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Velchala Kondal Rao : An eminent educationist

Velchala Kondal Rao : An eminent educationist
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The 80th birthday of Velchala Kondal Rao falls on July 21 All this changed after Kondal Rao took charge. Every day he would go round the college...

The 80th birthday of Velchala Kondal Rao falls on July 21 All this changed after Kondal Rao took charge. Every day he would go round the college twice or thrice. No student would be found standing in the corridors chatting. Lecturers would take classes regularly. There would be total silence in the college Dr V Kondal Rao, Principal, SRR Govt. Degree College, Karimnagar, in 1971 is an eminent educationist and former director of Telugu Academy. He had many ideas about how to run an educational institution. His stint as an educationist started when he was Principal of a private degree college at Jagtial in Karimnagar district. He was instrumental in the establishing of this college in 1965. When Mr. Kondal Rao was appointed Principal, he was given a free hand in the running of the college. He had recruited meritorious teachers. His non-compromising stance helped him shape the Jagtial college into a college of excellence. Kondal Rao concentrated also on developing a library in the college. He managed to get nearly 150 professional journals and magazines. Lecturers were instructed to spend their leisure hours in the library. Prof. Shiv K. Kumar, who was working as the Professor of English in Osmania University, was once invited to address the valedictory function. Before the meeting, Kondal Rao took Professor Kumar round the college library. After he had spent some time in the library, he complimented Kondal Rao. The faculty, the library, classrooms, the overall discipline, the quality of teaching was all of very high standard in Jagtial College while Kondal Rao was there. In 1972, Kondal Rao was transferred to the SRR Govt. College, Karimnagar. Those were days post-separate Telangana agitation of 1969. The hangover of the agitation was still lingered. Students were not in a mood to sit in the classrooms to listen to lectures. Jai Telangana slogans reverberated in the corridors and classrooms. In examinations, there was mass copying. All this changed after Mr. Kondal Rao took charge. Every day he would go round the college twice or thrice. No student would be found standing in the corridors chatting. Lecturers would take classes regularly. There would be total silence in the college. Mr. Kondal Rao used to sneak into classrooms while a lecturer was taking a class. His intention was to assess the teaching capacity of the lecturer concerned. Kondal Rao next allotted every Saturday to conducting of seminars in every class. A lecturer would write a paper on an important topic read it. A student would be asked to write a paper on the topic. The two papers would be read in the classroom and students asked to participate in discussion. No other college in Telangana implemented such an innovative programme. D. Narasimha Rao, lecturer in political Science, was put in charge of the library at SRR College. I was one of the members of the library committee. Another innovative programme introduced by Kondal Rao was periodic assessment of teachers by students. He would bring a questionnaire from a reputed university and ask students to answer questions on punctuality, discipline in the classroom, teaching method and clarifying the doubts of the students, etc. pertaining to each lecturer. This questionnaire would be distributed among students at the end of the academic year and they would give their assessment of each lecturer. As I was made the convener of this programme, I implemented it along with my team members. Nearly half of the lecturers got only average grade, 20% got 'good' and only 10% got outstanding rating and the remaining 20% got poor rating. Those in the last category were asked to improve themselves. Unfortunately, this innovative programme could not be continued in 1975 as Kondal Rao was transferred from Karimnagar to Hyderabad. Kondal Rao showed a lot of interest in extra-curricular activities like holding a mock UNO Security Council meeting. When he worked as Principal of the City College in Hyderabad, he implemented several such programmes. When he became Director of Telugu Academy, he took great interest in publishing the monthly journal "Telugu." Devoted to development of Telugu, it was published regularly every month. His editorials were known for their incisiveness. He established regional branches of the academy at Warangal, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Kadapa and Visakhapatnam. Another contribution to education was establishment of a Government women's degree college in Karimnagar and Shatavahana Institute of Post Graduate Studies (PG Centre) in the private sector in Karimnagar in 1980. He was the founder-director of the latter until it was taken over first by Osmania University and later by Kakatiya University. Now this PG centre has grown into Shatavahana University.
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