Why is Engineering (Education) not Making Engineers?

I wish I had had some answers before even I started writing the first sentence of this article. However, the solutions will give us a fair understanding of ‘Why Engineering is not Making Engineers?’

Intelligent are those who know to ask the right question at the right time. I think the timing cannot be more right than now, as the world is staring at another Great Depression. Questions trigger answers based on data. For example, if I am to ask the following questions:

  1. How many students admitted to various engineering graduate programs know what engineering is? And are they aware of their field of study?
  2. How many discontinue their engineering education because of a lack of clarity on their career and future, or both?
  3. How many think studying engineering textbooks alone can’t make them engineer?
  4. How many engineering graduates leave the campus every year per engineering stream, blank and completely missing what employers expect from them as engineers?
  5. Of them, how many lands in any job?
  6. How many of them get a job as an engineer?
  7. Of them, how many get jobs in their respective field of study?
  8. How many have to leave their country for not having enough jobs?
  9. Does any college/university care to guide the engineering students about various job opportunities available and how to reach there?
  10. How do colleges, universities, and technical education authorities ensure students receive a return on investment (ROI) on paid college fees and the productive time these poor kids spend in their institution?

Some fundamental questions. Apologies if I missed a few more.

Suppose anyone tries to figure out how an engineering student spent time inside the campus for four years. In that case, they will instead be shocked to realize how busy these kids were in writing exams upon exams, assignments upon assignments, impositions upon impositions, satisfying the ego of their professors, HODs, principals, and deans. 

They teach engineering as an academic stream in 90% plus institutions. That is, subjects taught from textbooks and dictated notes. Most of the students’ efforts are invested in copying assignments, repeating impositions, and sleepless nights (one day before) of exam preparations. Teachers (lecturers and professors) are becoming much more compliant with textbooks and their theoretical research studies. Lucky students get an opportunity to be part of this research. Even in this opportunity provided, students are encouraged to imitate their predecessors. They become even more ‘academic’ by pursuing masters, Ph.D., PDF, etc., when real engineering is the implementation and manifestation of knowledge in solving real-world problems and upgrading our living.

Indeed, institutions must handle engineering education from an academic perspective as well. But, not alone. We consider engineering education as professional education. Engineering must be studied, taught, and learned as an ‘art of building,’ ‘the art of proposing solutions to the problems,’ ‘the art of creating something new,’ ‘the art of innovation,’ ‘the art of making life better.’

Education facilitates learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. And, skill has even more importance in engineering education. Students can learn skills from teachers who have undergone such work exposures and gained common sense in their engineering field with enough years of work experience.

Unfortunately, textbook product teachers never had the taste of natural engineering. The maximum exposure they have are to research labs and international conferences. Is that enough? Why can AICTE not make specific years of engineering work experience a must for engineering teachers’ eligibility?

Well, I hope I have enough answers before I end this article. I wish our colleges, universities, and competent bodies such as AICTE and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) have enough answers before gambling on our students’ future and careers.

This blog was published on TheMujeebPatla.wordpress.com (Apr 24, 2020)

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