The Quintessence Of Engineering: How Real Is The Degree

Posted on July 27, 2012 in Education and Careers

By Sankar Raman:

The results of engineering colleges have been a talking point of late. The students work extremely hard during their last two years of school education, with rigorous entrance coaching, tuition and so on. All this hard work is to win the race to get into the top engineering colleges. But even the top performers in entrance examinations are struggling to cope up with the system of engineering education. Most people blame the selection and quality of staff, but the system itself is the villain. Students are often criticized for the wrong choice or the choice based on their wish. But how can a student who is just 15 years old decide where he is going to be after 2-3 years? Of course, this major decision is going to change his/her life. The students realize their passion only after entering B-Tech and they are forced to sacrifice their interests. While taking up the gruelling entrance coaching, he doesn’t know what exactly happens in colleges. Even the parents find it difficult to analyze the scenario.

The quality of staff is a major issue, but that alone is not the reason. Not every college can have the best, and that remains a fact. Either the staff will be of top level that is hard to approach, or he is below par. The staff may be a heavy weight who gives an imposing impression, which makes it harder for the student to approach. All the top notch colleges face all these problems. Coming to the curriculum, the syllabus is as vast as a sea. And there will be hundreds of reference books mentioned. The intriguing aspect of this system is that questions can be asked from any corner. The entire syllabus may not be covered in colleges, but it is difficult to cover such a vast topic in a short time. Again, some colleges may cover half the topic, whereas some others cover the latter half of the topic. The end result is that the student is unable to even attempt 100% questions. The range of questions vary all the time, universities may choose a difficult paper, which makes things even worse. The student is left clueless in the examination hall. There are a million concepts which have to be covered in a span about 3-4 months. The mental frame of the student goes through innumerable changes.

With all the extracurricular activities happening, it comes down to the week before the exams. The weeks before the exams are crucial for any student, and many stretch themselves to sleepless nights so as to reach the magical figure of 40/45. This is the reason behind lack of proper engineers. Definitely, the lack of effort from the students is a reason too. But that is merely a small excuse. The meaningless assignments which are given to the students make them a Photostat machine, rather than making them creative. The technical and cultural fests are mostly managed by students themselves, which make them stronger. A good side of this is that the student will learn to accept failures, and become stronger as a human being.

Another aspect is the practical learning. Though many colleges have the lab facilities, the communication gap between the staff and student may create problems. The student may be afraid to ask the staff, and the mentality of staff may vary. This is a serious issue which needs a lot of attention. The lab technicians come in handy here for the student. There are a lot of instances when the student is unable to answer the viva questions. Again, he does not know what to expect. The staff will try all sorts of demoralizing tactics, leaving the student helpless. When it comes down to projects, there have been many exceptional projects, while at the same time, there are a lot of companies selling the projects, making this a business.

The universities have to realize the students’ perspective. It is sad that they are being victimized, but no one has taken the pain to ask their point of view. The system has to change for a better future. Universities or colleges are in no way bothered about the life of the student. They make a lot of income just through the exam fees. Having said all of that, there are people who enjoy the engineering life, but very little in number.

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Prateek Mathur

This is exactly true… I am an engineering student myself, and have gone through, infact going through, all of this….

Engineering education in India has a long way to go…..

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