Are institutes treating Students as their Customers ?

As the second largest populous country in the world, India also has another interesting statistics. 65% of Indian population is below age of 30 years [1, 2]. Such a demography is also termed as demographic dividend of India. The dividend, we feel if used properly could return, huge returns for present as well as future.

A large percentage of this population are students. As a result, education has an important role to play in development of our country . After 5 decades of poverty and slow growth, Information Technology has shown a way for an average Indian household to earn decent money and afford a decent lifestyle. Information Technology has brought lot of changes in the way Indians think. Correct education had a strong role to play in this transformation. But we feel, an average Indian still faces lot of issues in his daily life, which are not addressed by Information Technology. Information Technology is not part of our daily lives that strongly yet. We have a lot of ground to cover in this aspect. In yet another dimension aligned with this, India still is considered a lot less business friendly nation in comparison to many other nations. Lack of good customer care service is often cited as one of the main complaints by most of the Indians. This lackadaisical attitude of Indian businesses is more noticeable, if one has the exposure and understanding of cultures present in developed nations. The customer service one receives in these countries, is nowhere near comparison to what we witness in India.

Education has been looked upon by many as one of the most profitable industry in coming future. As the young population grows, demand for quality education is going to rise. We are going to witness a high spike of new educational institutes. The quality of education is still not guaranteed and questionable. But, a degree is guaranteed and so is a promise to a better job and a better career. As demand for education grows, the fees charged by these institutes are going to grow proportionately. A question we need to ask ourselves is, what type of service did we receive as a student from the educational institute where we learned in the past? Or what service do we expect when our children attend these educational institutes? Did we receive quality service, be it during admission process, infrastructure access, communication, faculty presence etc?

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Student as a customer is a non-existant concept in India. The student pays huge fees, he goes through the trouble for applying to different institutes, getting loans, making ends meet. His parents suffer even more. But he still is not given the kind of respect he deserves during these different stages of education. India has become so populous that one has to stand in queues, almost everywhere for minimal amount of work. Corruption is sprawling everywhere. Time is supposed to be considered the most important asset. But the current scenario as we see around, does not value it. Educational institutes collect huge sums of money from students, but fail to provide a good service in return. Student is a customer, is the supreme feeling, one needs to reinforce in the minds of Indian students. Student deserves better services. Their parents deserve mental piece of mind. Admission to institutes and then completion of coursework should not be looked down as a burden, but as an enjoyable experience. But unfortunately this quality of service lacks totally in India.

We believe Information Technology holds key to large number of problems faced by India at present. We believe technology could be used in its correct form, for betterment of our lives, for giving us better services. We feel, we need similar transformations on level of Indian banks, that made it possible for them to offer better customer services by installing up ATM’s at every nook and corner in cities. This automation made lives of the Indian citizens much easier in terms of money withdrawing transactions. We deserve similar services in education.

Education is a rewarding experience. It holds key to prosperity. Every student is a customer of some educational institute. The day every institute will understand this concept, we feel, we would have made some contribution towards a better India by our consistent efforts.

References:
[1] http://www.books.iupindia.org/overview.asp?bookid=IB1101380
[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6911544.stm

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