|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 304-305
In response to editorial: Emerging trends in postgraduation education
Vijay P Jayade
Former Prof., Department of Orthodontics, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication||17-Oct-2018|
Dr. Vijay P Jayade
Department of Orthodontics, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Jayade VP. In response to editorial: Emerging trends in postgraduation education. J Indian Orthod Soc 2018;52:304-5
Thank you very much for opening a discussion on a very pertinent issue, namely poor attendance of the PG students in PG conventions. You have made some astute observations and very helpful suggestions which, I hope, the organizers of future PG conventions will keep in mind.
Having had the experience of organizing two PG conventions earlier, wherein we had no problem with the attendance and having participated in many other PG conventions (as also some smaller scientific meeting in which sustained attendance till late evening hours was spectacular), I too would like to share my thoughts on the conduct of PG conventions. I feel the following aspects are responsible for a deterioration of attendance:
- A change in the perception of objectives of PG conventions has corroded their culture.
In the initial conventions, the main thrust was on learning, and entertainment was secondary. If my memory serves me right, at first drinks during dinners were arranged separately for the faculty, and students were not served drinks at all. Entertainment was just light music. In the later conventions, drinks became available for the students, which practice was abolished later because of an unfortunate incident in one of the conventions. However, the organizers' temptation to hold ostentatious events kept on growing from one convention to the next, because the success of the convention started getting measured by food and entertainment rather than by its scientific content. This paved the way for adding unnecessary items such as fireworks and expensive musical bands and singers. We cannot blame the students if they perceive the PG conventions as an outing to make merry, and the learning part as secondary
- When these superfluous items were added, the conventions also became expensive and sometimes exorbitant. The paying student then expects “full paisa vasool” (enjoy to the full) as his right. He is then too tired to attend the scientific talks
- Although most organizers try to invite reputed speakers, I have sometimes noted a certain deterioration in the selection of speakers over the years. This happens because of compulsion from the Dental council of India directive. When X knows that he does not have much chance to be invited elsewhere, what he does is to manage to get Y invited to a convention (where he has some clout) and then expects Y to manage to get an invitation for him elsewhere. Students are very smart. They can immediately make out who is a genuinely good teacher/speaker and who is a “TA DA” speaker. As the number of such speakers increases, students' interest in the scientific deliberations in general diminishes
When large numbers of such speakers are to be accommodated, it becomes necessary to arrange the talks in more than one hall. Running from hall to hall is a hassle. Instead, limited number of good papers would enable the students to remain focused and interested
I strongly feel that the head office has an important role in regulating the standards of the PG conventions scientific content. The “COSA committee” was a right step in this direction, and it also did a decent job during its tenure, but it was stifled out by vested interests
- It is my personal view that the PG conventions should not have any pre- or post-convention courses which a student attends by paying additional fees. It gives a commercial hue to the PG conventions. They should not be a mini version of the IOS conferences but should have their own distinct character and culture.
I hope others, particularly the students, contribute their views and suggestions. PG conventions are a flag bearing activity of IOS. Let us all strive to preserve its uniqueness and usefulness to the students.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.