Best Practices

Title of the Practice : Internal and Academic Audit

Objectives of the Practice

M. G. Science Institute is a Grant in Aid College, affiliated to Gujarat University and managed by The Ahmedabad Education Society. At M.G.Sc, there is a vision and mission to impart quality education to achieve all-round development of the students. This requires self-reflection and introspection along with collaborative teaching learning methods. For this, the Management emphasizes conduction of Internal and Academic audit. The objectives are:

1) To audit annual maintenance contract for various services and bill passing activities.

2) to audit student and teachers’ attendance and compilation of results

3) to audit internal marks assessment procedure

The Context

In today’s times, it is a challenge to lead students to academic excellence for all-round development. In such a scenario, Academic audit is the best practice to follow. Academic audit is a systematic and scientific process of reviewing the academic system for improvement of quality. This helps to assess the academic performance of both- the teachers and the students. It provides self-assessment based on quality principles and promotes integration across programs and disciplines.

By conducting academic audit, the accountability of each department is adjudged and the strengths and weakness are known. The audit can help to ensure punctuality, timely finishing of syllabi and understand the result pattern of the students. This enables the Principal to appreciate innovative teaching-learning methodologies as well as to suggest corrective measures if needed. The internal audit, on the other hand, enables the Principal and respective committees to decide the performance of annual maintenance providers.

The Practice

The management has appointed a reputed firm of auditors to conduct the internal and academic audits semester-wise. towards the end of each semester, the auditors arrive at the Institute and a list of required data is given to all HoDs to be kept ready for auditing. The audit members meticulously go through all the reports, presence sheets of staff and students, results, answer sheets, leave reports, etc. The audit of each department may take two to three working days. In all, the auditing process goes on for 15 to 20 days. Only when they are fully satisfied of the authenticity of data provided, do the auditors close the activity. A detailed report is provided to the Principal and the management to be reviewed and take action if necessary.

Constraints/limitations faced: Initially, some of the departments did not welcome the idea of their academic responsibility being subject to academic audit. Sometimes, departmental staff found it cumbersome to produce all the detailed data asked by the auditors. In due course, the process has become a habit and the reports are eagerly awaited. Departments also share their practises in day to day disbursing of activities.

Evidence of Success

1) Departments share their practises in day to day disbursing of activities. As a result, a standard format for attendance has evolved, where, previously, each teacher took presence as they pleased.

2) The teachers have willingly become more accountable towards their activities.

3) The students are more punctual and their results have improved.

4) The individual vendors for various services have also become more accountable and their services have improved.

5) The Management has appreciated the efforts of the Institute in improving academic performance.

6) The student result shows that each semester, there are at least ten to fifteen students among the top 50 students in the Gujarat University exams.

7) Since the attendance has been audited, the students have become more responsible towards their presence in the classes. They inform the concerned teachers well in advance in case they are going to remain absent.

Problems Encountered and Resources Required

Any activity of self-introspection requires total commitment and dedication of members to improvement of quality. Initially, some departments resisted the idea of their academic performance being scrutinised by a third party. It was also a matter of stress for the department heads to keep all data ready for the auditors as per the dates given. Later, it has become a habit to prepare all required data from the beginning of the semester so that it is ready at hand when the auditors visit the department.