Ad hoc Committees:The Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) traditionally sets up two types of ad hoc committees: the SelectCommittee on a Bill and Special Committees. The Rules of Procedure of the JS pledges in the Rule 266 thatthe Parliament may, by motion, appoint a Special Committee, which shall have such composition andfunction as may be specified in the motion. The Select Committee is traditionally established to examine abill if the member-in-charge of the Bill referred it to such a committee rather than a standing committee.7.3. Standing Committee on Ministry of Defense:Amongst the ministerial standing committees, the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Defense (laterDefense Committee) is the only committee of its kind that particularly scrutinizes the activities of the armedforces. Since the beginning of the fifth JS, the Defense committee took initiative for questioning the Defensepurchases, budget, Defense policy, civil recruitment, pension and other facilities.During the period of the seventh Jatiya Sangsad (JS), the Defense Committee first dealt with the frigatepurchase from a Korean bank port company, for the Bangladesh Navy, in November 1999. The discussionsin the committee and then decisions taken were projected in the front page of all the major daily newspapersfollowed by analyses by some Army officers and lawyers. Talking with the media, General Ibrahim marked 30
  • 31. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011this committee decision as “a landmark decision to establish human rights, civilian control over the ArmedForces and to strengthen democratic institutions”.Although the Defense Committee was active in scrutinizing armed forces issues but most of the decisionsand recommendations made by the committee were not properly implemented. In the words of the DefenseCommittee chairperson, “Even though the committees take decisions and make recommendations inpresence of ministers, the recommendations are not implemented." The committee proceedings unveiled thatthe ministerial standing committees were confined to reviewing some of the routine findings of ministriesand other agencies rather than in-depth investigation into budgetary and implementation performance.The committee thus suggested setting up of a task force for each ministry to settle their old audit objections.Though a large number of old audit objections have been discussed and settled in the PAC meetings, it wasnot possible for them to implement on practical grounds.21 However, the PAC of the fifth parliament tookan exemplary decision to set up an “Action Token” committee with seven members in its meeting on 17November, 1992 to review the progress of the implementation of decisions taken in the PAC meetings.The PUC dealt with the audit objections raised by the CAG to check the misappropriation of the publicfunds. Scrutinizing the audit reports on the DESA, the DESCO, the PDB and the REB, the PUC asked themto settle the pending audit objections within December 2005. The PUC in its meetings with the power sectororganizations expressed its concern about the lack of power generation. “The committee asked the PowerDivision to fix a uniform model for privatization of the billing system immediately to check power pilferageand systems loss”.7.4. Estimates Committee (EC):Among the financial committees, the Estimates Committee (EC) has traditionally remained very inactiveuntil 1990. However, theoretically, this committee has better potential than the other financial committees inensuring financial discipline. It was observed that the EC of the first and the second parliaments did notmake any important decision; they met in nine and five meetings respectively. The EC of the first parliamentprepared a special report but could not place it to the House because of the resistance from within the rulingparty. The Speaker first suggested showing of the report to the Chief Whip and the Law Minister. However,the Chief Whip gave his consent in favor of submission of the report but both the Speaker and the Lawminister objected to it. The EC had issued a circular in June 1997, requiring different organizations to supplythe copies of terms of reference of the consultants before they were appointed. It also asked for schedule oftender for undertaking public works and appointment of contractors for transport, purchase and sale beforeadvertisement.7.5. Committee on Government Assurance (CGA):The Committee on Government Assurance (CGA) has been a new beginning in examining the performancesof the ministries in implementing government assurances given on the floor since the seventh JatiyaSangsad (JS). Comparatively speaking, the CGA of the fifth parliament was less active in the fifth JS. It metonly in fourteen meetings, which means that the committee seriously failed to meet the mandatory meetingrequirement in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. The CGA of the seventh and the eighth parliamentsconvened their meetings more frequently. In the seventh parliament, the CGA convened, on an average, 10.3meetings per year which was increased to 10.6 meetings per year in the eighth parliament.7.6. The Petitions Committee:Among the Non-Ministerial Standing Committees, the Petitions Committee was traditionally inactive. Fromthe discussion with the committee members and staff it was appeared that the citizens rarely come to thecommittee as they were not aware about the jurisdiction of the Petitions Committee. Though it was foundmore active in the fifth and the seventh JS compared to the eighth JS. The parliamentary records reveal thatcovering the period from May 2002 to October 2005 altogether 21 petitions were submitted to the committeeof them 20 were rejected as these were not submitted properly according to the Rules of Procedure.Although under Rule232 of the Rules of Procedure the duty of the committee was to report on specificcomplaints made in the Petitions referred to the committee but the committee did not submit any report on 31
  • 32. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011the above petition. The Petition Committee of the fifth JS met in 27 meetings and submitted two reports.Among the petitions considered by the committee since 1991, one caught the attention of the media and thecivil society.7.7. Special Committees:As discussed earlier the Bangladesh Parliament may form a special committee if necessary. Among the post-1990 parliament, the fifth Parliament formed five special committees and one was appointed by the seventhJS while the eighth JS did not set up such committee. Among the special committees set up in the fifth JStwo committees dealt with legislative bills including the Indemnity Ordinance Bill, and the LocalGovernment (Zilla Parishad) Amendment Bill 1993. One special committee was appointed to deal with theviolence occurred in the educational institutions. These three special committees could not submit any reportto the House. The fifth JS appointed one special committee to deal with five remuneration bills regarding thePrime Minister, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Ministers and the MPs. This committee submitted areport to the House and considering the committee report remuneration was increased. Another specialcommittee was formed to investigate complains regarding the corruption of the Agriculture Minister. Thisspecial committee held 15 meetings and submitted a report to the House though the committee could notmake any decision owing to the differences between the members belonging to the treasury and theopposition benches. The seventh JS in its first session appointed a special committee under Rule 266 toscrutinize every legislative bill. Thereby all the legislative proposals tabled in the House before appointingthe standing committees were sent to the special committee for detailed scrutiny. As it is a mentioned earlierspecial committee in this parliament submitted reports scrutinizing the same number of bills. The eighthParliament is an exception which did not appoint any special committee.8. Implementation of the committee’s Report:Government can play vital role for the smooth running of the committee system. Government should placefactual reports and data before the committee for proper consideration and timely intervention. Governmentshould pay due regard to the recommendations and observations made by the committees. Committeerecommendations are strictly speaking not binding on government but they are undoubtedly entitled togreat weight and consideration on the part of the government.Among the three financial committees, the PUC is responsible to examine the reports and accounts of thepublic sector organizations specified in the Schedule IV of the Rules of Procedure. PUC can also examineany deficiency of the public undertakings, whether the affairs of the public undertakings are being managedin accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices. The PAC closely scrutinizesthe reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General and fortifies the Principal Accounting Officers againstthe temptation of financial irregularities. The PAC expresses its opinion thereon and records its findings andrecommendations.It should be mentioned here that the PUC is 84 not given authority to examine or investigate the followingmatters: major Government policy as distinct from business or commercial functions of public undertakings,and day-to-day administration. This committee cannot examine matters for the consideration of which anymachinery is established by any special statute under which a particular public undertaking is established.9. Women in the Jatiya Sangsad and the Committees:To promote women’s participation in parliamentary politics, by constitutional provision 15 seats werereserved for women in the first JS in addition to the three hundred regular seats. It was increased to 30 in theSecond JS and continued to be so until the seventh JS. The eighth JS increased reserved seats for women to45 by the 14 constitutional amendments. It is observed that excluding the reserved seats no women wereelected from the general seats in the first and the second JS. For the first time two women candidates werereturned from the general seats in the third JS and their number increased to 9 in the Fourth JS. Between thefifth and the eighth JS the number of elected female MPs fluctuated from 5 to 7. Excluding the reserved seatsnumber of women MPs elected from the general seats was low compared to their male colleagues. Most ofthem were elected from the general seats after the death of their husbands. The housewives who entered thepolitical field with the patronization of their husbands or any other relative were mostly nominated for 32
  • 33. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011reserved women seats. They used their social links rather than personal political experience or activities. Ithas been observed that women contestants in electoral politics depended on men for money and support toget access to public political space.The Bangladesh Constitution entrusts the law making power to the Jatiya Sangsad (JS). Article 65 (1)states: “there shall be a Parliament for Bangladesh in which subject to the provisions of this Constitutionshall be vested the legislative power of the Republic.”10. Recommendations:Bangladesh started parliamentary democratic system in 1973 but the proclamation of martial law in 1975and 1982 became a hurdle to the smooth development of the Parliamentary system in the country Thoughwe started committee system in 1973 we are not able to perform satisfactorily. If we compare thecommittee system in India with ours, we can see how effectively they are working. Forming parliamentarycommittees alone will not ensure the democratic process. The committees need to function effectively andefficiently and government should provide proper support to these committees. The committee should workon a non-partisan attitude when it is in session. The decision of the committee should be unanimous for thehealthy development of the parliamentary practices. All political parties should advise their representativesto work in the committees in a non-partisan manner. The present committees are suffering from differentshortcomings. In order to make the committee system more effective following measures could be takenwithout further delay.10.1. Status of Committee Chairpersons:Committee chairpersons should be offered due status. Such status must be defined and specified. Withoutany status a Parliament Member as chairperson cannot influence any Minister.10.2. Logistic Support:The parliamentary committee should be given full logistic support in order to maintain the continuity andsmooth operation of the committee system. At present the committee badly suffers from logistic support.Most of the committees have no proper accommodation as yet.11. Conclusion:Parliamentary committees are a constitutionally mandated system of facilitating law making and overseeinghow the executive exercises its role according to the law. All political parties aspiring to be represented inthe Parliaments must make a firm political pledge to make the Parliamentary Committee effective. Theymust be committed to the formation of all committees in first session, at least within three months thereof,the office of the Parliamentary ombudsman as provided in the constitution must be appointed withoutdelay. MP who do not disclose and update their assets and liabilities, interests should be barred frombecoming members of the parliamentary committees. Article 70 of the Constitution must be reviewed toensure objectivity and integrity of the Parliamentary Practice. There should be a “Committee ofcommittees” to undertake periodic evaluation of the performance of the Parliamentary Committees andtheir oversight functions. Most of the committees could not make any significant contribution in terms ofinvestigation against corruption or other irregularities of different ministries under their Jurisdiction. Inspite of many problems, Parliamentary Committee system is very significant of “Jatiya Sangsad (JS)”.12. References:1. Website Found, Banglapedia, National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh: Parliamentary Committee System.2. Alam, Mohammed Shamsul, Samorik Shason O Rajnoitik Onnayaner Sonkot: Bangladesh Prosonga (Military and Crisis of Political Development: Bangladesh Perspective), Unpublished PhD thesis, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh.3. Yasmeen, Rakiba (2006), Sangsadiya Gonotrantra O Committee Babosata: 1972-2006 (Parliamentary Democracy and Committee System: 1972-2006), Dhaka: Mawla Brothers. 33
  • 34. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 20114. Ahmed, Mostaq, Gonomadhomer Rajnoitik Orthonoti: Noya Totho Juge Pujibad ar Gonotrantra (Political Economy of Mass Media: Capitalism and Democracy in New Information age), Dhaka: A H Development Publishing House, 2007.5. Zafarullah H.; Akhter M.Y, (2000),"Non-Political Caretaker Administrations and Democratic Elections in Bangladesh: An Assessment", Government and Opposition, Vol. 35, No.3, pp. 345- 369.6. K.M. Mahiuddin, Ph.D., The Parliamentary Committee System in Bangladesh An Analysis of its Functioning, Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, pp. 118.7. Hassanuzaman , Al Masud and Hussain, Naseem A. (1998), “Women in the Legislature in Bangladesh”, Asian Studies , No.17, pp. 80.8 Jahan, Rounaq (2005), “Dynastic Leadership of Political Parties, The Daily Star, 14th Anniversary Special, 21 Issue, January 14, 2005.9. Webber, Robyn (2000), “Procedure Committee Reports on Community Involvement in Procedures and Practices of the House and its Committees”, The Table Vol. 68, pp. 37-39.10. Khalequzzaman, M. (1999). ‘Committee system in Bangladesh Parliament’ in BJS, Parliamentary Committee Systems, Parliament Secretariat, Dhaka.11. The Government of Bangladesh (1998), the Constitution of the People Republic of Bangladesh, pp. 50.12. Muylle, Koen J. (2003), “Improving the Effectiveness of Parliamentary Legislative Procedures”, Statute Law 1, Review, Vol. 24, No.3, pp.176.13 Ulrich, Martin and Dobell, Peter C. (2002), “Building Better Relations: Parliamentary Committees and Government Departments”, Occasional Papers on Parliamentary Government 13, (May 2002): 1-13.14. Tsebelis, George (1995), “Decision Making in Political Systems: Veto Players in Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, Multicameralism and Multipartyism”, British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 25, pp. 289-325.15. Sterling, Hon. and Norman W.(2000), “Recent Committee Reforms in Ontario”, Canadian Parliamentary Review ,Vol. 23, No.2.16. Ahmed, Syed Imtiaz (2006), “Civilian Supremacy in Democracies with ‘Fault Lines’: The Role of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense in Bangladesh”, Democratization , Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.291.17. The Daily Star, 4 October 2000.18. The Daily Star, March 2, 2005.19. Schüttemeyer, Suzanne S. (2001), “Parliamentary Parties in the German Bundestag,” German Issues, Vol. 24.20. Stroem, Kaare (1997), “Rules, Reasons and Routines: Legislative Roles in Parliamentary Democracies”, Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 3, No.1 (Spring).21. Nizam Ahmed, Parliamentary committees and parliamentary government in Bangladesh, 34
  • 35. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Contemporary South Asia (2001), 10 (1), 11–36, Nizam Ahmed, Department of Public Administration, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh, pp.102.22. M. Mufazzalul Hoque, “Parliamentary Committees and Public Enterprise Accountability in Bangladesh (1973-75)”, Management Development, Vol. 20, 1991, pp. 43-44.23. Ahmed Nizam (2001), “Parliamentary committees and parliamentary government in Bangladesh”, Contemporary South Asia, Vol.10 (1). pp. 10424. K.M. Mahiuddin, Ph.D., The Parliamentary Committee System in Bangladesh An Analysis of its Functioning, Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, pp. 220.25. Scully, Roger M. (1997): The European Parliament and the Co-Decision Procedure: A Reassessment. The Journal of Legislative Studies 3:3, pp. 58-73.26. Ahmed, Emajuddin(1992), Bangaldesher Sangsadiya Gonotrantra: Prashongik Chinta- Bhabna ( parliamentary Democracy in Bnagladesh: Some Thaughts), Dhaka: karim Book Corporation.27. BJ S (Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad), Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (as corrected to September 1996) Dhaka: Parliament Secretariat 1997), pp 61-7428. Mufazzalul Huq, ‘Parliamentary committees and public enterprise Accountability in Bangladesh’, Management Development, Vol. 20, 1991, pp. 40.39. Huq, Abul Fazal (1988), Bangladesher Shasan Byabosthya O Rajniti (Political System of Bangladesh), Dhaka: Bangla Academy.40. Khondakar Abdul Haque (1994), ‘Parliamentary committees in Bangladesh: structure and functions’, Congressional Studies Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 120.41. Maniruzzaman Talukder (1992), ”The Fall of The Military dictator; Pacific Affairs, Vol. 65, No. 2, pp. 215.42. Khan, M.M. (1995), ‘Legislatures in Bangladesh’, Asian Studies, Vol. 14, 1995. 35
  • 36. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 The Influence of Indian Epics on John Milton H.L.Narayanrao, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s college, ( University of Mumbai) Munshi Nagar, Andheri (w), Mumbai- 400058. India., rau03@rediffmail.comReceived: October 7th, 2011Accepted: October 18th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractThe study of Indian culture and traditions reveals that certainly there were people around the world whohave inspired by the writings and ancient scripts of India. The epic is traditionally ascribed to Vyasa, whois also a major character in the epic. The first section of the Mahabharata states that it was Ganesha who, atthe request of Vyasa, wrote down the text to Vyasas dictation. Ganesha is said to have agreed to write itonly on condition that Vyasa never pause in his recitation. Vyasa agreed, provided Ganesha took the timeto understand what was said before writing it down as an Epic.The Mahabharata (Sanskrit Mahābhārata, is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the otherbeing the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa (history). Besides its epic narrative of the KurukshetraWar and the fates of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical anddevotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas (12.161). The latter areenumerated asdharma (right action), artha (purpose), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). Among theprincipal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita.IntroductionSimilarly in English Literature, witness John Milton as an Epic writer. John Milton was born on 9December 1608. He was passed away on 8 November 1674.He was an English poet, , and a civil servantfor the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain.John Milton was a scholarly man of letters, a writer, and an official serving under Oliver Cromwell. Hewrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval in England, and his poetry and prose reflect deepconvictions and deal with contemporary issues, such as his treatise condemning licensing, Areopagitica. Hewrote in Latin and Italian as well as in English, and had an international reputation during his lifetime.An epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. The Trojan War, the ten-year siegeof the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeksof a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a fewweeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about thesiege, the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war and similar,tending to appear near the beginning, and the events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles loomingdeath and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly approaching the end of thepoem, making the poem tell a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.The Epic Paradise Lost 36
  • 37. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011John Milton’s magnum opus, the blank-verse epic poem Paradise Lost, was composed by the blindness andimpoverished Milton from 1658 to 1664 through dictation given to a series of aides by his own daughters inwriting the epic poems. It reflects his personal despair at the failure of the Revolution, yet affirms anultimate optimism in human potential. Milton encoded many references to his unyielding support for the"Good Old Cause" by writing the reality of life. Like many Renaissance artists before him, Miltonattempted to integrate Christian theology with classical modes. In his early poems, the poet narratorexpresses a tension between vice and virtue, the latter invariably related to Protestantism. In Comus Miltonmay make ironic use of the Caroline court masque by elevating notions of purity and virtue over theconventions of court revelry and superstition.John Milton called in the Aeropagitica for "the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according toconscience, above all liberties" (applied however, only to the conflicting Protestant sects, and not toatheists, Jews, Muslims or even Catholics). "Milton argued for disestablishment as the only effective wayof achieving broad toleration. Rather than force a mans conscience, government should recognize thepersuasive force of the gospel.The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 began a new phase in Miltons work. In ParadiseLost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes Milton mourns the end of the godly Commonwealth.The Garden of Eden may allegorically reflect Miltons view of Englands recent Fall from Grace,while Samsons blindness and captivity – mirroring Miltons own lost sight – may be a metaphor forEnglands blind acceptance of Charles II as king. Illustrated by Paradise Lost is mortalism, the belief thatthe soul lies dormant after the body dies.Despite the Restoration of the monarchy Milton did not lose his personal faith; Samson shows how the lossof national salvation did not necessarily preclude the salvation of the individual, while ParadiseRegained expresses Miltons continuing belief in the promise of Christian salvation through Jesus Christ.Though he may have maintained his personal faith in spite of the defeats suffered by his cause,the Dictionary of National Biography recounts how he had been alienated from the Church of England byArchbishop William Laud, and then moved similarly from the Dissenters by their denunciation of religioustolerance in England. Milton had come to stand apart from all sects, though apparently findingthe Quakers most congenial. He never went to any religious services in his later years. When a servantbrought back accounts of sermons from nonconformist meetings, Milton became so sarcastic that the manat last gave up his place.Johan Milton’s famous writings: • 1631: LAllegro; 1631: Il Penseroso; 1634: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634 commonly known as Comus (a masque); 1638: Lycidas; 1667: Paradise ;Lost; 1671: ParadiseRegained;1671: SamsonAgonistes; Adam, Eve, Cain, their first son, Abel, their second son,Adah, Cains sister and wife • Zillah, Abels sister and wife, Lucifer, • Angel of the Lord.Overview:The play commences with Cain refusing to participate in his familys prayer of thanksgiving to God. Caintells his father he has nothing to thank God for because he is fated to die. As Cain explains in an earlysoliloquy, he regards his mortality as an unjust punishment for Adam and Eves transgression in the Gardenof Eden, an event detailed in the Book of Genesis. Cains anxiety over his mortality is heightened by thefact that he does not know what death is. At one point in Act I, he recalls keeping watch at night for thearrival of death, which he imagines to be an anthropomorphic entity. The character who supplies Cain with 37
  • 38. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011knowledge of death is Lucifer. In Act II, Lucifer leads Cain on a voyage to "The Abyss of Space" andshows him a catastrophic vision of the Earths natural history, complete with spirits of extinct life formslike the mammoth. Cain returns to Earth in Act III, depressed by this vision of universal death. At theclimax of the play, Cain murders Abel. The play concludes with Cains banishment.Impact of literary influences on John Milton:Perhaps the most important literary influence on Cain was John Miltons epic poem Paradise Lost, whichtells of the creation and fall of mankind. For Byron as for many Romantic poets, the hero of ParadiseLost was Satan, and Cain is modeled in part on Miltons defiant protagonist. Furthermore, Cains vision ofthe Earths natural history in Act II is a parody of Adams consolatory vision of the history of man(culminating in the coming and sacrifice of Christ) presented by the Archangel Michael In Books XI andXII of Miltons epic. In the "Preface" to Cain, Byron attempts to downplay the influence of poems "uponsimilar topics," but the way he refers to Paradise Lost suggests its formative influence: "Since I was twenty,I have never read Milton; but I had read him so frequently before, that this may make little difference."The influence from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana can be seen vividly in the writings of theRenaissance period writers, a brother who becomes enemy of his own blood-brethren in order to gain thesupremacy over other. The grudge between the brothers Pandavas and the Kauravas, Similarly in betweenthe sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel.References:Badrinath, Chaturvedi. The Mahabharata : An Inquiry in the Human Condition, New Delhi, OrientLongman (2006). Pp.131-142.Bandyopadhyaya, Jayantanuja (2008). Class and Religion in Ancient India. Anthem Press.pp.33-48.Stephen Fallon, Milton Among the Philosophers (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), p. 81.Blair Worden, Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England: John Milton, Andrew Marvell andMarchamont Nedham (2007), p. 154. 38
  • 39. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Challenges in Elementary Education in India: Various Approaches Ritimoni Bordoloi School of Social Science, Krishna KatnaHandiqui State Open University Pin 781006, Housefed Complex, Dispur Mobile 9435748567 E-mail: ritimonibordoloi@gmail.comReceived: October 1st, 2011Accepted: October 12th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractEducation is a vital means for the potentialities of a human being to emerge in a positive direction so that aman can live in society with full of dignity and can mould the habits, tastes and character of individualsliving in society by imparting knowledge and information. Therefore, in a democratic country like ours thegovernment has felt the needs and importance of education and has an onerous responsibility to implementplans and programmes for democratization of education in the country. Now, education is constitutionallyrecognized as a birth right of the citizens of the country. So, to make education accessible to all has been amission of the government and many targets like the Millennium Development Goal by 2015, India Visionby 2020, have been identified including that of Inclusive Growth by the government. It is appropriate for usnow to assess and evaluate the progress and the prospect of the approaches which are being implementedfor ensuring the universalization of elementary education in India.Key words: Education, various approaches and its achievement1. Introduction:Education is a life long process. Education makes people superior to other forms of living things. Itdevelops the power for critical thinking and improves the power of rationality towards life. In fact,education makes people educated, acquaints them with some need- based skills and, finally, it develops inthem certain level of efficiency in the performance of the work they do. Thus, education is a pre-requisitefor the acquisition of knowledge, enhancing skills, developing attitudes and values etc. Therefore, ashuman beings, we need education because it provides us with knowledge and skills to lead a meaningfullife. Actually, in today’s society there is an increasing demand for growing human capital and enhancementof manpower. Education creates the human capital for the benefit of the society or for the country as awhole. In this context, it is an urgent need to make education as accessible as possible to all the citizens ofthe country. By realizing the importance and value of education, the government of India has madeeducation a fundamental right and it has become a birth right for every one living in the country. In ademocratic country like ours, we have access to human rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Elementaryeducation is a ladder, on the basis of which learners are able to attain secondary and higher education.Therefore, this stage of education is called a period of basic foundation for all other courses in life. In thisunit, we are going to discuss why education is important, what the educational provisions in IndianConstitution are, and finally what are the challenges facing in the universalization of elementary educationin India.For an effective role of governance, the citizens or people, in particular, should be very conscious abouttheir rights and duties constitutionally given to them. Education is a vital means to make people consciousof their duties and rights. To make the people educated and to promote the welfare of the society as awhole, it is imperative to make education available for all the people of the country. 39
  • 40. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Objectives of the study: Keeping this picture in mind an attempt has been made: • To study the relevance of education • To analyse the growth and applications of various approaches in ensuring the universalization of elementary education • And finally, to examine or assess the progress and the various hurdles being faced in making universalization of elementary education in India. Methodology or Data Source: The paper is solely based on secondary information collected from different sources like books, journal articles, reports of various government organization and commission, articles published in national and local news papers etc. 2. Concept of Universalisation of Elementary Education: Already it has been mentioned that primary or elementary education is the foundation of the entire educational system. Children normally enroll in elementary education at the age of six. It is this stage where the child starts going to a formal institution and thus the formal education starts. The education the child receives at the elementary stage lays down the foundation for his or her physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and social development. This stage of education should be linked with the functional literacy that makes the people literate with the application of practical knowledge, which is the basic requirement for economic development, modernization of social structure and effective functioning of democratic institutions. Therefore most of the educationally advanced countries of the world have made elementary education as one of the most important stages compared to other stages of education. It is imperative for our country in providing the free universal and compulsory elementary education to all the citizens without any kind of discriminations. Education is considered the bedrock of all socio-economic developments of the country. In order to promote education to all children irrespective of caste, creed, religion, sex and others and also for realizing democratization of education as a birth right to all, the government of India has made several attempts from time to time to achieve the universalisation of education for all. Universalisation of primary or elementary education basically involves three important things i.e. Universalisation of Provision, Universalisation of Enrolment and Universalisation of Retention. Universalisation of Provision means that school facilities should be provided to all the children between the age group of 6-14 years in the country. The school should be easily accessible within the walking distance of a child. Universalisation of Enrolment means that all children between the age group of 6 to 14 years must be enrolled. The provision has demanded to introduce the compulsory legislation act and under the legislation, parents can be finding for not sending their children to schools. Universalisation of Retention retains a child who joins the primary school where he or she should remain there till he or she completes all 8 classes. In order to make education accessible to all, various provisions have been made under the Directive Principles and Fundamental Rights of the Constitution. While implementing provisions for the citizens, the responsibilities are shared by both the Centre and the State governments. India being a federal state, the relation between Union and States is of vital importance and both the Centre and the states are equally responsible for conducting a programme whether it is under the plan sector or non-plan sector in a state. Education is a subject where both the Centre and the States have the joint responsibility for running smoothly the education programmes in a state. Whenever we are talking about the educational provisions in the Indian constitution, it has been seen that under the Directive Principles of State Policy in Article 45, states the following regarding the Free and Compulsory Primary Education: “The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of ten years from the commencement of this constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.” It means that free and compulsory elementary education can be accessed by all children before they complete the age of fourteen, where the target period was only for 10 years. 40
  • 41. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 But after the Eighty Sixth the Amendment, 2002 (Article 21 A) of the Indian Constitution, education as a subject became one of the Fundamental Rights in PART III of the Indian Constitution from the Directive Principles of State Policy which is dealt with in PART IV of the Constitution. Thus education turns into a birth right for each and every citizen of the country. In our country the Right to Education Act came into the effect from 1st April 2010. The right to education is now a fundamental right for all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years. Thus, the government will be responsible for providing education to every child up to the eight standard, free of cost, irrespective of class and gender. It has paved the way for building a strong, literate and empowered youth of this country. 3. Various Approaches for Universalisation of Elementary Education From the above discussion we have come to know about the constitutional provisions in “Article 45” and ‘Article 21 A’ and the subsequent legislative provisions made in India for expansion and improvement of elementary education in order to make education accessible to all, various approaches and schemes have been implemented by the Government. Let us discuss the measures adopted by the Government of India to provide free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 years. 3.1 National Policy on Education In 1968 The Education Commission (1964 – 66) had recommended that the Government of India should issue a statement on the National Policy of education which should provide guidance to the State Governments and local authorities in preparing and implementing educational plans. Accordingly, the Government of India issued a Resolution on National Policy on Education in 1968. The NPE (1968) observes that “Strenuous efforts should be made for the early fulfillment of the Directive Principle under Article 45 of the Constitution seeking to provide free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14. Suitable programmes should be developed to reduce the prevailing wastage and stagnation in schools and to ensure that every child who is enrolled in schools successfully completes the prescribed course” 3.2 National Policy on Education In 1986 A variety of new challenges and social needs make it imperative for the Government of India to formulate and implement a new education policy for the country in 1986.The New Education Policy in 1986 emphasises on - • Universal enrolment and universal retention of children up to 14 years of age. • Substantial improvement in the quality of education. • Systematic efforts to provide non-formal education to educate school dropouts, children from areas without school, working children who are unable to attend the school during daytime. • Implementing “Operation Black Board” scheme to provide essential facilities in the school. 3.3 District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) To evaluate the effectiveness of the New Education Policy 1986, a committee was appointed by the Government of India in 1990. A review of NPE, 1986 was conducted during 1990 – 1992. The Programme of Action, 1992 stressed the need of development of education in backward districts. Accordingly, the Government of India formulated the “District Primary Education Programe” (DPEP) scheme in 1993. DPEP is an effort to decentralise educational planning at the district level. It is planned in such a way that it suits the educational needs and demands of the district concerned. Initially district projects were prepared in 44 districts in eight states: Assam, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Gradually it was followed in 273 districts spreading over 41
  • 42. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 18 states. The objectives of DPEP were basically for: • To provide access to all children of primary education (Class I to IV/V) • To reduce dropout rates to less than 10 percent • To increase learning achievement at primary level by 25 percent • To reduce gender gaps and differences in Social group to less than 5 percent. DPEP was different from earlier schemes in several ways: • DPEP adopted a holistic approach with emphasis on convergence of existing programmes and resources. • It adopted area specific approach with district as the unit for planning and implementation. • Plans were prepared at the district level through a participatory process involving district and sub district functionaries, teachers, parents and community members. • Equity was a major concern of DPEP. • Capacity building through training extension and other means was given priority. • DPEP resources were additional to the existing budgetary provision for education. 3.4 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Its Attempt th Education for children of the age group of 6-14 years has become a fundamental right after the 86 Constitutional Amendment in 2002. The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan has been designed by the Government of India as a scheme to provide elementary education to all the children of the age group 6-14 years. Now after being acquainted with the concept of universalisation of elementary education, our attentions are going to focus on the Government’s efforts to achieve the universal retention. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is one of the comprehensive approaches or missions of the government which was introduced in India 2001. As a holistic and convergent approach, SSA covers all the States and Districts of our country, where the main attempt is to provide an opportunity to all the children in the age group of 6-14 irrespective of caste, creed, sex and religion by 2010, for improving their capabilities through the provision of community-owned quality education. The basic motto of SSA is to reduce dropout, capture all the students of the target group with the aim of providing improved scholastic and co-scholastic environment. SSA also aims at setting the umbrella for children for turning them into respectable citizens capable of constructive contribution towards a better society in the field of science, technology, literature, administration and so on. It has also some efforts to decentralize the whole process of curriculum development from the grass root level to the district and the State level. Child-centred and activity-based learning has been attempted. Learning by doing, learning by observation, work experience, art, music, sports and value education have been made an integral part of the learning process. Appropriate changes have been made in the evaluation system, where the performance of children has to be constantly monitored in consultation with parents. As a mission approach, the main objectives of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan include: • All Children in School, Education Guarantee Centre, Alternative School, Back to School camp by 2003 • All children complete five years of primary schooling by 2007 • All children complete eight years of elementary schooling by 2010 • Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life. • Bridge all gender and social category gaps at primary stage by 2007 and at elementary level by 2010. • Universal retention by 2010. Today, like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Department of School Education and Literacy of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Government of India has also made an attempt 42
  • 43. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 in the process of launching Rastriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) with an aim to achieve Universal Access and Quality Secondary Education. 3.5 National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level It is being implemented in educationally backward blocks, where the percentage of enrolment of girls are comparatively poor than the national average and the gender gap is more than the national average. About 3286 educationally backward blocks are covered under the scheme in 25 states. 3.6 National Programme of Mid Day Meals in School The programme provides a mid day meal of 450 calories and 12 grams of protein to children at the primary stage and later it is extended to the elementary level. During 2009-10, about 11 crore children were benefitted by the scheme. 3.7 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya It was launched in July 2004 for setting up residential school at upper level for girls belonging predominately to SC, ST, OBC and other minority communities. 3.8 Thrust for Female Literacy (Saakshar Bharat) The National Literacy Mission has been launched recently as Saakshar Bharat in which at least 7crore non-literates will be made literate to achieve 80% literacy and to reduce gender disparity in literacy from 21% to 10%. 365 districts in the country, with adult female literacy rate of 50% or less, have been identified for the implementation of Saakshar Bharat.4. Challenges taken into account: After going through the various approaches of the Government in making universalization of elementary education let us have a look at the progress of the education system and also highlight on the various problems considering as hurdles in making the universalization of elementary education in India. • In terms of literacy India has 74.4% literacy rate in Census 2011 whereas it was 18.33 in the Census Year of 1951.(Note 1) • The Number of schools has significantly increased. In the year of 1950-51 the number of schools was 0.23 million which increased to 1.28 million in the year of 2005-06. • The Gross Enrolment Ratio in elementary education increased to 96.62% in the year of 2005-06 whereas it was 32.1% in 1950-51. • The gender gap in the literacy rate is slowly decreasing. In 1950-51, the Gender Parity Index at elementary level was 0.38 whereas it was 0.92 in the year of 2005-06. • In India, 99% of the rural population had a primary school within 1km in 2009-10. • In 2007-08, Gross Enrolment Ratio in 6 -14 age group was 114.61 at primary level and77.50 at elementary level. • The Pupil Teacher Ratio is 46:1 at primary level and 35:1 at elementary level and 10.22 lakh teachers were recruited by December 2009. • 29.57 lakh children were identified as special children and from the among them 24.77 lakh children enrolled in school by 2009-10. • 11.19 crore children were covered by the National Programme of Mid-day Meals in 2009-10 at elementary level. Although the target in accessing the elementary education to all is in progress yet the success rate is farfrom reaching the target. The objectives of Srava Shiksha Abhiyan regarding all children complete fiveyears of primary schooling by 2007and eight years of elementary schooling by 2010 have not seen come 43
  • 44. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011into reality. Still there are a significant number of drop outs at the elementary level. The following factorsare cited as responsible for hindering the desired success rate. • The rate of drop out has been found at primary level was 24.93% whereas it was42.25% at elementary level in the year of 2008-09. • Shortage of trained teachers will be one of the major challenges in implementing the Act. There are over 12.6 lakh vacancies of teachers a cross the country. Besides, 7.72 lakh untrained teachers constituted 40% of the total number of teachers in 1.29 million recognized elementary schools in the year 2010. • 53% schools followed prescribed norms regarding the Pupil Teacher Ratio i.e.1:30 under the Act in the year 2010. • Separate arrangement of toilets for the boys and the girls is an important component for motivating the children in the school. But still in India 46% schools do not have such facilities and as a result some parents are not willing to send their children to schools. • National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conducted a base line survey all over the country and published its report entitled ‘Learning Achievement of Class V Students: A Baseline Study’ in 2006. This study tried to measure learning achievement of the class 5 students across the country. Three subjects like Environmental Science (EVS), mathematics and language were chosen for the baseline study. In all India average, the mean percentage of the achievement of Class V Students in the three subjects i.e. EVS, mathematics and Language was 50.30, 46.51 and 58.57 respectively. • Many other challenges also create hurdle in making the universalization of elementary education. Parents in the low income group have the willingness to send their children to work for adding to the family income rather than to school. Early marriages, migration of people for the sustenance, preferential attitude to the boys than the girls, taking care of the siblings at home, lack of infrastructure in schools, requirements of additional schools, single teacher school and finances are some other responsible factors for hindering the universalization of elementary education in India. • Weak administrative policy is also responsible for wastage at the elementary level. In school the prescribed rules are not always strictly followed. Admission in school continues throughout the year. A large number of students leave schools in the middle of the session. Teachers remain absent from duty without prior information. The number of supervisors is inadequate and supervision work irregular and loose. • Training is considered one of the most important interventions for smooth running of the education system and it can help realize the universalization of elementary education. The actual implementation in terms of training the teachers varies from state to state and region to region within the country. Even the recruitment procedure is also not uniform across the country.Thus it is a right time for the government to take the action for removing these barriers in order to achievethe democratization of education. Besides we are heading towards the target year of MillenniumDevelopment Goals, where accessibility of education to all is a major concerned. But thing is that theeducation must be cater the needs of the learners that can produce the functional literate and enhance thelife skills of the learners. The government is responsible for providing education to every child up to theeight standard, free of cost, irrespective of class and gender. It has paved the way for building a strong,literate and empowered youth of this country.References:Afridi,F.(2005),“Midday Meals in Two States”, Economic and Political Weekly, April 9 Vol XL No. 15Choudhury, A.(2006),“Revisiting Dropouts, Old Issues, Fresh Perspective” Economic and PoliticalWeekly, Dec.23 Vol.XLI No.51Colcough, C.(1982),“The impact of Primary School on Economic Development, A review of Evidence”,World Development, 10(3), pp. 85-94Das, A.(2007),“How Far Have we Come In SarvaShikshaAbhiyan”, Economic and Political Weekly,January 6. Vol. XLII, No.1 44
  • 45. Journal of Education and Practice ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Mehrotra,Santoshetal (2005),“Universalising Elementary Education in India: Uncaging the ‘Tiger’ Economy”, Oxford University Press, New Delhi Majumdar, Manabi (1999),“Exclusion in Education: Indian States in Comparative Perspective”,in Barbara Harriss-White and S.Subramanian (eds), Illfare in India, Sage Publications. New Delhi Mehrotra, Santosh (2004),“Reforming Public Spending in Education and Mobilising Resources, Lessons from International Experience”, Economic and Political Weekly, Feb. 28 Rani, P. Geetha (2006),“Challenges of Achieving and Financing Universal Elementary Education in India, the Case of SSA”, Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, Vol. XX No.4, October. Ramachandran, Vimala (2003),“Getting Children Back to School, Case Studies in Primary Education”, Sage Publications, New Delhi Singh,B.S.(2004),“Future of Midday Meal”, Economic and Political Weekly, Feb 28. Singh,Raman P(2007),“Elementary Education and Literacy in India”, Yojana, September, Vol.51 Singh, Gurmeet (2010),“Progress of Human Development in the Changing Scenario”, Kurukshetra, A Journal of Rural Development, Vol 58, No 11 Tilak, JandhyalaBG (2004),“Education in the UPA government Common Minimum Programme”, Economic and Political Weekly, October 23 Report from the Centre: Seventh All India School Education Survey, Schooling Facilities in Rural Area, 2007, NCERT Publications. MHRD Report, Government of India Note1: The following points illustrate the success so far achieved in universalization of elementary education in India.1. The Following table shows the rate of literacy in India from the Census of 1951 to 2011. Table 1: Percentage of literacy rate in India Census Year Persons Males Females Male-Female literacy gap 1951 18.33 27.16 8.86 18.30 1961 28.30 40.40 15.35 25.05 1971 34.45 45.96 21.97 23.98 1981 43.57 56.38 29.76 26.62 1991 52.21 64.13 39.29 24.84 2001 65.38 75.85 54.16 21.70 2011 74.4 82.14 65.46 16.68 Source: Census of India 2011 From the table it has been seen that only 18 people out of 100 were literate in 1951. It has taken another 60 years for literacy to increase from a meager 18% to 74.4%. Female literacy has increased from a very low of 8.9% in 1951 to 65.46 in 2011 where the female literacy is increasing by eight times while male literacy is increased by three times from the Census of 1951 to 2011. 45
  • 46. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Influence of High Impact Teaching Skills on the Teaching - Learning Process in Engineering Education JAYAPRAKASH JALA Academic Staff College, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India, Tel: +919600299184 Email: ADITHAN MUNIRATHNAM Academic Staff College, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India Tel: +91-416-2202481 email id : October 12th, 2011Accepted: October 20th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractTeaching in higher education institutions is becoming more and more critical and intricate with each newgeneration of students entering the portals of higher education. Academic Staff College at VIT University, fromtime to time, has been organizing a range of training programmes and faculty empowerment workshops for itsfaculty, newly recruited and faculty who are already serving. During the training sessions, it has been observedthat there are some specific soft skills desired to be possessed by engineering teachers, in addition to theirdisciplinary knowledge and subject matter expertise. These skills are: creating a positive impression, simplifyingcomplex information, use of analogies, communicating with greater impact, responding to difficult class roomsituations and inspiring peers and students to embrace change. In addition, generic communication skills such asuse of appropriate body language and gestures, confidence, presentation of information in a logical and methodicalmanner, showing empathy and concern and listening skills are also required for engineering teachers. The authorshave designed and implemented a model in a training environment to impart these soft skills and training in acomprehensive manner. The training methodology adopted, analysis of the observations made, the key learningsand the challenges that lie ahead for the successful development of soft skills amongst the engineering educatorsand teacher trainers are presented in this paper.Keywords: engineering education, training, soft skills, communication skills, using analogies, class roomsituations, inspiring to embrace change.1.0 IntroductionFor engineering educators and teachers, there exists, just like technical skills or “hard” skills, a corresponding setof “soft” skills. These soft skills are a collection of methods and techniques by which an engineering teacher caninfluence the behaviour of his students in a way that enhances his enlightened self-interest. Soft skills enable thebuilding of alliances with the learners with the appropriate amount of trust. Barry Blesser (2009) cites that softskills reveal the degree to which points of discussion align or conflict. In management education, negotiationtechniques are considered as soft skills. Similarly, in human resources management, conflict resolution is a softskill. For supervisors and shop mangers motivating co-workers is a soft skill. Soft skills enable us to function athighest level when dealing with people and organizations. Effective leaders have a tool box of soft skills thatinduces others who want to follow them. With inadequate soft skills, hard skills (or) technical skills are rarely 46
  • 47. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011sufficient by themselves to produce professional success. The most productive professionals have an equalbalance of hard and soft skills.Engineering teachers are expected to interact with many people, students, faculty colleagues, doctoral guides,mentors, members of industry groups and society at large. Their interaction is primarily, in the initial stages oftheir career, with students groups, but to build professional competencies, to raise to higher level positions in theUniversity environment, and for interactions with people in complex groups soft skills are a must. Generally it isfound that engineers and engineering educators avoid situations requiring such soft skills.2.0 Training Sessions and Modules:Academic Staff College of VIT University organized many Faculty Empowerment Workshops titled “High ImpactTeaching Skills”. About 250 faculty members from engineering disciplines have undergone the trainingprogrammes offered through several workshops. The training programme duration is 2 days (four half-daysessions; 16 hours of training) and the batch size is about 30. The participants were faculty members drawn fromdifferent schools of engineering of the University.The Training Programme involves 5 modules with the titles: Creating a Positive Impression, SimplifyingComplex Information, Communicating with Greater Impact, Responding to Difficult Classroom Situations, andInspiring Peers and Students to Embrace Change.The modules of High Impact Teaching Skills are essentially to improve the soft skills of the faculty rather than thehard skills of their disciplinary or technical skills. Often the performance of the participants is inter related with themotivation level of the individual and the extent of response of the listeners. It is not easy to measure the outcomeof softskills training since it varies depending on many relevant factors.An individual’s mastery or proficiency in a skill is critical to successful training transfer. . (Laker & Powell 2011)Because of many complexities, the hard-skill trainee is more likely to leave the training setting with a greaterdegree of proficiency or mastery than an individual who has received some soft-skill training. Hard skills and softskills are not mutually exclusive but complement each other (Blesser 2009). In combination hard skills and softskills are infinitely mere productive than either alone. Soft skills never become obsolete. People remain people.Each training module is designed as a half-day small group presentation. Each faculty gives a presentation. Thepresentations were video graphed. Oral feedback was obtained from other faculty members from the peer group.Trainer has made his own observations on the Proforma developed (Appendix 1). The video was re-played andone-to-one feedback was given to the individual faculty. An analysis of the soft skills training programme weconducted is presented here. Certain parameters have been chosen to ensure that this training would enhance thestage/public presence of the teacher in the class room. The training sessions are explained as follows: 3.0 The Modules 3.1 Training Session 1: Creating a Positive Impression through Managing Oneself:According to management expert Peter (Drucker 1999) we will have to learn to take responsibility for managingourselves. Perhaps, this is probably a much bigger responsibility than managing any technological change, achange in the human condition. Nobody teaches it, neither in the school, nor in the college. We will have to learnwhere we belong, what our strengths are, what we have to know so that we get the full benefit from it, where ourweaknesses are, what we are good at, where we do not belong, what our values are. We build on the strengths weare bestowed with. Social skills in addition to English speaking skill are important as engineers are becoming moreand more global citizens in the context of economic globalization. (Hilmer 2007) has identified social skills inaddition to soft skills as an important training concept in engineering education. Teachers have to play a positiverole in the class room environment. We have to build our power and capacity to influence the students to learn.We have to energize ourself, create a positive impression in the class. Class room is one such place where our fullpotential is to be realized and brought out.The emphasis of this session is on providing the faculty with different inputs to help him in the process of findingout his own potential and to enable him to create a positive impression about himself in the class amongst his 47
  • 48. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011learners. This positive impression needs to be created not just on the first day of the semester, but on everydaythe faculty engages the class.The objective of the module is to help faculty members to establish a positive first impression and carefullycommunicate towards claiming enhanced credibility as faculty members in playing multiple roles as teachers androle models (Appendix 2). Another objective is to help the faculty in developing a better rapport with the listenerswhile projecting professionalism and competencies.An understanding begins in the mind of the listener as soon as the faculty begins the conversation/presentation. Itis our approach towards the conversation and interaction, that leaves an impression on the mind of the listener andhe would choose how to listen based on the understanding and impression he would receive from the speaker. 3.2 Training Session 2: Simplifying Complex InformationThe objective of the module is to help faculty members to present complex information in a simple and effectivemanner. Innovation in thought process is required to put across complex information in a simple andunderstandable way. This module provides the teachers with an opportunity to express the complex engineeringconcepts and ideas using analogies in an effective manner. The faculty need to know how to simplify andcommunicate complex information in an interesting manner. Relating to audience at their level and following alogical progression of ideas are the essential elements of this module. Developing an emotional contact with thelearners is also equally important in this context when complex engineering concepts are presented and discussed. 3.3 Training Session 3: Communicating with Greater ImpactWell known communication expert Paul Watzlawick once made the statement: “It is not possible, not tocommunicate” (Hillmer 2007) but, what is important is whether such communication is effective and does it makean impact on the listener. The 21st century is characterized by a very high pace in communication, through manytechnological developments and gadgets and almost unlimited possibilities in conveying the information. It is,therefore, important to ensure not only the acceptance but even more so the interpretation of ideas communicated.Some elements of public speech are introduced to the engineering teachers, viz. introduction of the idea followedby proper building up of the idea, with the right sequencing and offering tips on how to obtain a higherperformance and greater impact in the class room instructions. We may mention here that engineering faculty arenot that much good in public communication. But, they are required to communicate when they take up sociallyrelevant projects and engage in activities related to service to society, which an university is expected to perform.Also, effectiveness of classroom instructions are very often dependent on the art of correct presentation.The objective of this module is to help faculty members develop overall communication abilities through the useof facial expressions, body language, gestures and voice modulation. (Mehrabian 1972) has opined that 93% ofcommunication happens through non-verbal communication. Demonstrating ownership of unfamiliar material andpresent a written material in a captivating manner to a varied set of audience as the situation demands is anotherskill which this module aims at. Faculty members have difficulty in presenting the materials written by others dueto barriers in communication that restrict their flexibility. Usually faculty members don’t relish the idea ofpresenting or reading other’s written material, but certain academic situations and circumstances call for such askill.A faculty member’s ability to speak with modulation makes the difference in the way content is received by thelearners. The faculty members need to stress certain words to articulate their voice and tone.This module also helps the faculty members to develop and maintain professional composure under pressure orwhen they are stressed. It is often found that engineering educators tend to avoid facing conflicting and difficultclass room situations.The ability of a faculty member to communicate clear, concise and positive message is essential for an intellectualconnect and personal bonding between the facilitator and the learner. Engage the audience with the ideas and thesubject is the essence of this module. This session helps faculty to communicate with competence and confidence.This module also assists in enhancing faculty skills to handle stressful situations. Faculty trainers share some oftheir difficult and stressful class room situations and how they have responded to it instead of reacting to it. 48
  • 49. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 3.4 Training Session 4: Responding to Difficult classroom situations.Difficult classroom situations which faculty members face should be considered as opportunities and these are tobe dealt with in a constructive way. In this session, the faculty realizes his potential strengths and weaknesses indealing with difficult classroom situations.The objective of this module is to help faculty members develop and maintain professional composure underpressure or when they are stressed. It is often found that engineering educators tend to avoid facing conflicting anddifficult class room situations.The ability of a faculty member to communicate clear, concise and positive message is essential for an intellectualconnect and personal bonding between the facilitator and the learner. Engage the audience with the ideas and thesubject is the essence of this module. This session helps faculty to communicate with composure, competence andconfidence. This module also assists in enhancing faculty skills to handle stressful situations. Faculty traineesshare some of their difficult and stressful class room situations and how they have responded to it instead ofreacting to it. 3.5 Training Session 5: Inspiring Peers and Students to Embrace Change.In this session, the emphasis is on highlighting certain aspects of presentation so that the ideas are conveyed in aconvincing way. Every teacher is confronted daily with communicative situations with his students, staff,colleagues, research guides and professors, but also friends and family members. The success of a teacher,especially, engineering teacher is therefore strongly linked to his communication abilities and how he inspires hisfriends, colleagues and students. The building blocks for effective communication in this context are activelistening, use of appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication and ability to convince other people afterlistening to them and considering their views. At times, engineering educators are expected to manage difficultsituations, maintaining composure and talk to concerned people inspiring them to adopt a change. This appealneeds to be both logical and emotional. They may also have to hear diverse viewpoints from others.The objective of this module is to help faculty members develop the ability to logically and emotionally appeal tothe audience. This module also stresses the need for presenting information in a logical structure so as to gain theconfidence of the audience. There is a need for faculty to sound convincing while they strive to provide evidenceto support their arguments for adopting a change.4.0 The Role of the TrainerIn this kind of training, the trainer’s role is not limited to delivering the contents of the training sessions in anunderstandable manner. He has to show examples and demonstrate how to display these skills and at the sametime be able to motivate the faculty enough towards consciously practicing these skills acquired in the trainingwhen they go back to work in a classroom set up.During the training sessions relevant inputs and practical tips are provided by the trainers viz the authors, and thegroup feedback obtained first regarding positive aspects and, later on aspects for which there is scope forimprovement. Video recording and playing of the video is done for each presentation by the faculty. Afterviewing the video, trainer first asks the faculty to give his own opinion/feedback and later offers his comments andaspects that needs to be improved. The proforma filled in at the time of presentation also serves as a basis; thetrainer completes the evaluation while observing the video replay. Sample Proforma’s filled in is shown inAppendix 1.High level of motivation is required on the part of the trainer as well so as to enthuse the faculty to strive for betterperformance in the class room. A significant reason why the impact does not get transferred is that the newmethodology would take additional efforts when compared to their earlier practices. How one handles hiscommunication with others has the influence of other factors like time of the day, psychological state of thefaculty, his energy and interest levels and motivation of the learners. Sustained and conscious efforts by the 49
  • 50. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011faculty will enhance his effectiveness in the class room. In many aspects of daily work and life of the engineeringteacher these soft skill components will generate positive results. 5.0 Key Learnings and Challenges Key learnings and challenges in soft skills training are presented below: Module Key Learnings Challenges Module-1 Establishing a positive impression Is there excitement in the way ofCreating Positive First ImpressionFirst Impression is the best impression communication Establishes credibility and good rapport with Is the energy level sufficient the listeners Module-2 Appropriate use of Analogies and examples of appropriate analogy to drive home Use Simplifying complex information help in this task the particular idea/ concept. Developing a bank of analogies on different topics in the concerned subject Module-3 Emphasis on the change of voice, modulation, facial expressions, gestures and voice Are Communicating with greaterfacial expressions and gestures matching the modulation appropriate and congruent Impact contents, pace and delivery Has the rapport with audience been established Module-4 Importance of active listeningAbility to maintain composure in difficultResponding to difficult classroom Expressing disagreement in a non-emotional situations situations manner, maintaining composure and Is confidence level sufficient confidence Module-5 How to speak in a motivating and logicalIs the argument logical and methodical Inspiring peers and students to manner with inspiring tone and voice Is the appeal emotional enough to embrace change modulation convincing audience to seek convince the audience, in addition to change being logical and methodical6.0 Conclusion:More than 250 faculty members have been benefitted through this training concept developed, implemented andreported here. The discussions with the engineering faculty, students, their feedback and also their end-semestercourse evaluations give a clear indication that the acceptance of these training methodologies is generally high.For the present day engineering teachers soft skills were rarely taught in their college studies. Many facultymembers appreciated the training concept, and the methodology adopted and recognized the holistic approachadopted in the training of faculty. They value the contribution of this concept as an important component inengineering education and in the training of engineering faculty and engineering educators. The faculty membersalso reported that they found these soft skills extremely useful in their personal and social life as well. Unlike hardskills soft skills are readily transferrable from one context to another.ReferencesBlesser Bary (2009), Soft skills Predict Professional Success, (2009), pp 1 – 3.Dennis R. Laker & Jimmy L. Powell (2011), The Difference between Hard and Soft skills and their relative impacton Training Transfer, HRD Quarterly Vol. 22, No.1, Spring 2011( pp 111-122.Drucker P.F (1999). Management Challenges for the 21st Century, HarperCollins, Publishers, Inc., U.S.A., pp 167. 50
  • 51. Journal of Education and Practice ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Hillmer G. (2007) Social and Soft Skills Training Concept in Engineering Education, International Conference on Engineering Education, ICEE, September 3–7, 2007, Coimbra, Portugal, pp 1-5. Mehrabian A. (1972), Nonverbal Communication. Aldine-Atherton, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Adithan M & Jayaprakash J. “Mission 10X: A New Path to Quality Academics, Tales of Transformation 1.0 Wipro Technologies, September 2010, pp 1. Dale Carnegie Training, (2010) Mission 10X WIPRO, High Impact Teaching Skills, Participants Manual Hauppauge, NY, USA. Appendix 1 High Impact Teaching Skills Evaluation Proforma Name of the Faculty Trainee_______________________________________________ Designation___________________________School______________________________S. No Average Above Good Very Excellent Average Good Module- Creating Positive First Impression Is the faculty member establishing eye-contact with . . . . . 1 the audience 2 Is there excitement in the way of communication? . . . . . 3 Is the energy level sufficient? (Audibility) . . . . . 4 Is he/she exhibiting confidence? . . . . . Is the message being presented in an organized . . . . . 5 manner with proper opening and closing? Module- Simplifying Complex Information Are different thoughts well connected through . . . . . 6 maintaining a flow? “Connecting the known to unknown” has this been . . . . . 7 brought out well? Is the analogy effective and self interpretable to the . . . . . 8 learner? Is the presentation methodical and followed a logical . . . . . 9 sequence? 10 Is he/she open to new ideas and flexible in thought? . . . . . Module- III Communicating with greater impact? 11 Are the gestures matching with the message? . . . . . 12 Are the postures appropriate? . . . . . 13 Are the facial expressions appropriate? . . . . . 14 Is the voice modulation effective? . . . . . 51
  • 52. Journal of Education and Practice ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 . . . . . 15 Is the language smooth and fluent?Module-IV Responding to difficult classroom situations? 16 Is the faculty member responding or reacting? . . . . . 17 Is the facial expression pleasant while at stress? . . . . . 18 Is the way of communication encouraging interaction? . . . . . Are there sympathy, empathy and concern for others . . . . . 19 in the approach? Has the difficult situation in the classroom explained . . . . . 20 properly?Module- Inspiring Peers and Students to Embrace Change Is the faculty member clearly explaining the situation . . . . . 21 which calls for a change? . . . . . 22 Is the faculty member a good listener? How is the confidence level exhibited while seeking . . . . . 23 support for a change? Is the faculty member likely to win the trust and . . . . . 24 argument convincingly? 25 Is the appeal for change logical and emotional? . . . . . 52
  • 53. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Euphoric Aura In ‘Under the Net’ A.S.Phani Kumari PVP Siddhartha Institute of Technology Kanuru – Vijayawada– Andhra Pradesh, India Email:phanikumari159@gmail.comReceived: October 12th, 2011Accepted: October 20th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011Abstract19th century is a remarkable century in the history of literary renaissance. Many philosophers haveenlightened the people with their intellectual thoughts and by them many theories have been instigated. Butwomen have taken a little part in this revival and the world has been waiting for the women philosophers.At that time a woman with her ‘contingent theory’ has entered the literary world silently and proved herselfas a potent philosopher. The woman is Iris Murdoch who has given a great entry with her first novel“Under the Net”. This paper tells the narrative skill of Iris Murdoch and her contingent theory. Though theauthor has felt it is her immature novel, it is praised by many intellectuals. This paper elucidates theconcept of ‘love’, and the difference between ‘truth’ and ‘real’1. IntroductionA juvenile and immature novel, commented by its author Iris Murdoch, ‘Under the Net’ is a picaresquephilosophical work bearing new moral concepts and principles. Through James Donaghue’s (also known asJake) character Murdoch tries to describe her own identity which leads to a master theory ‘contingency’.Contingency is a not a new theory. It has been used by plenteous philosophers in different situations withdifferent approaches. Contingency was applied in the form, plot and incidents of the novel and made it agreat existential novel. “Indeed the whole novel may be taken as a gigantic image of concreteness andcontingency” (Roxman, Contingency and he Image of the net 67). Contingency is set down in places ofLondon. In Jake’s view he wants reason and he hates contingency. “There are some parts in London whichare necessary and others are contingent. Everywhere West Earls Court is contingent, except for a fewplaces long the river. I hate contingency. I want everything in my life to have a sufficient reason.” (26)2. Portrayal of Characters and ThemeThe Protagonist Jake reflects the views of Murdoch who has told the nature of reality which is alwaysunder the net. The title Under the Net replicates many aspects like truth, moral values, ideal thoughts, realsituations, individual respect, hypocrisy, happiness etc. According to Cheryl K. Bove (1), Jake is a feckless,failed artist and picaresque hero with little bit laziness translates French novels especially Jean PierreBreteuil’s novels into English.The novel starts with the protagonist Jake’s narration about his journey from France to England, about hisdistant cousin Peter O’Finney who is always called Finn. Finn, a modest and shy person, who alwaysfollows the commands of Jake, announces that they have to search for shelter because Jake’s girl friendMagdelen throws them out from her house. They have been living in her house for 18 months for free ofrent. As she is going to marry Samuel Starfield (Sacred Sammy), the diamond book maker, she wantsJake’s fourth floor to give to her fiancé immediately. So Jake has left his radiogram and some of hisbelongings at her apartment and suggests Finn to go to his friend Dave Gellman’s flat. Then Jake goes to 53
  • 54. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Mrs. Tinkham who has a newspaper shop in the neighborhood of Chorlette Street. She is a kind person andnever tells the secrets of her customers to anyone. Even some customers are infuriated by her crypticnature. One of her customers has once tried to get some information and gets irritated by her surreptitiousbehaviour, shouts “You are pathologically discreet”. (18)The clear perception of ‘truth’ is evidently illustrated in the attitudes of Jake, Magdelen, Finn and Mrs.Tinkham. Take the attitude of Magde, she loves Jake and doesn’t want to marry Sammy. As Jake doesn’tpay any attention on her, she decides to marry Samy. Though Jake likes Magde, but doesn’t want to marryher and doesn’t want to leave her house either. Finn is a silent person, never reveals his true thoughts.According to Wittgenstein: "The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because oftheir simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something - because it is always before ones eyes)The real foundations of his enquiry do not strike a man at all. Unless THAT fact has at some time struckhim. And this means: we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful."(Wittgenstein, Ludwig Josef Johann (Logical atomist) 1889-1951). Here I feel that Jake is unable tosucceed in his relation with others and considers people unreal. But Murdoch opines that it is important foreveryone to respect the contingency of other people. Jake cannot take decisions by his own and is provokedby others. Though he knows Magde well but cannot understand her mind or even doesn’t try to recognizethe change in her appearance. His inattentiveness drives her to take an immediate action of marryingSammy. Her engagement with Sammy neither gives happiness nor grievance to Jake. So her decision is nota betrayal but common human mentality and a natural consequence. The wavering mind and indecisivenessnature of Jake make him do picaresque events in his life and force him to go from one place to other placeand meet people. Jake doesn’t know what decision he has to take even in complex and essential situations.In Mrs. Tinkham’s shop he has checked all his manuscripts and he finds one script is missing. It is thetranslation of Jean-Pierre Breteuil’s mediocre novel Le Rossignol de Bois. From Tinkham’s shop, Jakegoes to his philosopher friend Dave’s flat, where he observes a crowd of young men talking at once anddrinking cups of tea. Dave invites him with a dignified manner but he doesn’t agree to share his flat withhim. Finn again suggests him to take help from Anna Quentine, a singer to whom Jake once fell in love.While searching for Anna’s address, Jake recollects the memories of Anna, whom he adores very much.Generally Jake likes the qualities like “guileless, profound, confident and trustful” (31) in women which aredescribed in the novels of James and Conrad. The women he has known are often inexperienced,inarticulate, credulous and simple and he calls them ‘deep’. Though he believes Anna is a ‘deep’, he lovesher because of her mystifying and immeasurable nature. Here with her nature Anna also represents thehidden truth. In Jake’s opinion Anna is true and real and her sister Sadie is facetious and unreal.Anna’s sister Sadie is a film artist with brilliant display and dazzling charm, works for Bounty BellfounderCompany. Jake hasn’t met Anna for many years. She lives in a small flat at Bayswater Road. He wants tomarry Anna, but he knows that Anna never accepts his proposal. To Anna marriage is a communion ofsouls, but to Jake marriage is an idea of reason, a concept which may regulate but not constitute his life. Sohe drops his idea to marry her and he has parted away from her. Now he is searching for Anna for help. Hehas got her address at Riverside Miming Theatre, on Hammersmith Mall, and surprises when he spots herin a prop room. She has given up her singing and tells Jake that singing is not a pure art whereas mime ispure art and theatre is an unadulterated place. When Jake asks her about shelter, she directs him to her sisterSadie.Jake meets Sadie at Mayfair hairdresser. Sadie is happy and delighted when she sees Jake after a long timeand requests him to stay at her flat and save her from a mad lover Hugo Belfounder, a fireworksmanufacturer and a film studio owner who forces her to love him and pesters her on telephone. Jake issurprised on listening to this weird news because he knows Hugo very well and he is his close formerfriend. Here the real plot comes with the introduction of Hugo Belfounder as Jake says, “As myacquaintance with Hugo is the central theme of this book, there was little point anticipating it” (60). Jakerecollects the moments he has spent with Hugo and tells that his parents are Germans. Bellfounder is nottheir original name. His father has adopted ‘Bellfounder’ to their original names and started an armamentbusiness with a partner and has given the name Bellfounder-Baermann, Small-arms Ltd. to their company.When Hugo has become heir to this company, he has renovated the armament factory into a rocket factory 54
  • 55. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011and become successful and prosperous business man like his father. But he is always simple and works likea common labourer. His creativity and perspicacity incites him to blend different pyrotechnical styles in hisfireworks business. In his opinion fire works are good methods of art which are just like symphony. “Fireworks are sui generic. If you must compare them to another art, compare them to music” (61).Jake has first met Hugo in a cold-cure establishment, a medical research hospital, where he has been forcedto share his accommodation with Hugo. As Hugo hasn’t spoken with him for two days, Jake felt that hiscompanion was mentally deficient which was proved a wrong notion. When Hugo has started theconversation, Jake instantly notices the high intelligence of him and is captivated by his ideas and analysis.They have exchanged their views on art, politics, literature, religion, history, science, society and sex.Many people call Hugo an ‘idealist’ but Jake opines that he is a theoretician of a peculiar kind because hehas interest in everything, in every theory in an eccentric way. Completely enthralled by Hugo’sconversations and wants to spend more time with him, Jake enrolls for a second medical experiment and sodoes Hugo.When Hugo knows that Jake is a translator, he has posed myriad questions about translation which onceseems the simple thing in the world, turns out to be an act of complex and perplexed one with his doubts.Hugo believes that it is hard to explain the feelings of people exactly in words and questions, how cantranslators translate the writings of others accurately?“There is something fishy about describing people’s feelings,” said Hugo. “All these descriptions are sodramatic.”“What’s wrong with that?” I said.“Only,” said Hugo, “that it means that things are falsified from the start. If I say afterwards that I felt suchand such, say that I felt ‘apprehensive’ – well, this just isn’t true.”“What do you mean?” I asked.“I didn’t feel this,” said Hugo. “I didn’t feel anything of that kind at the time at all. This is just something Isay afterwards.”“But suppose I try hard to be accurate,” I said.“One can’t be,” said Hugo. “The only hope is to avoid saying it. As soon as I start to describe, I’m done for.Try describing anything, our conversation for instance, and see how absolutely instinctively you ……”“Touch it up?” I suggested.“It’s deeper than that,” said Hugo. “The language just won’t let you present it as it really was.” (67)So in Hugo’s opinion what a writer writes is not true. It is deceptive and it’s very intricate to verbalize thethoughts, feelings and views of human beings precisely and chastely. Influenced by Hugo’s ideas and idealsJake starts recording their discussions and alters them, polishes them to look some more clear and begins towrite a book “Silencer” in which Anandine and Tamarus the two characters which represent Hugo and him.“There remained the fact that Anandine was but a broken-down caricature of Hugo”. (92) But he never tellsabout his book to Hugo and feels guilty when he has published that book. So he cancels his rendezvouswith Hugo and is departed from him. Dave Gellman, his philosopher friend is impressed by his book andwants to discuss many ideas. But when Jake tries to clarify the views of Hugo, they become dreary andimmature. His book is a flop.Now Jake is thinking about Hugo and doesn’t believe Sadie’s words that are Hugo is in love with herbecause Hugo is never very forward with women and Sadie is a notorious liar.. He thinks that may be Sadieis in love with Hugo and tells vice versa. He goes to Magde’s house to get back his remaining luggage, hisradiogram and his manuscripts and typescripts of his writings. At Magde’s house he meets her fiancéSacred Sammy who receives him in a friendly way and offers him money as he has sacrificed Magde tohim. But Jake doesn’t take money instead asks him to put that money on a horse race betting. When theyhave won the race, Sammy promises to send his share to him later.Next Jake goes to Sadie’s flat to join his job as a body guard and Sadie receives him with a warm welcome.When Sadie is out, he watches all the rooms and finds his book “The Silencer” in the book rack. He 55
  • 56. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011observes Anna’s name on the cover and assumes that it is Anna Quentine that Hugo is proposing not Sadie.But he is disturbed when he receives a call from Hugo asking Ms.Quentine and cuts his call when heintroduces himself to Hugo. Then he notices that he is locked in that house intentionally by Sadie and takeshelp from Finn and Dave and comes out of the house. These three people next searches for Hugo’s housebut cannot find him in any room, only hear high-pitched chattering sound of hundreds of birds in one of therooms. They search all the rooms and finally notice a note which read simply “Gone to the pub”. (104)In search of Hugo they go to neighbourhood pubs and in Skinner’s Arms pub they meet Lefty Todd, aleader of the New Independent Socialists, friend to Dave. Lefty and Jake start their chat and at once noticethat they both have same ideas about labour party and both are socialists. Lefty encourages Jake to write apolitical drama about the principle and issues of labour union. The next morning Dave gives a letter to Jakewhich he has forgot to give him right away. The letter is from Anna and said “I want to see you urgently.Please come to the theatre”. (122) Jake rushes to the theatre straight away but Anna has gone already.From Anna’s house Jake goes to Sadie’s flat to acquire his copy of Silencer, overhears the conversationbetween Sadie and Sammy about his recent translation of “Le Rossignol de Bois” which they want to usefor their film without taking his authorization. They discuss that Hugo may compete with them for this filmso they must approach the producer first and make money. Jake gets angry with their cunning plan andfeels pity on Magde for selecting such a cunning person as her husband. He presumes that Magdelen mighthave given his typescript to Sammy or Sammy might have stolen his script from Magde. So he decides toget his script from Sammy by hook or by crook and goes to Sammy’s house at Chelsia with Finn. There heis unable to find his script, he wants to dognap Sammy’s film-star dog, an Alsatian named Mr. Mars whichis locked in a cage. So he has dog napped Mars to blackmail Sammy for his script. But surprisingly Marsgets affection on Jake, accompanies him and saves him in his adventures.Jake decides to warn Hugo about Sadie and Sammy’s double-crossing plot, goes to his Bounty Belfounderstudio, in South London along with Mars. He finds Hugo on a huge set that looked like a RomanAmphitheatre with brick walls, arches, pillars and columns, listening to a scintillating political speech byLefty Todd. Jake drags Hugo down and starts his story about Sadie, but the sudden arrival of the UnitedNationalists cause a riot and a huge police squad enter the studio and lead to a mayhem. In thispandemonium Jake is separated from Hugo and escapes from the riot and the police with the help of Mars.He reaches Dave’s flat where he is given letters from Sammy and Magde. Sammy has sent a cheque for600 pounds as he has won in their afternoon of gambling in exchange of Magde. Two telegrams fromMagd, one with a job offer in Paris and the other of 30 pounds for travel expenses. As Jake has alreadyread a news item about Anna that she would go to Hollywood through Paris, he wants to go to Paris withthat money. Before going to Paris Jake asks Dave to draft a blackmail letter to demand 100 pounds forMars and keeps Mars with Dave and Finn.Jake arrives Paris and is having his breakfast in a café, his attention falls on a huge crowd who are waitingfor the announcement of the Prix Goncourt, the annual book-writing award. To his astonishment he findsthat Jean-pierre Breteuil has won the prize for his latest novel “Nousles Vainqueurs”. In his opinion Jean-Pierre Breteuil is not a good writer. It is the mistake of Goncourt Jury “The Goncourt Jury, thatconstellation of glorious names, might sometimes errs, but they would never make a crass or fantasticmistake” (191). It is unbearable to Jake and he is envious about Breteuil. He doesn’t want to translate hisnew book instead he wants to write his own. “Why should I waste time transcribing his writings instead ofproducing my own? I would never translate Nous Les Vainqueurs. Never, never, never. (192)He meets Magdelen in a hotel room and is struck by her grace and refined dress and sophisticatedbehaviour. Magde tells him about a chance to get three hundred pounds down and a hundred and fifty amonth for an indefinite time. A shipping tycoon is ready to put his money in the Anglo-French filmcompany and he is searching for talented people. He wants to picture Breteuil’s novels and Breteuil will beon the board of directors, so that Magde selects Jake as an employee in their project. She knows that Jake isin dire need of money and craving for money. But Jake rejects her offer, feels that the job is a “Sinecure”(197). When Jake asks how their company relates to Bounty Belfounder, she tells that their new companywould smash and crash the Bellfounder’s. Sadie and Sammy also try to get the works of Jean Pierre but invain. Jean Pierre has accepted to give film rights of all his novels to this new company. So Sammy and 56
  • 57. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Sadie’s plan is failed and Sammy has failed in buying Mr. Mars from Phantasifilms without knowing hisreal age. It’s age is 14 and it won’t do adventurous feats anymore and will soon die. Magde again and againrequests him to do the job but Jake rejects and is unable to explain why he has declined her offer.Coming from Magde, Jake is wandering the city for many hours in a bewildered condition, notices that it isfourteenth of July, a Bastille Day on which “the city lets down its tumultuous hair, which the high summeranoints with warmth and perfume” (211). In the evening while he is watching fire works he has seen Annain the opposite crowd, followed her but hindered by the heavy crowd. He has missed Anna for the secondtime also. So he comes back from Paris and stays at Dave’s flat for several days with Mr. Mars. Finn hastaken his share of their betting on Lyrebird and is vanished. Jake searches for a job and has got a job as anorderly at a hospital in the Corelli ward specialized for head-injuries. He enjoys his work very much. Atthat time Hugo is admitted in that hospital, in the Corelli ward as he is wounded in a political party meetingwith a brick by an unknown person. Jake tries to enquire about Hugo but the hospital staff don’t allow himto know about Hugo. So Jake enters the room at midnight and starts conversation with Hugo. When Hugopraises his book “The Silencer” and admires his clean ideas, Jake burst out that they are not his ideas butthey are Hugo’s. Until now Jake presumes that Hugo would get angry if knows about his treachery ofcopying their conversation. Instead Hugo candidly appreciates for his brilliance in giving a form to theirchat.Next their tête-à-tête turns on Sadie and Anna. Hugo tells that he loves Sadie not Anna, but Anna loves himand Sadie loves Jake. Jake is in love with Anna. Hugo insists that Jake will help him to escape from thehospital. When Hugo and Jake are coming out from the hospital, they are identified by Stitch, a worker inthe hospital and Jake understands that he will lose his job. After their escape Jake follows Hugo for sometime but Hugo has vanished when they reach Gloucester walk and Jake has missed him again.3. ConclusionJake walks through the London streets thinking about the things that Hugo has discussed with him. Now hismemories about Anna are completely changed. Her picture in his mind is faded away, “I had no longer anypicture of Anna. She faded like a sorcerer’s apparition: and yet somehow her presence remained to me,more substantial than ever before, It seemed as if, for the first time Anna really existed now as a separatebeing and not as a part of myself”(268). Hugo is a towering personality in his mind like a monolith. Hegoes to Hugo’s flat and finds that there are no birds only their white droppings. He rummages around thehouse and drawers and finds his book “The Silencer” on his desk, puts it in his pocket. He also noticessome currency notes in the drawer and hesitates to keep them in his pocket. When Lefty is entering Hugo’shouse, Jake understands that Hugo’s house is donated to Lefty’s society and he has come to confiscate thebuilding. Jake takes the largest of the bundles of one-pound notes and pushes it inside his coat. He comesout of the building in another way. He receives a note from Finn telling Jake that he has gone back toIreland. Jake keeps Mars with him by paying 700 pounds to Sammy and tells Tinkham that he will do apart time job and he won’t translate others’ books but write his own.ReferencesMurdoch, (2002). Iris. “Under the Net”, VintageByat, A. S., “Degrees of Freedom: The Novels of Iris Murdoch”. London: Chatto & WindusBove, Cheryl. (1993). Understanding Iris Murdoch. Columbia University of South Carolina PressBove, Cheryl.(1992) “New Directions in Iris Murdochs Latest Women”, Critical Essays on Iris Murdoch.New York: GK Hall & Co., 188-198.Frankova, M. (1995), Human Relationships in the Novels of Iris Murdoch. Brno: Masarykova Univerzita,.Gordon, David J. (1995). “Iris Murdoch’s Fables of Unselfing”, Columbia: University of Missouri Press.Roxman, Susanna. (1983) “Contingency and the image of the net in Iris Murdoch, novelist andphilosopher”, Engelska. P.65-70 57
  • 58. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Economical Evaluation of Sensation Seeking Among Different Levels Weight Lifters Syed. Tariq Murtaza Department of Physical Health and Sports Education, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 202002, (U.P.), India. E-mail: Mohd. Imran (Corresponding Author) Department of Physical Health and Sports Education, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 202002, (U.P.), India. E-mail: Mohd. Arshad Bari Department of Physical Health and Sports Education, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 202002, (U.P.), India. E-mail: Farkhunda Jabin Department of Hifzane Sehat Wa, Samaji Tibb, Faculty of Unani Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 202002, (U.P.), India. E-mail: far.khun.da@hotmail.comReceived: October 12th, 2011Accepted: October 20th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011The authors would like to acknowledge the cooperation of UGC-SAP (DRS-I) Programme, Department ofPhysical Health and Sports Education, Aligarh Muslim University, AligarhAbstract:The purpose of the present study was to compare the sensation seeking trait on different levels of weightlifters. The total hundred (50 State level and 50 All- India intervarsity level weight lifters) males wereselected for this study. The age of the subjects were ranged between 18 to 25 years. The data on sensationseeking of the subjects were obtained by using a questionnaire developed by Neary and Zuckerman (1976).The t test was used to determine the difference between the mean score of different levels of weight lifters.Results revealed that there was a significant difference between different levels of weight lifters at 0.05 58
  • 59. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011level of significance with 98 degree of freedom. Study showed that All- India intervarsity level weightlifters have higher level of sensation seeking as compared to State level weight lifters.Key words: weight lifters, Sensation seeking, Thrill and Adventure Seeking, Experience Seeking,Disinhibition, Boredom Susceptibility.1. Introduction:Greece in 6th century B.C. reportedly had strongmen, wrestlers, and boxers. In 624 B.C. it was related thatthe legendary Milo shouldered a young calf until it grew to its full size. Milo developed the theory ofprogressive resistance training. Some of the first Greek gyms were outdoor arenas, and the Greeks laterbuilt enclosed structures similar to today’s fitness centres. To further understand the history/developmentof body building it is important to know the basics and history of strength training. There were reports ofstrength training in India over 5,000 years ago (Stutley & Stutley, 1977). Some of the earlier trainingmethods included people jumping up out of holds to develop their legs. Ancient athletes cut handles intostones, a concept that proved to be the forerunner of today’s dumbbells. Discus throwing was another typeof brute strength event, and it remains as a popular training method even today. The Romans, who usedexercise to become fierce warriors developed exercise circuit training. The fall of the Roman Empire sentstrength training into dormancy for approximately 1400 years. In the 1800s the Germans rediscoveredstrength training and physical culture by opening up weight lifting clubs (Persis, 1999).Marvin Zuckerman initially developed the theory of sensation seeking. Large number of studies haveshown that people who engage in a range of high risk behaviours tend to be high sensation seekers,Zuckerman proposes that there are four sub-dimensions to the sensation seeking trait: (1.) “Thrill andAdventure Seeking” which relates to the willingness to take physical risks and participate in high risksports, (2.) “Experience Seeking” which relates to the need for new and exciting experiences and isassociated with all types of risk taking, (3.) “Disinhibition” which relates to a willingness to take socialrisks and engage in health risk behaviours (e.g. binge drinking or unprotected sex), and (4.) “BoredomSusceptibility” which relates to intolerance for monotony.Sensation seeking is a much interesting personality trait that has its effect on several spheres of our lives. Itaffects what activities we prefer, what sports or occupations we choose. Personality traits are underlyingcharacteristics of an individual that are relatively stable over time, and explain regularities in peoples.When thinking about people we know well, we will naturally have noticed how we differ, and oureveryday language is full of ways of describing and comparing people. People may be outgoing orunsociable, shy or confident, friendly or rude, and so on. People instinctively observe that persons reactdifferently to the same situations, and these differences are caused by natural variations in personalitytraits. Many studies involving sensation seeking have been conducted across a variety of anti-social risk-taking behaviours, such as drug use and unsafe sexual practices, as well as more socially acceptable formsof risk-taking behaviours (Zerevski et al.,1998) such as engaging in extreme sports (Donohew,Zimmerman Cupp, Novak, Colon & Abell, 2000; Kerr, 1991; Zuckerman, 1994). The sensation- seekingscale (Zuckerman, 1978; 1994) was initially developed in 1960’s to help researchers identify thesensation-seeking personality type of trait.Sensation seeking is conceptualized as the need for individuals to reach and maintain an optimal level ofarousal. Sensation seekers seen characterized by a chronical under activation, and sight stimulations toincrease their level of arousal to a point that is hedonically positive for them (Eysenck & Zuckerman,1978). Some studies have shown that sensation seeking was a significant determinant of the choice ofrisky activities (Zalesky, 1984; Zuckerman, 1983) and of the adoption dangerous behaviours in theseactivities (Connolly, 1981; Rossi & Cereatti, 1992).2. Methodology:2.1 SubjectsA total of hundred (50 State level and 50 All- India intervarsity level weight lifters) male were randomlyselected for this study. The age of the selected subjects were ranged between 18 to 25 years. 59
  • 60. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 20112.2 InstrumentsInvestigators used the Sensation Seeking Test (SST) developed by Neary and Zuckerman (1976), to obtaindata on sensation seeking of the subjects.2.3 ProcedureThe data were collected from the various university players who had participated in State levels and AllIndia Inter-University Weight Lifting, Power Lifting and Best Physique Championship. The tool consists of15 statements regarding sensation seeking (SS). The scoring varies from 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much) foreach item (range=15 to 75). It is a Likert type 5 points scale.2.4 Statistical Analysis The t test was used to determine the differences between the means of different levels of weightlifters score. Further the level of significance was set at 0.05 level.3. ResultsTable 1: Indicating mean differences between different levels of Body Builders on their sensationseeking. Mean SD Cal. tAll- India intervarsity level of weight lifters 58.25 7.15 5.462*State level of weight lifters 53.72 4.63*Significant at 0.05 level of significance Tab t = 1.980When we go through table 1, it is documented that calculated t was higher than tabulated t which indicatedthat significant difference between different levels of weight lifters in their sensation seeking at 0.05 levelof significance with 98 degree of freedom. Sensation Seeking Sensation Seeking All- India intervarsity level of weight lifters Sensation Seeking State level of weight lifters 58.25 53.72 All- India intervarsity State level of weight level of weight lifters lifters Sensation Seeking Figure 1: Showing graphical representation of mean difference between different levels of Weight Lifters. 60
  • 61. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 20114. DiscussionThe result of the study showed that there was a significant mean difference between the different levels ofweight lifters in their sensation seeking behaviour. All India level weight lifters were found to have moresensation seeking behaviour in comparison to State level weight lifters. This could be due to the fact thatAll India level weight lifters have taken their sport as a career whereas State level weight lifters havesomewhat amateur approach to their competitions. They can only ‘see through’ their competitors butcannot scale the amount of musculature required for overcoming the opponents at the national plane.5. ConclusionOn the basis of obtained results, it is concluded that there was a statistical significant difference betweendifferent levels of weight lifters in their sensation seeking. And the state level weight lifters exhibited lessersensation seeking behaviour as they can’t scale the amount of competition required at their level.ReferencesConnolly, P. M. (1981). An exploratory study of adults engaging in the high- risk sports of skiing. Master’sthesis, Rutgers University.Donohew, L., Zimmerman, R., Cupp, P.S., Novak, S., Abell, R. (2000). Sensation Seeking, ImpulsiveDecision Making, and Risky Sex: Implication for Risk Taking and Design of Interventions. Personality andIndividual Differences, 28(6), 1079-1091.Eysenck, S. B. & Zuckerman, M. (1978). The relationship between sensation seeking and Eysenck’sdimensions of personality. British Journal of Psychology, 69, 483-487.Kerr. J. H. (1991). Arousal Seeking in Risk Sports Participants. Personality and Individual Differences,12(6), 613-616.Neary., Zuckerman. M. (1976). Sensation Seeking, Trait and State Anxiety and the ElectrodermalOrienting Response. Online Journal Psychophysiology, 13(3), 205-211.Rossi, B. & Cereatti, L. (1993). The Sensation Seeking in mountain athletes as assessed by Zuckerman’sSensation Seeking Scale. International Journal of Sports Psychology, 24, 417-431.Persis, M.J. (1999, August) The origins of bodybuilding. Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness, 12(3): 26Stutley, M. and Stutley, S. (1977). A dictionary of Hinduism: Its Mythology, Folklore, Philosophy,Literature and History, New York: Harper & Row.Zaleski, Z. (1984). Sensation Seeking and Risk Taking al Science. Personality and Individual Differences,5: 607-608.Zarevski, P., Marusic, I., Zolotic S., Bunjevac, T., Vukosav, Z. (1998). Contribution of ArnettsInventory of Sensation Seeking and Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale. To The Differential of AthletesEngaged in High and Low Risk Sports. Personality and Individual Differences, 25(4), 763-768.Zuckerman, M. (1983). Sensation Seeking and Sports. Personality and Individual Differences, 4:285–293.Zuckerman, M. (1994). al Expressions and Biosocial Bases of Sensation Seeking. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.Zuckerman, M., Eysenck, S., Eysenck, H. J. (1978). Sensation Seeking in England and America: Cross-cultural, Age, And Sex Comparisons. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46(1), 139-149. 61
  • 62. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Evaluating English for Academic Purposes in some Cameroonian Universities Gilbert Tagne Safotso, Department of English, Higher Teacher Training College, University of Maroua P.O. Box: 282 Dschang, Cameroon E-mail: gilbertsafotso@hotmail.comReceived: October 12th, 2011Accepted: October 20th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractThis paper evaluates the situation of EAP teaching in Cameroon State universities. The governmentlanguage policy as well as some programmes and teaching methods were subjected to a needs analysisquestionnaire of students’ expectations and opinions (N=600). Results show poor management of thesubject and discrepancy between learners’ needs and the outcome of the programme followed. Finally,some suggestions for improvement are made.Keywords: learners’ needs, specific language, programme design, teaching methods, EAP1. IntroductionThe success of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP)programmes is judged by the extent to which learners in such programmes are able to do what the coursewas intended to help them do. To ensure the success of such programmes, they need to be designed withgreat care; taking into account the exact needs of learners (Benesh 1996). Because of the more specialisednature of EAP, its methods of teaching therefore need to be distinct from the ones used in English forGeneral Purposes (Dudley-Evans & St Johns 1998), since ESP/EAP are usually scheduled for a verylimited period. In Cameroon State universities, apart from students who do bilingual studies (combinedFrench-English degree), all Francophone students are compelled to do EAP, and all Anglophone studentsFAP (French for Academic Purposes) to be able to attend lectures which can be given either in English orin French. But the effectiveness of EAP/FAP has raised a number of questions regarding among others themanagement of the subject, the course content, the teaching methods and class size.After a description of the government language policy in Cameroon, this paper presents a needs analysis toevaluate the effectiveness of EAP/FAP teaching in some Cameroon State universities with focus onprogrammes of studies, teaching methods, class size, teachers’ background and qualification, as well asstudents’ expectations and opinions on the programme. The findings are then discussed, and finally, somesuggestions for improvement are made.2. Background: The government’s language policy in Cameroonian schoolsWith its 237 local languages (Dieu et al. 1983) and two official languages (French and English), thelinguistic landscape of Cameroon is among the most complex in Africa. Nevertheless, at primary andsecondary school levels, the government has adopted an official language policy of making French andEnglish the languages of instruction to all students with clear instructions, objectives, trained teachers andavailable textbooks.In Cameroonian primary schools, from the reunification of West and East Cameroon (in 1961) to early2000, English was not a compulsory subject in all classes of the Francophone subsystem of educationi.Only children who attended urban centre schools studied it in the last three years of their primary school 62
  • 63. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011education. In the Anglophone subsystem of education, French was taught/learnt in a similar way. It shouldbe noted that for this order of education, the government has created numerous teacher training schools,and good course books were written and revised at regular intervals to suit the context of the country.At secondary school level, the second objective for learning English in the French-speaking area ofCameroon is to contribute to the ‘’intellectual growth by the acquisition of language which is so significantin the field of literature, philosophy, science and technology’’ (Ministerial Circularn°31/D/55/IGP/MINEDUC of June 4, 1975: 41). Attention to the communicative aspects of language usewas later emphasised in the two subsystems of education of the country to provide study skills andstrategies to cope with an ever-changing world. From these decisions and instructions, it can be understoodthat the government acknowledges the importance of language in the school curriculum. The situation of EAP in Cameroon State UniversitiesIn 1962, the teaching of EAP (English for Academic Purposes)/FAP (French for Academic Purposes)began at the Federal University of Cameroon. The subject is now given a yearly quota of 45-56 hours,which are taught only for one semester, 4 hours a week (Echu 1999:1) to all students during the first threeyears of their university studies. This is done not only for national unity, but also because most courses attertiary level in Cameroon are taught interchangeably in French and English depending on the linguisticbackground of the lecturer. But in most Cameroonian State universities, the efficiency of EAP/FAPremains a matter of concern. Njeck (1992) remarks that students attend EAP class simply because it iscompulsory subject. Kouega (2006:7) reports that at the University of Yaoundé II Soa, during lecturesgiven in English 26.47% of his Francophone respondents reported playing truant or following lectureswithout taking down notes. He also mentions that only 8.82 per cent of his subjects reported discussing inEnglish about a lecture taught in English.Because each university organises the programme in its own way, the Ministry of Higher Educationorganised in 1999 a Meeting of a Group Experts to assess all EAP programmes taught across the country aswell as other subjects programmes, and to propose concrete solutions to the problem. In their report, theexperts commented that none of the documents submitted constitutes a coherent programme for EAP.“Indeed, the courses do not seem to be viewed and treated as a necessary and indispensable component ofuniversity studies” (Experts Group Meeting Report, p.483). They also addressed a number of importantissues such as the necessity to design a good and coherent programme of EAP for all Cameroon Stateuniversities, the reduction of number of students per tutorial group (not exceeding 25 students), the trainingof special teachers as well as the necessity for universities to acquire indispensable tools and materials forteaching (e.g. language laboratories, video equipment and tapes, course books, etc.) (p.484). Similarconcerns were raised by Biloa (1999:54-55) in EAP: ‘‘...lack of up-to-date equipment, lack of qualifiedlecturers, cultural barriers, passive methods of teaching and lack of practice’’. In the light of this ambitiousgovernmental programme with few resources, we undertook a needs analysis to examine some individualteachers’ and faculties’ current programmes and teaching methods to see how far these recommendationshave been implemented.3. MethodologyA questionnaire (see Appendix A) aimed at gathering informants’ needs, wants, expectations and opinionsof their EAP programmes was administered to randomly selected first to third year Francophone students ofthe State universities of Yaounde I, Dschang and Maroua in two phases: 100 informants in 2007 from theuniversities of Yaounde I (N=50) and Dschang (N=50) in a pilot phase, then 500 informants in 2010 fromthe same universities (N=200 in each) and Maroua (N=100) in a control phase. The questionnaire wasdesigned following Hutchinson’s and Waters’(1987) framework for analysing target needs. The syllabusesdesigned by individual teachers or faculties (see Appendix B) were gathered during the same period fromthe universities of Douala, Yaounde I, Dschang and Maroua. This was completed by a longitudinalobservation of classroom practice in the three levels mentioned above from 2005 to 2010. Unstructuredinterviews with 15 colleagues involved in the programme were conducted in which the informants wereasked to give their appraisal of their own teaching, the programmes, class size and teacher qualifications 63
  • 64. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011and background. Ten subject-matter specialists from the departments of Physics, Earth Sciences,Mathematics and Geography of the universities of Yaounde I, Maroua and Dschang were also interviewedabout their learners’ English needs and to give their appraisal of EAP teaching in their respectivedepartments.4. Results4.1. The programmesThe present situation of EAP is similar to that prior to 1999 Report recommending integration of languageinto university studies. For examples guidelines at the Faculty of Science of the University of Dschangexpress the objective of the course not in terms of the skills learner should have, but in terms of norms( i.e.what lecturers should do), e.g. lectures (40 hours): grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary; tutorials (20hours): reading comprehension, essay writing, translation. No mention is made of listening which is one ofthe four main skills. The programmes of the universities of Douala and Maroua (see Appendix B) are notvery different from that of Dschang.A look at some individual syllabuses currently followed by teachers in various departments at Yaounde I,Douala, Maroua and Dschang universities (see Appendix B) reveals that most teachers dwell more upongeneral elementary language and even literature (e.g. programmes n°s 2,4) rather than the specific academicEnglish which students need in their various respective fields of study. Given that the majority ofsyllabuses generally consisted of sketchy list of items without mentioning any EAP reference book, it wasnot possible to use Hutchinson’s and Waters’(1987:99-104) checklist for material evaluation to do anaccurate assessment. Teachers interviewed reported that there are many useless repetitions, without takinginto consideration the previous programmes of learners.A careful analysis of several programmes reveals the lack of relevance to the overall subject studied.Indeed, no one can reasonably imagine an EAP programme for Chemistry students (see programme n°1 inAppendix B) which makes no mention of Chemistry items, or one for Economic Sciences and Managementstudents which makes no mention of Economy or Management vocabulary and structures (see programmen° 2 in Appendix B). It is also reported that in some classes of the University of Dschang (e.g. HistoryLevel Two, Economic Sciences and Management Level Three) the programme is devoted to phonetics andpronunciation. None of the subject-matter informants report having been consulted by English teachersabout students’ needs and syllabus content despite this being a very important step in EAP/ESP teaching(Trimble 1985). This should be done to enable the experts to suggest and confirm students’ needs anddiscourse analyses hypotheses (Huckin and Olsen 1984).In ESP, Hutchinson and Waters (1987:53) insist that the programme ‘‘should be based on an analysis oflearners’ needs’’, an argument which accounts very well for EAP, since Geography students do not needthe same vocabulary items and structures as Physics, Anthropology or Mathematics ones although someelements of the language are necessary to all of them (for example, correct conjugation of verbs, use ofarticles, adjectives, formal letters writing).For example, Tarone et al.(1981) acknowledge ‘the passive’ as atypical feature of English for science and technology. Johns (1991) quoted by Benesch (1996:723) gives aninteresting reason why needs analysis should be done in EAP- since by identifying elements of students’target English situations and using them as the basis of EAP/ESP instruction, teachers will be able toprovide students with the specific language they need to succeed in their courses and future careers. Citinga number of studies(e.g. Tarone et al.1981, Huckin and Olsen 1984, Dudley-Evans and Henderson 1990,Daoud 1991), Johns and Dudley-Evans(1991:300-301) suggest analysing genuine discourse of variousacademic disciplines in developing ESP materials. Thus, given the enormous language difficultiesFrancophone Cameroonian students continue to have after three years of EAP, it would perhaps beimportant to involve them in the design of their various EAP programmes as they better know theirimmediate (and future) needs.In designing those programmes, the major difficulty will be that of textbooks. Swales (1980:14) notes thatthe majority of ESP textbooks are written to suit the needs in a particular educational environment, wherethey are supposed to be most effective because they attempt to cater for the cultural, academic, andlinguistic characteristic of the original student. Because they are developed in a particular educational 64
  • 65. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011environment, it is ‘‘less reasonable to suppose that they will maintain their appropriateness on a globalbasis’’ (ibid). Even if they cannot suit all educational contexts, reference books and journal articles, e.g.Jordan (1997), Hyland (2006), etc. should be consulted in an attempt to design local textbooks.4.2. Classroom practiceBesides the lack of relevance of programmes earlier described, teaching methods are aggravated byovercrowding of classes. Most classes range from 100 to 500 students (e.g. Geography I and II classes atthe University of Dschang in the academic year 2007-2008 had respectively 150 students for the first yearand 134 students for the second year). Many classes from various departments are also combined into largeclasses of EAP without regard for the study fields of learners. In various faculties of Economic Sciencesand Management as well as those of Law and Political Science across the country, classes usually rangefrom 500 to 1000 students for a single teacher. For example, at the University of Yaounde II Soa, in theacademic year 2009-2010 the Second Year Economic Sciences and Management had about 2,500 students(see Appendix C).This exceedingly high number of students per class gives room for all sorts ofdeficiencies. In such an uncomfortable situation, teaching becomes more a formality of attendance - andentertainment than knowledge-sharing. Classroom observation shows that there is no teacher-student/student-student interaction and that noise is one of the major problems.Because of large classes, classes tend to be teacher-centred, aggravated by the lack of physical facilities.The majority of teachers interviewed report that they hurry through classes to get away. Even if theyattempt to write on the board, only students sitting at the front can see. Without microphones in classrooms,teachers complain that they are also usually exhausted at the end of their classes. Some teachers report theuse of tutorials though many are unable because of timetable constraints, but despite that classes are stillhuge, with over 50 students per group where no effective language activities can take place. It is worthremarking that dividing classes into smaller groups for tutorials also has its reverse side, as students finallyfind themselves (individually) with a reduced quota of hours. Apart from the noise which is reduced, mosttutorial classes very well resemble formal lectures.4.3. Teacher background and qualificationsTeachers who teach the subject across the country have various backgrounds. They are selected fromamong (a) university lecturers of English/Bilingual Studies departments, (b) secondary and high schoolteachers from neighbouring schools, and(c) English language/literature postgraduate students from nearestfaculties of arts and social sciences. Commenting on the background of teachers of EAP/FAP at Yaounde IUniversity, Biloa (1999:59) points out that postgraduate students who are members of the teaching staffhave no teaching skills and very often, a course gives them the possibility of teaching for the first time intheir lives without having ever been prepared for that task .They are still very busy with their own studies.Even secondary and high school teachers who teach the subject together with postgraduate students havenot been trained for EAP. They have either been trained to teach literature, or other related subjects such asESL (English as a Second Language), and very few, to teach EFL (English as a Foreign Language). Forexample, in the academic year 2010-2011, of the eight lecturers teaching EAP at the University of Maroua,only one (12%) reported having some training in EAP. Of the 12 teachers teaching the subject in thefaculty of science of the University of Dschang, none reported having received any training in the domain.No in-service training or seminar is organised to help them acquire the basic teaching skills on the subject.Yet, EAP/ESP teaching is so specific/technical that training in the field is an absolute necessity. Trimble(1985:1) remarks that, before they (with Larry Selinker) could adequately teach the English of science andtechnology to non- native undergraduate students at the University of Washington (Seattle) ,they “had tolearn something about it”.4. 4. Students’ needs, expectations and opinions on the programmeStudents’ reasons for taking EAP courses and the various uses they will make of the language learnt aresummarised in Table1 below. 65
  • 66. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Table1: students’ reasons for taking EAP courses, and uses of language learnt Number of students N= 500 % % N= 100, Year 2007 Year 2010 it is compulsory 100 100 500 100 Why do you need for studies 92 92 485 97 EAP? (Q1) for communication 64 64 360 72 How will you use the in writing 100 100 500 100 language acquired in speaking 72 72 400 80 /learnt? in reading notes/technical books 82 82 425 85 (Q2) in following lectures 98 98 500 100 lecturers 34 34 210 42 With whom will you Anglophone classmates 100 100 500 100 use the language other speakers of English in the 42 42 240 48 acquired/learnt? world (Q4) internet correspondents 25 25 130 26 in lectures 52 52 260 52 Where will you use in the library 86 86 460 92 the language in seminars 68 68 360 72 acquired/learnt? in personal research 54 54 310 62 (Q5) in Cameroon 100 100 500 100 abroad 21 21 160 32 When will you use the during courses taught by 100 100 500 100 language acquired Anglophone lecturers /learnt? frequently 81 81 430 86 (Q6) seldom 12 12 40 08It can be observed from the table that all the informants take EAP courses because it is a compulsorysubject (100 %). Taking it for study purposes also has a very high percentage (92 % in 2007 and 97 % in2010). It can also be observed that many students wish to use the language learnt in following lectures,with their Anglophone classmates, in the library, and as frequently as possible. The low percentage in theuse of the language learnt with internet correspondents/people abroad/lecturers somewhat testifies to thepoor quality of language learnt until then, as students doubt about their competence and performance inEnglish.As to the type of language students expect to learn in their various EAP courses (Q2 of Appendix A), allinformants said that they expect English that is related to their various fields of study, and very littlegeneral English. This indicates that students are aware of the real nature of EAP courses. Table 2 belowsummarises their general expectations from EAP courses, i.e. the language skills and elements they need(Q7 of Appendix A).Table 2: Students’ general expectations from EAP (Q7) Number of students Number of students % % N=100, year 2007 N=500, year 2010(a) Ability to read textbooks in 87 87 397 79,4English(b) Ability to listen to lectures 100 100 460 92and take notes in English(c)Ability to read scientific books 87 87 390 78 66
  • 67. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011and journals in English(d) Ability to write articles in 54 54 370 74English(e) Ability to ask and answer 62 62 415 83questions in English in class(f) Ability to take part in 75 75 340 68seminars in EnglishDespite the slight gap between the various percentages in 2007 and 2010, on the whole, Cameroonianstudents’ general expectations from EAP are very high. The low percentage in answer (d) in 2007 (54%)may be explained by the fact that then students never imagined that they could be required to write inEnglish as they now do using internet.Students’ opinions and grievances on their past programmes (Q8 of Appendix A) simply express theirdissatisfaction. Following are some of the expressions they used to describe them: boring, noisy,inadequate, superficial, mediocre, insufficient, not beneficial, no follow up of students, revision ofsecondary school grammar, was not related to students’ fields of study, was not at university level, etc.The consequence of irrelevant programmes, non-existent syllabus, unskilled teachers, poor teachingmethods and large classes, is students’ output, which is far below expectation. Up to the third year, manyFrancophone students are still unable to adequately follow lectures in English. Most of the time, they askquestions on what is going on or copy notes from their Anglophone peers.Although respondents could not be accurate as to what to do to improve the EAP classes (Q9 of AppendixA), some of their proposals were nonetheless quite sensible. Over 80 per cent of the subjects mainlyinsisted on the amelioration of programmes content, reduction of class size, more tutorials, andqualification of teachers; most of the lecturers should be bilingual (French and English) given that the vastmajority of them speak only English. This at times might help explanations in the students’ own language.Following the same line of thinking, a lot can in fact be done to ameliorate that situation as discussedbelow.5. Discussion and recommendationsIn well structured and organised EAP programmes (e.g. Martin 1976, Jordan 1989 and 1997, etc.),elicitation and analysis of learners’ needs, teaching of specific and academic vocabulary, are essential. Ourdata quantifies students’ needs and expectations from the programme, and their appraisal of pastprogrammes clearly expresses this dissatisfaction. The large size of classes, poor classroom equipment andpoor teaching methods are some of the weaknesses of the programme as noted early by therecommendations of the Experts Group Meeting of 1999 and the findings of Biloa (1999) and Kouega(2006). Findings of all the aspects analysed in this study show a stagnant situation. Some suggestions andrecommendations for improvement are made below.Although they have been largely ignored, some of the recommendations and proposals of the ExpertsGroup Meeting deserve to be echoed here : (a) design a model national programme and propose it foradaptation and use by all Cameroon State universities: this may help avoid the confusion observed in thesyllabuses currently in use in some universities, (b) make efforts for EAP tutorial groups not to exceed amanageable size( 25 per group), (c) train special teachers to ensure a good implementation of the proposedcourse programme, and get all universities to acquire the necessary tools and materials for effectiveteaching/learning of the subject (language laboratories, video equipment, course books etc.), and (d)encourage universities to solicit the assistance/participation of embassy cultural centres, public and privatelanguage institutes /centres (p. 484). This should be done because the present situation is similar to that 67
  • 68. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011prior to the Experts Group Meeting recommendations. In addition, some trained EAP lecturers should berecruited to teach and co-ordinate the teaching of the subject in various universities; teachers in charge ofthe subject should be encouraged to write local textbooks which take into account the exact needs ofstudents and the particular setting of Cameroon; subject-matter specialists should be associated to Englishteachers in a sort of ‘team teaching’ (Robinson 1989) to enable EAP teachers to gather more informationon learners’ language needs from their subject specialist colleagues; in-service training and seminars shouldbe organised from time to time by universities to enable academic authorities and teachers to up-date theirknowledge in the field; the course should also be scheduled at the beginning of the academic year to enablestudents to feel their impact on other subjects. Universities libraries should be equipped with internetfacilities and EAP/ESP books on various academic disciplines. This may enable students to fill in the gapcaused by inadequate syllabuses and teaching methods. Finally, the programme should regularly beevaluated by both national and international experts to oversee its development.6. ConclusionDue to a number of factors, the situation of EAP is a major cause for concern in Cameroon. They includelack of a clear governmental language policy and instructions at tertiary level, lack of adequate andcoherent programmes, lack of national co-ordination of the programme, irrelevant teaching methods andmarginal qualification of teachers, large size of classes, lack of course books and other teaching /learningmaterials, and lack of language laboratories, to name but a few. The absence of those factors leads todeficiencies in the programme, and the language class, whose impact on other academic disciplines iscapital, otherwise becomes a waste of time to students. Therefore, urgent remedies recommended inSection 5 quickly need to be applied to avoid further prejudice to students in Cameroonian Stateuniversities. ReferencesBenesch, S. (1996). Needs Analysis and Curriculum Development in EAP: anExample of a Critical Approach, TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 30(4), 723-38.Biloa, E. (1999). Bilingual Education at the University of Yaounde I: the Teaching ofFrench to English-Speaking Students in Echu, G. and Grundstrom, A. W. eds. (1999), Official Bilingualismand Linguistic Communication in Cameroon, New York : Peter Lang, pp.53-74.Celce-Murcia, M. ed.( 1991).Teaching English as a second or foreign language,Boston: Heinle & Heinle.Daoud, M.(1991).The processing of EST discourse: Arabic and French native speakers recognition ofrhetorical relationship in engineering texts. Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, University of California,Los Angeles.Dieu, M. et al. (1983). Situation Lingustique en Afrique: Le Cameroun. Atlas Linguistique de l’AfriqueCentrale, ACT-CERDOTOLA-DGRST, Yaoundé.Dudley-Evans, A. and Henderson, W.eds. (1990). The language of analysis of economics discourse (ELTDocument N° 134) Modern English publications in association with the British Council. 68
  • 69. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Dudley-Evans, A. and St Johns, M.J.(1998). Developments in English for Specific Purposes, Cambridge:Cambridge University press.Echu, G. (1999). Genèse et evolution du bilinguisme officiel au Cameroun, in Echu, G. and Grundstrom, A.W. eds. (1999), Official Bilingualism and Linguistic Communication in Cameroon, New York: Peter Lang,pp.3-13.Echu, G. & Grundstrom, A. W. eds. (1999). Official Bilingualism and Linguistic Communication inCameroon, New York: Peter Lang.Faculty of Science, the University of Dschang, Circular UDS/FS/D/VDPSAA/SDPER of 17th October,2007.Huckin, T. and Olsen, L. (1984). On the use of informants in LSP discourse analysis in Pugh, A and Ulijn, J. (eds.), Reading for professional purposes, L Heinemann, pp.120-29.Hutchinson, T. & Waters, A. (1987).English for Specific Purposes: learning approach, Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.Hyland, K. (2006). English for Academic Purposes. An Advanced Resource Book, London: Routledge.Johns, A., M. (1991). English for Specific Purposes (ESP): Its history and contribution,in Celce-Murcia, ed.(1991). Teaching English as a second or foreign language, Boston: Heinle & Heinle ,pp. 67-77.Johns, A. and Dudley- Evans, A. (1991). English for specific purposes: International in Scope, specific inpurpose, TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 25, N°2, 297-314.Jordan, R.R. (1989). English for Academic Purposes Language Teaching, 22/3, 150-164.Jordan, R.R. (1997). English for Academic Purposes. A guide and resource book for teachers, Cambridge :Cambridge University Press.Kouega, J.P.(2006). Bilingualism at tertiary level education in Cameroon: the case University of YaoundéII Soa, Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Bilingualism (held in Hamburg in 2006), (ISB6).Martin, A.V. (1976). Teaching Academic Vocabulary to Foreign graduate Students, TESOL Quarterley,vol. 10 (1), 91-97.MINEDUC (1982). Programme de l’Enseignement Secondaire Général, Yaoundé : 69
  • 70. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011CEPER.MINEDUC (2004). Order n° 1751/D/55/MINEDUC/SG/IGPBIL to define the English syllabus forFrancophone Secondary General Schools.MINESUP (1999). Assises des Programmes Universitaires. Experts Group Meeting,Yaoundé: Privately Printed.Njeck, A.F. (1992). Official bilingualism in the University of Yaoundé: some educational and social issues,Unpublished MA thesis, Yaounde: University of Yaoundé.Robinson, P. (1989). An overview of English for specific purposes, in H. Coleman, ed. (1989), Workingwith language, Berlin: Mouton.Tarone, E et al. (1985). English for science and technology: A discourse approach,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Trimble, L. (1985). English for Science and Technology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. APPENDIX A Students’ questionnairePlease, answer these questions about your English for Academic Purposes Programme.Tick as many answers as possible. Cocher autant de réponses possibles. 1. Why do you need English for Academic Purposes (EAP)? it is compulsory for studies for communication 2. How will you use the language acquired /learnt in EAP courses? in writing in speaking in reading notes/technical books in following lectures 3. What type of language do you expect to learn in EAP classes? _________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 4. With whom will you use the language acquired / learnt? lecturers Anglophone classmates other speakers of English in the world internet correspondents 5. Where will you use the language acquired /learnt? in lectures in the library in seminars in personal research in Cameroon abroad 70
  • 71. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 6. When will you use the language acquired/learnt? during courses taught by Anglophone lecturers frequently seldom 7. What do you expect in general from English for Academic Purposes? (a) Ability to read textbooks in English (b) Ability to listen to lectures and take notes in English (c) Ability to read scientific books and journals in English (d) Ability to write articles in English (e) Ability to ask and answer questions in English in class (f) Ability to take part in seminars in English 8. What do you think of English for Academic Purposes programmes that you have covered so far? e.g. first year, second year, etc. 9. What do you think can be done to ameliorate them? e.g. teachers, teaching methods, contents… APPENDIX B: Five programmes (by individual teachers, faculties or universities) 1. Third year chemistry (University of Dschang, year 2008) • Tenses: present continuous tense, present tense, past simple tense, past participles, present perfect, active/passive voice. • Questions: conversation, making suggestions, forms of questions, auxiliary verbs, question words, subject/object question, question tags. • Agreement: do and does, since and for, by and until, as and like, too and enough, some and any, many and few. • Preposition: in, on and at • Rules for forming comparatives and superlatives. 2. Second year Economic Sciences and Management (University of Dschang, Year 2007) o Rules and variations o Why do we learn English? o Variation according to use o General principles of English grammar and their applications (sentence type, parts of speech, numbers pronunciation, the verb, suffixes, auxiliaries). o Conjugation of verbs o Letter writing o Literature: The Black Cat by John Milne3. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (University of Douala, year 2008 /2009) Level One Language and function Pronunciation - saying greetings and farewells - vowels and consonants - introducing people - diphthongs and triphthongs Comprehension Vocabulary - examination techniques - some masculine and feminine - reading and understanding a text - some idioms, proverbs and idiomatic sayings Essay - register of banking - mechanics of composition - register of law and the court - letter writing: general principles Grammar Level Two - the genitive pronunciation - the comparative and the superlative - intonation 71
  • 72. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 - determiners Vocabulary - indefinite pronouns - Phrasal verbs - use of tenses - synonyms and antonyms - some idioms, proverbs, and idiomatic sayings 4. University of Yaounde I, Year 2006: Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Spanish, French Modern Letters • First Year: Literature: Of Mice and Men (abridged version), John Steinbeck • Second Year: Literature: Great Expectations (abridged version), Charles Dickens • Third Year: Literature: Corail Island (abridged version), Ballantyner, M. 5. Higher Teacher Training College, University of Maroua, Second Cycle Programme (for all classes, 2009 – 2010) - pronunciation: vowels, consonants, stress. - socialising: greetings, apologies, leave taking … - tag questions, yes/no questions - active and passive voice - Essay writing. - Reading comprehension Appendix C: Examples of EAP classes from four Cameroon State Universities Academic Total number of University Class year students in class Douala 2008-2009 History I (N=185) + Communication I (N=168) 353 First Year Earth Sciences (N=62) + First Year Biochemistry (N=68) + Dschang 2008-2009 258 First Year Animal Biology (N=56) + First Year Vegetal Biology (N = 72) Yaounde II Second Year Economic Sciences and Management 2009-2010 2,500 Soa (N=2,500) 2008-2009 Second Cycle Counsellors (N=600) 600 Maroua Second Cycle Computer Sciences (N=120) + 2010-2011 210 Second Cycle Mathematics (N=90) 72