by Joshua Dsouza
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Mangaluru, Aug 24 : Expert PU College, one of the largest PU colleges in the state, was in the news for securing top ranks in the state in PU, CET and other examinations. There was also another allegation that CID had raided the college in connection with the second PU question paper leak.
Chairman of Expert PU College Prof Narendra Nayak spoke in details to Daijiworld founder Walter Nandalike in an exclusive TV interview in 'Public Challenge' programme, clarifying on these allegations and explaining how the institute is focussed on education and discipline.
What made you get into the field of education?
After I finished my engineering studies and returned home after finishing my final exams, I had my elder brother at home who had just returned home after clearing CA exam in Mumbai. He advised to start a CA coaching centre along with him. Its here that I started teaching at first, and that made me to bring out the good teacher hidden in me. It was in 1982 and CET started in 1984. So I came into this field by chance and not by choice. On December 29, 1986 we started the science coaching class in the vacation and the first class was taken by me. And its here I started teaching at first. And till then i did not know that I could teach so well.
When you started the coaching probably you were teaching in some college?
Yes. After I completed my engineering degree, I joined as a lecturer in the then KREC (now NITK) as a lecturer. Early morning I used to take up coaching and even after my regular teaching hours there was coaching. Hence I had to prepare continuously and in that course of time I could sleep for only five to six hours in a day and this continued till 2000 from 1986.
People normally start the educational institutions from KG and end up in PG but you concentrate only on pre-university. Any specific reason?
Pre-university stage as per me is an important stage in one's education. CET was started in 1984 and there was nothing like systematic preparation for it. There was no coaching and the weak students used to take tuitions and bright students used to prepare for the CET on their own. Coaching means training the capable students to give their best and this very important at pre university level. So we started the second PU coaching in a systematic way. Initially we had started off with the coaching for CA students and then we shifted to science students since 1990.
They say it is tough to teach the students from 10 to 12 classes and handling them is a daunting task. How do you manage it?
Since 1990 we have been dealing with the students of the same age group. So we know the pulse of those students. Keeping their focus in academics is one part while managing their behavioural aspect and moulding it is another one. It is a challenge and we have to do it. If at all we are respected it is for that.
Normally whenever we speak about Expert, people say that it gets very good results and at the same time they claim that the classes are from 7 to 7, and except studies there is nothing else. What do you say about this?
You must ask the students who have passed out about this. It is easy to comment. To tell you the truth the timings of our college is not 7-7PM but it is 9-7PM.
College hours are different and coaching hours are different. It is a misconception. There might be a few special classes called in regard to the portion from 7 to 8:30 but regular timings stand firm. At the beginning 7-7 there were classes. But after studying the students study pattern we fixed it to 9-7. And in fact we give alot of holidays to students. We are the first ones to complete the syllabus and we give them holiday when exams are approaching so that the students get an opportunity to do several revisions. They do have a lot of extra curricular activities too but in a planned way according to the syllabus. If any college teaches 20 minutes of Yoga, pranayama and meditation compulsorily to its students then its only the Expert college everyday. This is done before lunch, and after lunch every student listens to music for ten minutes. There is campus radio which is handled by students which makes students aware of the developments in the campus. In every week students have got two hours to indulge into socially useful productive work.
Every year is not easy for an institution with 2800 students in PU only to get many ranks in various competitive exams. How many ranks you get on an average every year?
From 1998 we actually started the saga of getting ranks when we got all top three ranks in CET and first rank in board exam by our coaching center's name. Even since beginning we used to get good results. But from 1998 we made it more professional and the hard work which went into coaching got increased. On an average every year in CET we get at least 25 ranks in top 50. For every student who joins Expert there is a scope to give his best and this is our motto. Every year when you see the students getting into top colleges on merit like NITK, RV Engineering college(engineering), Bangalore medical college and other medical colleges many are from Expert. And they do professionally well and even in their life. And later in life they express the view that it is because of Expert. We really feel proud at such comments and feel that this is the reward for our hard work.
There is a notion that Expert accepts only students with more than 90 percent marks and it is not a big achievement to get them a rank with a bit of coaching. Why can't you take students with 60% and coach them to get distinction ? What do you say about this?
It is not true that we accept only students with 90 percent marks in grade 10. We follow the government mandate. All private institutions have to admit 50 percent students on the basis of merit. Out of these 50 percent ane general merit and others have to be given under the roaster system of the government to the students of categories like 2A, 2B, 3B, SC, ST etc. We have to follow that and these norms are followed in Expert. Many have asked this info under RTI(Right to information) and they have got their answers. Right now we have students who got 65 percent, 75 percent in tenth std. as well.
In recent days when the question papers were leaked Expert faced the biggest challenge and it was alleged to have been associated with the people linked with the leak. What do you feel is the motive behind it? And why did the CID raid your college?
Question paper leak is a black spot on the education system. The government has to take stern action against it. It is governments mistake and they have already handed it over to CID and they have found out the people behind the scam. A lecturer has sent a picture of it to many people from the treasure and I don't know if any one of Expert has received it. We don't need it anyway. If that's the case then why should we conduct classes since morning or ask students to do hard work.
If anyone wants to allege that CID has raided our institution let them come to me. Under section 91 of CPC notice was served to all PU colleges in the city. It was part of the enquiry which they have done all over the state. We were requested to furnish few set of details and no one requests you during the raid. I feel an enquiry needs to be done agaisnt the people who spread the false news. It is easy to point fingers but tough to build a reputation. So many students and people were humiliated by this news. It was totally an unexpected situation. I was in a programme when one of the reporters of the newspaper enquired and I was in no position to react. I explained to him after the programme and it is noteworthy that along with Daijiworld no responsible media published it. Only one media was showing it and we have brought the stay order from the court and it is still on.
Coastal Karnataka happens to be an educational hub and institutions of all kind originate from here. More PU colleges are coming. Do you think there is a scope for mushrooming of these institutions?
Not in Urban area. In rural area there might be a need. People looking at the success of Expert, the way we have set high standards want to follow us and I find nothing wrong in it. Few have the capability but several lack hard work. It is not easy to build an institution and set the standards as this requires a lot of hard work.
Today education has become a business and people admit that its a very good business. People open a trust and start educational institutions. What effect you feel this has on the students.? What do you feel about the donations that parents have to give apart from the fee? Isn't there any end to it?
Partly you are right but not fully. For any system or progress you need money. Like the unaided institutions like Expert PU college which came into existence recently, there is no help from anyone and government does not support us. We have to buy the land on our own and this has to be done out of fee collected from students.
And when it comes to the medical colleges the Supreme court might have given NEET(National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) to curtail the additional donations charged by the medical colleges. And in unaided colleges the salary to lecturers is borne from the students fees. And here only 50 percent of the seats are management quota and it is upto the students to get themselves admitted into these colleges.
How do you manage various kinds of pressures including the political pressures. and government employees or children of the reputed to admit their students?
It tests our patience. Most of the time we have been able to convince the people or handle the pressure and we also have undergo certain bad experiences since the past few years. We strongly believe that the quality of the system and institution must be maintained.
Do you have any vision for expansion as you have limited to Pre university now?
We have a dedicated and good team of teachers along with my wife to train students. We do not want to be the biggest institution in the state but we want to remain as the best. As of now we do not have any plan to go to higher courses and for the time being let me be silent on it.
I have heard that you're one of the best classical musicians of the city. Tell us about your musical journey.
I believe that if you can utilize your talent for the happiness of others then it can be said as the real talent. Since childhood I had that thing in me. I have tried my level best when it comes to music and I will try to give my best to the public. Music is a stream where i want to serve a lot. I enjoy it a lot. Moreover, it gives immense boost to my main stream. My family supports music and even my son plays Sitar and is persuing his education in United states and will be shortly joining us. Along with my wife all three of us at home are Akashavani graded artists.
What is your message to the students and the parents as an educationalist?
When it comes to pre university, the parents have to start thinking where their child has to be admitted when he/she is in the October/November months of 10th std. You make a detailed study about the future and what kind of education you want to impart. The discipline they get in pre university guides their life. Speak to the institution heads and do not simply follow your child's opinion. But discuss with them and come to conclusion. And once you come to a conclusion you should have a strong faith into that system.
In regard to NEET exam I want to say that it is different from CET and there is negative correction as marks will be deducted for the wrong answer. And eligibility to get into the medical stream is 50 percent. And if you have this calibre only then take up science steam in PU and make sure you score at least 75 percent in the core subjects like, maths, science and social science. And then let the child take the science stream. Do not experiment on your child and make sure your child has some interest. A suggestion I want to give every parent is to teach them computer typing scientifically during their vacation. It will help them in the future. Teach household work along with cooking to your child. This will make them self sufficient and self disciplined. I wish all the success to all the students and their parents.
Watch interview :