“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution.”
A lot has been said about improving quality of education through accreditation of the institutes and it has now been made mandatory requirement for all the professional Dental colleges by the Dental Council of India. A more recent development talks about it being desirable rather than mandatory. Broadly accreditation is a quality assurance process that helps educational institutions in attaining their academic goals by meeting the standards laid down by the accreditation granting agencies.
The principal goal of any educational institution is to impart quality education & state-of-the-art clinical, educational and infrastructural facilities to students & help them build new skills thereby aiding them in shaping their careers. One of the preliminary steps towards ensuring that the educational institutions are working in harmony with the primary goal is procuring “Accreditation” from designated agencies and then continuing to work towards bettering the existing facilities and teaching methods. This process ensures safeguarding the interests of all the involved stakeholders - students, parents, faculty, and educators & evaluating the overall institutional performance on these parameters. Accordingly, the stakeholders have a definite say and can influence or modify the working of the institution for improving the overall standards.
If done in the right perspective, the process of accreditation ensures recognition by peers, within the institution and across the country, encourages planning, identifies areas for change, and need for such a change, encourages research in the respective domains by the students and the faculties, in assisting the students for institutional preferences, assuring the students of a formidably acceptable educational standards and quality, promotes curriculum improvement thereby offering a competitive advantage for all the stakeholders.
However, there must be a contributory mechanism of achieving such standards wherein all the stakeholders are involved with similar intensities towards obtaining the highest possible standards. Limiting the mechanism just for paper work evidences will definitely spoil the entire system and will be of no use to anyone. It is also worth wondering how the same faculties can be involved in teaching, patient care, research and administrative work. It has to be a segregation of different units working together in perfect synchronization and synergising the end results.
Finally, it is up to us as individuals and the institutes where we look upon ourselves a few years later from now. Such exercises do require extra ordinary and continued efforts from all of us but then these initiatives have the capabilities of benefitting us as professionals, the profession and the society at large.