Thursday, 31 July 2014
“Fate of Engineering Education in India” - Professor M.S.Rao
"Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants." - John Gardner
Recently I attended a meeting where one of the speakers highlighted about the fate of Indian education especially engineering education. Here are my views on it.
Most students in India emphasize on scores and grades rather than to acquire knowledge. Some of them want to outsmart their colleagues; some want to please their parents; and some want to be the best among their relatives. Students study hard for these reasons to score high marks in examinations. As a result, they don’t think of acquiring knowledge as their main objective is to be top rankers. In fact, education must emphasize on acquisition, dissemination and application of knowledge. The Indian education must be knowledge based, activity based, employability based and above all, employment based to achieve multiple objectives. Unfortunately, Indian education is not in a position to emphasize even on a single aspect. Presently it is based on 3Rs – reading, writing and reproducing resulting in enhancing memory levels in students rather than developing their minds.
When students choose to join educational institutions, they often look from placement perspective rather than from the knowledge perspective. And some of the engineering education institutions organize job fairs to show to students and their parents that they are providing placements to their students. In fact, such job fairs often don’t recruit any students since it is a stage-managed show in some private engineering colleges. Students realize such things later but it is too late. Also, industry-institute interaction is conducted regularly in education intuitions by inviting some eminent experts who deliver speeches and walk away with their remuneration without ensuring any takeaways to students. The actual aim of such interactions is to allow students to interact with industry experts and understand the industry expectations to enable students to mould themselves accordingly to be industry ready. Unfortunately, the very purpose of organizing such industry-institute interaction is defeated in some of the private Indian education institutions.
Some of the students don’t do projects in the educational institutions. They pay money and buy the projects from market and show to faculty to clear their courses. How can such students get employment when they buy projects from market to score marks? In some of the educational institutions, educators come to classroom casually to teach. If students ask questions, the educators will do homework and then teach seriously. Unfortunately, students don’t ask any questions to educators. It is a pity that those who pass out from educational institutions become faculty without any teaching experience. At times it is difficult to differentiate between the students and the young faculty when the young faculty and the students sit together in the college conferences.
Previously students waited for educators in the classroom. Presently the educators wait for students in the classroom. Likewise, there are lots of irregularities in the Indian education system. Hence, there is an urgent need to revamp the Indian education system to shell out students not only employable and deployable but also enlightened.
Some of the students pursue engineering education and pass out to work in non-engineering sectors to get employment. In this case, whatever the little the knowledge they gained from engineering education doesn’t help them in any way. Unfortunately, the knowledge is underutilized.
Presently there is a trend to enter into secure jobs by joining government sectors rather than joining private sectors. Most of them intend to become job seekers rather become job providers. There is a lot needs to be done in the present scenario to change the mindset of students. To summarize, there are challenges from all stakeholders including students, educators, institutions, industry and parents. It is time we set right everything in order in Indian education institutions to deploy not only employable students but also enlightened students with well-rounded personalities to build a better India.
“There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live." - James Truslow Adams
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Professor M.S.Rao, India
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