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ACCREDITATION OF HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GOVERNMENTAL PROCESS OF EDUCATION QUALITY CONTROL
The issues of accreditation of higher educational institutions are regarded. It is pointed out that in the Armenian practice external and internal estimations of quality of education intervene, however, there are no public institutions for estimating real ratings of quality of professional training. A special fund The National Center for Quality Assurance in Professional Education» was founded in Armenia, the fund is authorized to develop the centers and to carry out process of accreditation.
Keywords: education, quality, accreditation, estimation, rating.
During realization of programs of social and economic development and during performance of the international obligations of Republic within the limits of improvement of quality and competitiveness of vocational training, a guarantee of favorable conditions for quality check improvement of the control independent of the governmental body and the state system of survey of educational establishments to adjust and adjust functioning of social structures is supposed.
In the countries with system of the centralized formation process of an estimation of quality is completely under control of the governmental bodies, in other countries they belong to educational establishments, external experts and to the organizations. Though accreditation has the American origin, and in the given sphere there are some experimental promotions, the researches directed on the organization of a guarantee of educational quality, estimations and the control are not stopped, opened more effective systems which have received wide development. In sphere of quality check of vocational training the American system is completely constructed on development of system of a self-estimation. It is con-
nected with that fact, that quality assurance of vocational training is the base function which is carried out by nongovernmental establishments.
In the Armenian practice external and internal guarantees of quality check of activity of educational establishments are closely interconnected, but there is a shortage of social establishments which will deal with quality check of vocational training, the organization of a real estimation of establishments.
The model of an estimation of quality of vocational training of Armenia and the state accreditation of trades in sense of the maintenance has quite good structure, it even is interesting, but demands urgent measures on all-round reconstruction and improvement.
It is important to mention shortage of an estimation of quality of vocational training and principles of the state accreditation and specific goals, the analysis of activity of professional educational establishment: an internal estimation and examination, a low level of criteria of an external estimation.
The list of the basic problems begins with introduction of modern technologies of training, training of scientific employees and the
personnel, realization of research work, social guarantees to teachers and pupils, prospects of development of Universities, a question of maintenance of quality check of professionals, installation of criteria of an estimation and carrying out of an estimation.
Under the decision of the Armenian Government the fund named " National Center of Quality check of Vocational training " which has some functions, such as realization of necessary examination on accreditation of primary, secondary and tertiary vocational training, accreditation of quality professional educational programs, the academic control of professional educational establishments, estimations and accreditation of internal systems, procedures of realization of functions, development of standards, decision-making on accreditations, granting of the information according to indexes and informing of a society, an estimation of competence of the presented offers on improvement of internal systems of quality check is created. This structure has the future in maintenance of serious promotion of sphere of management with process of professional educational quality check. But even at the appendix of greater efforts of the center, crisis» in the field of maintenance of quality of vocational training and management of the given process will proceed because of shortage of a competition in this area, depreciation of quality of vocational training and concepts of accreditation.
In the field of accreditation and quality check of vocational training we have encountered the unprecedented legislative contradiction.
According to the law, the establishment of the maximum vocational training can receive public accreditation which, considering interest of all parties in case of development of formation, intends to oppose with the state and social types of the control of processes of quality check. I think, that the control and accreditation of quality of formation should have the social nature as the basic problems of self-
realization and orientation in work on realization» of graduates are solved according to requirements of labour exchange and applied laws within the limits of professional competence of experts. As a result accreditation will be a part of process of updating of means of quality check, the tool of regulation and standardization of vocational training.
In such conditions development of system of quality standard of vocational training is based on following principles: the organization of work on accreditations of structures, introduction of standards, definition of real competition within the limits of these standards, maintenance of accuracy, objectivity, publicity, a transparency of activity, an opportunity of reassessment. In Armenia there is a serious legislative obstacle for creation of structure of public accreditation. As a result of the state accreditation professional educational establishments have an opportunity to give the final document concerning the accredited establishment which is the unique final document concerning higher education for governmental bodies and for the state noncommercial organizations. Thus it is the reason of that graduates of not accredited educational establishment even at presence of the highest professional skills, have no opportunity to continue the further formation in the state, to work in the state bodies and in the state organizations. The responsibility of establishments for reception and purpose of educational documents is very low. Normal process of formation of an estimation of establishments is broken, not probably to create the alternative social accredited structures, and it is the reason of that there is a shortage of a healthy competition. The overall objective of all structures of accreditation quality check of formation, and essence of accreditation should define a level of vocational training, quality and volume of formation in the country, with the certain standards and needs for agency. Such approach defines the nature of estima-
tion and an estimation of conditions, actions, concepts of process of an estimation and quality of results. It means presence of necessity of presence of standards of an estimation of vocational training, a normative basis of the given procedure.
Quality of conditions of educational activity in narrow sense is a condition and need of acknowledgement of activity, and in a broad sense includes opportunities of improvement of conditions, prospects and the mechanism of their maintenance. Now there is a shortage of mechanisms of granting of guarantees according to the law of institutes, and procedures of the sanction of activity do not give an opportunity to estimate prospect of improvement of conditions of activity of establishments and their mechanism. In republic not only process of granting of the license, but also processes of accreditation are incomplete, hasty and unreasonable because of shortage conditions and needs. If we shall add to absence of mechanisms of granting of guarantees of not state institutes, a zero level of development of educational establishments the reasons become conceivable. Exception is represented by some educational establishments which put greater efforts for development. Now many accredited educational establishments have no sufficient place and equipment. It is natural, that one of the reasons is that procedure of the sanction of activity does not enable to estimate prospects of improvement of conditions of activity of establishments and their mechanism.
Within the limits of structure of the same purposes, the estimation of quality of educational process is connected with various procedures, various structures of accreditation, as with the various quality standards, indicators and tools. In our republic an internal estimation name the analysis of educational activity, and an external estimation name skilled examination. Indexes and standards are certain both for the analysis, and for skilled examina-
tion. Opportunities of their interaction are too narrow, they do not reflect the mechanism of maintenance of quality and management of vocational training, and the real periods of an estimation of process are not stipulated. As a result accreditation does not serve maintenance of vocational training, promotion and improvement of productivity of process, even moreover it does not become means of maintenance of diplomas final documents and the process as a whole.
As a result of process of survey of result of examination following questions should be united:
Training the personnel
Improvement of qualification of the pedagogical personnel
Norms of obvious development of conditions of educational activity of establishments
Quality of formation, results of independent work of pupils
The organization of educational processes Procedures of planning and realization of training and educational works
Researches of teachers and pupils and the publications based on received results
Social security of teachers and pupils Financial promotion of establishment Enrichment of a material and technical basis Norms of modernization of educational laboratories, symposiums and information fund
Modernization of educational plans and programs, the educational and laboratory property and the educational literature.
Clear procedures, standards, indicators and indexes are necessary for a correct and full estimation of any of the set forth above questions.
The following stage of accreditation an estimation of quality of results which in our case name the total certificate, concerns maintenance of quality of formation not directly, and way of preparation of certificates on graduates. It is means of measurement of results of process. According to the law the certificate on the state accreditation is given to trades of educational establishment in case of the posi-
tive certificate on, at least, 60 percent of graduates within 2 continuous years. But during 2 stages of the total certificate on graduates, neither the law, nor system of accreditation do not define norm on a contingent of graduates which take part in the brief certificate, are reflected in a way of training, on validity of the state accreditation. As a result the establishment can receive the state accreditation, having one speciality. Under such circumstances the educational establishment, receiving the state accreditation, has an opportunity to give diplomas by the accredited trade to one hundred graduates irrespective of a way of formation. Besides it, at least, 60 percent of positive result of the brief certificate on graduates for accreditation mismatch essence of accredita-
tion and quality of formation as the estimation is well considered as positive result and does not reflect quality. I think, that in that case qualitative successes should replace positive results.
Besides it, the structure of the maintenance of the total certificate is not correct. By means of it probably to check up only theoretical knowledge, not estimating practical abilities and skills of professionals which remain unopened during all process of accreditation.
Really, at change of such conditions it becomes possible not only to estimate efficiency of professional educational establishment, but also to deduce ways of improvement of quality of formation and realization of prospects of their development.
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