Experts Review On Hospitality Education

Shri Raj Kumar Saxena
Former Principal, IHM Mumbai & former Principal, IHM Lucknow.
Academic & Admin experience in Hospitality Education: - (1985-2019)

• Your views on the course curriculum of the then Hotel management course relevant to the status of the then Hospitality Industry during your period.
Course changed from Diploma to Degree but curriculum remained old wine in the new bottle with some minor changes to become a hybrid mode - IGNOU-NCHMCT cocktail and no serious effort to upgrade both - curriculum & faculty.

Views on the Quality of the students joining the Hotel Management course during your period.
Mixed bag ranging from below average to very good. Higher percentage of average. Major drawback - communication skills

Views on the selection method of the students for the admission into the Hotel Management course during your period.
Joint entrance exam alone is not the best method to assess the suitability of candidates. It needs to be supplemented Group Discussion or Interview.

Views on the quality of teachers in the IHMs (elaborate about skill and managerial competencies during your period.
For skill inputs mostly good quality. System requires examination oriented inputs so limited scope for teachers to be creative. Overall quality average partially due to faulty Recruitment Rules & pay scales and lack of Industry experience.

Views on the availability of the adequate infrastructures in the IHMs.
Fairly good infrastructure available

Views on the learning attitude of the students
First year very +ve. Second year +ve or -ve depending on Industrial Training experience. Third year - Negative. Attendance % is clear indicator.

Views on the placements of the students
Poor % considering the number of students graduating. Pathetic compensation and working conditions. Mostly supervisory or entry level positions. Quality of final product also needs to improve. Other Service sector offers better deal.

Views on present Hospitality education 2019 onwards

Views on the student’s admission method to IHMs
Decreasing interest in IHMs indicated by declining number of applicants. Not convinced of an On-line entrance exam for such small numbers when approx.40% admissions are directly done.

Views on the present course curriculum.
Not balanced. IGNOU components are a waste of time and energy with almost zero knowledge addition. NCHMCT components need revamp.

Views on the quality of the present students getting admitted.
Below average except in few IHMs.

Views on learning attitudes of the students getting admission
Cannot comment. Not in direct touch.

Views on the competencies of the teachers.

Views on the curriculum delivery.
Waste of time for IGNOU courses delivery. Industrial Training and Research Project are grey areas and evaluation debatable. On-line classes during Covid not very effective.

Views on the placement of the students.
Erratic and dismal - especially because of Covid situation. Uncertainty prevails. No firm offers.

Views on the online theory classes.
Not very effective. Different skill set required to deliver by faculty. Lack of seriousness in students. Limited interaction. Connectivity can be an issue in remote locations.

Views on the online theory term -end examination and its effectiveness & sanctity.
Objective type questions not very accurate method of assessment in an On-line mode examination. Results cannot be necessarily true reflection of student's calibre.

Views on the Hybrid model of curriculum delivery (Practical classes offline and theory class online) in IHMs.
Experiment can work only if delivered very efficiently. May not bring about service-orientation, soft skills development, inter-personal skills, leadership skills and above all the self-discipline required in Service/ Hospitality sector.

Views on the future of the hospitality skill/ management education considering impact of the Covid -19
Needs a complete revamp to incorporate increasing Service sector economy needs as well and not only restricted to Hospitality sector. Role of NCHMCT need to be re-looked at. Govt. Culinary schools are a disaster and will need to be professionally managed. Covid impact is temporary and will wear-off in near future. Long-term solutions are required.