Role reversal: Now, students at Presidency to rate teachers

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Founded in 1817, the elite Presidency University was granted full university status in 2010. Founded in 1817, the elite Presidency University was granted full university status in 2010.
SummaryAfter semester exams, students would be given feedback forms to assess teachers' performance.

In a role reversal of sorts, students of the elite Presidency University here would rate the performance of their teachers through a unique feedback system.

The first-of-its-kind concept would be introduced from this semester after approval at the teachers' council meeting this month, Presidency's Vice-Chancellor Malabika Sarkar said.

After their semester examinations, students would be given feedback forms to assess the performance of teachers.

The forms would have questions like 'Which of the classes were of use to you?', 'Are you able to hear your teachers properly?' and 'Are teachers available to you after classes?'

Sarkar said the idea was to improve the teacher-student relationship by asking students to talk about problems they faced during class.

"This practice is present globally at all good institutes. There is no reason why we shouldn't have it if we want to be on par with the rest of the world," she said.

An internal assessment conducted by the university in 2011 had found that 15 per cent of its teaching staff were below par.

University officials said an overall performance review of the teaching process would be taken from students of all departments.

Only those students who were regular in class would be made part of the process.

The answers would then be shared with the teachers who would be asked by the university management to work upon it.

To prevent teachers from becoming biased, the students would be asked not to write their names on the feedback form.

At present, if a student has an issue with a teacher, she has to approach either the teacher concerned or the head of the department. In rare cases, the complaint found the attention of the vice-chancellor's office.

"Most of the times, this feedback is taken negatively as a complaint. If this initiative is executed properly, we would be able to give constructive feedback and criticism to the management about our classes. This would be of great help to us," 21-year-old Presidency student Subir Das said.

Founded in 1817, the institution was granted full university status in 2010.

With the university wanting to establish itself as a pre-eminent institution of learning of international repute, a mentor group with eminent academicians, including Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, had been formed by the state government to provide recommendations and a roadmap.

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