The role of educational institutions has become more crucial than ever. They are not only responsible for imparting knowledge and skills but also for shaping the minds and character of future generations. At the helm of these institutions, prominent principals play a vital role in setting the tone and direction of the entire learning environment. These visionary leaders possess the ability to inspire, motivate, and transform both students and faculty members, creating a nurturing atmosphere conducive to growth and success. One such exemplary principal who stands out for his exceptional leadership and dedication is Prof. Dr. Ajimon George, the Principal of Marian College Kuttikkanam Autonomous.
From the Scratch
During his graduation and post-graduation, Dr. Ajimon George exhibited a fervent passion for scholarly activities, research, and intellectual discussions. This enthusiasm is even evident in his academic background and professional experience. His career choice in education stems from his desire to share his expertise and knowledge with his students. Dr. George believes that by doing so, he can make a positive impact on their lives, guide them, nurture their minds, and inspire them to reach their full potential. Witnessing his students grow and succeed brings him immense pleasure and joy. He firmly believes that education is the key to shaping future generations and contributing to the progress of society.
Assuming the role of a principal provides Dr. Ajimon George with an opportunity for educational leadership, allowing him to align his actions with the vision of Marian College. “I strive to create an inclusive and supportive environment that fosters professional and intellectual growth for both students and faculty members”, Dr. George shared. He continued – “As a principal, I play a crucial role in supporting and developing faculty members and students, while consistently promoting a culture of continuous improvement”. Through a brief conversation with him, we learnt about how he actively seeks opportunities to engage with industry professionals, organizations, and international universities to establish strong relationships and gather diverse perspectives. With these valuable insights, Dr. George ensures that he can make informed decisions as a principal, always striving for the betterment of Marian College.
Dr. Ajimon George’s approach to education centers around student-centered learning. By adopting a hands-on approach that encourages active engagement, promotes critical thinking, and fosters self-direction, outcome-based education has been implemented at Marian College. A notable accomplishment in this regard is the publication of a book titled “The Outcome-Based Education Experiments of a Higher Education Institution,” which features the experiences of faculty members and students at Marian regarding the implementation of outcome-based education. The book was released by the honorable Vice President of India, Sri Venkaiah Naidu, highlighting its significance within the country. Another book “Transform Learning – A guide to implement outcome based education” was released by honorable Governor of Kerala Sri Arif Mohammed Khan.
To prioritize student-centric learning, Marian College embraces experiential learning methods such as internships. As the college gains autonomy, the curriculum is redesigned to align with industry and professional requirements. This includes incorporating compulsory internships, field practicum, and project work for all the programmes particularly for students in social work. These experiential learning opportunities enable students to apply their knowledge in practical settings.
In terms of assessment and feedback, Marian College has devised its own methods to ensure continuous evaluation. They have introduced two components: Continuous Assessment for Research Skills (CARS) and Continuous Assessment for Deepening Learning (CADL). These unique approaches involve teachers assigning innovative, practical assignments to students. For instance, students studying marketing may be required to experience the process of selling a product in a real market setting. This type of assignment allows students to learn by doing while receiving feedback from teachers to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
Dr. George also prioritizes advanced learning opportunities for students who excel academically. These advanced learners have the chance to pursue professional programs concurrently with their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. For example, students of B.Com and M.Com can pursue professional studies such as ACCA (UK)/ CIMA (UK)/ CMA (US)/ CPA (US) etc. and can obtain 9 ACCA (UK) papers exempted in the case of M.Com students and 6 papers exempted in the case of B.Com students. By offering these diverse opportunities, Marian College promotes holistic development and professional growth among the student community.
Strong Commitment towards Faculty Development
Dr. Ajimon George’s commitment to faculty professional development is reflected in the institution’s HR policy. Financial incentives are provided to support faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth. For instance, financial assistance is given for faculty members to complete their Ph.D. degrees, with the goal of ensuring that all faculty members hold doctoral qualifications. The college also encourages faculty to attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to stay updated on the latest developments in their fields. Financial support is provided for presenting research papers at national and international conferences, as well as for publishing in reputable journals. Additionally, Dr. George encourages faculty members to engage with other esteemed educational institutions to learn from their academic and extracurricular activities.
To enhance the skills and expertise of the faculty, training sessions are organized on various aspects such as the implementation of outcome-based education, curriculum development, and evaluation methods. These efforts demonstrate the college’s commitment to faculty professional development and their continuous growth in the academic field.
Commendable achievements during Dr. Ajimon George’s tenure as the principal of Marian College includes the successful completion of the 4th cycle of NAAC accreditation with an impressive grade of A++ and a score of 3.71 out of 4. The institution has also registered students in the Academic Bank of Credit for credit transfer as part of the implementation of the National Education Policy. Furthermore, a dedicated NEP Implementation Cell has been established at the college to oversee the activities related to the implementation of the policy. Lastly, within a span of one year, the re-establishment of a Ph.D. Research Centre in Social Work, IDA awards in the Higher education category for inclusive and experiential learning, award for excellence in distinctive accomplishments in maintaining a sustainable environment from Malayalam Daily “Deepika” and placed in Gold category for sustainable Institutions of India Green Rankings 2023 stand as a significant achievement under Dr. George’s leadership.
Knowing Prof. Dr. Ajimon George
With 25 years of teaching experience, Dr. Ajimon George has a strong academic background. He holds a post graduate degree in Commerce with first rank. He also holds an MBA, M.Phil and Ph.D in Commerce. Furthermore, he has successfully cleared the CA (Inter) Examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He is an approved mentor of B.Sc in Applied Accounting programme, Oxford Brookes Business School, UK. Dr. George’s expertise extends to the realm of publishing, as he has authored a book on Internet banking published by New Age International publishers. Additionally, he has contributed to various journals of premier B – Schools of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Kozhikode.
Dr. George’s research acumen is well-recognized, as he actively serves as a reviewer for research papers. Moreover, he has been selected by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, to work as a lecturer in Sherubtse College Bhutan under the TCS of Colombo Plan. He presented research papers in the meetings of World Finance & Banking Symposium held in Beijing (China), International Conference on Business, Phuket (Thailand), MCMJ International Conference Virginia, USA. He was in the conference committee as reviewer of research papers in the world conference on Banking and Finance held in Venice, Italy. He is a Ph.D guide and produced 3 Ph,D. Beyond his professional endeavors, Dr. George finds joy in his personal life, cherishing moments spent with his wife and children whenever he finds time. He also nurtures his passion for knowledge by indulging in domain-related reading. As a way to stay healthy and active, Dr. George enjoys playing badminton in the evenings. These personal interests and commitments contribute to his well-rounded character and balanced lifestyle.