Talking about consultation in the education field opens a couple of issues. One of these issues is the right advice on how to use the right budget for the right laboratory equipment. There are some consultants who are capable of doing this job and have enough experience in many fields of education. However, consultation would not work perfect unless the client listens to such consultation.
A client who pays for consultation must be ready to listen to the advice of the consultant. Of course, it is assumed here the good intention and mutual trust from both sides.
Another issue in this topic is understanding what consultation would mean to the client. Unfortunately there are many clients who either don’t believe in such service or they think it would inflect on them unnecessary cost. As a matter of fact the right consultation would lead to significant savings, both in budget and time. In addition, the client would secure a clean and smooth job. In the meantime whatever the consultant charges the client it would be a negligible amount in comparison with the unnecessary payments for unneeded equipment that the client may buy without consultation.
It is not so difficult, at least by an experienced consultant, to judge the quality of consultation once the tender is floated. This can easily be recognised from the shape of the packages and the way the technical specs are written. Normally the consultant would use a data base of information that he has accumulated over a period of time. Though the data base is an essential pillar that supports the consultation job it depends on how much informative the consultant is. It is really felt disgusting when you read specs of some equipment that are already obsolete by the time the tender is issued.
I must stress here that the bad quality of consultation is not always the fault of the consultant alone, rather it could also be due to the lack of initial information, such as curriculum, number of students, the level of education, realistic budget, .. etc., that the client must submit.
Furthermore, some people think that the more computerisation they include the more impressive the list of equipment and the lab would be. Didactically, this is not always true. Any way, this topic would be the subject of another article in the near future to discuss it more thoroughly based on the philosophy of education.