Adyar Gopal Parivar
What makes a good
Engineering Student?
What makes a good Engineering Student?
News for the month of July 2008 (II)
By Mohan Shenoy
       The present structure of education is
faulty and can not make a good
engineering student in the natural course.
      The causes of unpreparedness for jobs
of an engineering graduate are hidden in
the structure of our education. The
preparation for jobs of an engineering
graduate should begin at an earlier level
than now. The Engineering courses are
usually entered into after a grueling 12
years' learning in the schools.
      A student these days learns the
subjects such as languages, basic
mathematics, basic sciences, civics, basic
computer science, etc., in the years from
nursery to 8th class.
      By the time the students pass the 8th
class, most of them should be able to select
their future career. The parents can also
guide their wards to select the career at this
time. The parents can influence the minds
of a 14-year old girl or boy more easily than
the minds of an eighteen-year old person in
selecting a career.
      The subjects such as history,
geography, languages and civics, etc. that
are now taught in the classes 9th to 12th
are of little use to an engineering student.
      Most of the difficulties faced by the
engineering students arise during the years
they are in the High School and PU college.
Here they get bored to death because of
stress on passing the examinations. They
might also fall prey to bad habits because
of this boredom.
      For a student who chooses his career
in engineering, the Engineering courses
should commence from 15th year of age
and last for 4 years, in his 9th to 12th years
of learning. These courses can be properly
named as pre-engineering classes and
engineering classes.
      These classes are held in either the
existing schools that run the 9th to 12th
years' classes, or in the engineering
colleges, preferably the latter. These
courses will avoid burdening the
engineering student with subjects such as
history and languages. The subjects such
as history, languages, and others are for
those students who are specifically
interested in them and they will learn these
subjects through self-study in their free time
and at leisure.
      There should be minimal number of
subjects that are ear-marked for tests and
examinations so that more and more
subjects are learnt on the basis of
self-study at the student's free-will and
free-time without the encumbrances of tests
and inspections.
      The learning years 9th to 12th should
be used in imparting the engineering
student the subjects of mathematics,
chemistry, biology and physics. These
subjects should be re-written as special
engineering-oriented syllabus. The subjects
taught in the present 9th to 12th classes in
the high school and the pre-university
classes are all not needed for an
engineering student.
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specific to engineering courses, and
properly focused in relation to the careers in
engineering. The syllabus should be short
and compact and leave the details and
extensions to the student to learn as part of
his self-study.
   By the end of the 12th year of learning,
or earlier as an option, the student will
further specialize and select one of the
branches from among many branches such
as mechanical, electrical, computer science,
architecture etc.

    At the point of 13th year of learning (or
about the 18th year of life) the engineering
student would have focused his study
including the self-learning, on the
specialization of his choice, and the course
can be curtailed to two years instead of the
present four. The engineering degree can
be conferred at the age of 20 years.

The proposed Structure of Education for
Engineer's Career.
Nursery and Kindergarten: 3rd year, 4th
and 5th years of life (common for all)
Primary school 6th to 10th years (common
for all)          
Lower Secondary School 11th to 14th years
(common for all)          
Engineering Course:
Pre-Engineering Classes 15th and 16th
years         
Engineering Classes 17th to 20th years. (All
inclusive)

    Selection of students for engineering
courses after the 8th class will ensure their
future careers. Selection is based on the
marks in the 8th class, certified by the class
teacher. The school leaving or board
examinations and PU examinations can be
eliminated for Engineering course. Entrance
is based on intention to take up an
Engineering career. Qualification needed is
8th pass.

    The engineering students' progress will
be entirely gauged by the institution itself.
The reputation of the institutions will ensure
the quality of the education they impart, and
the competency of the students that they
put out. No marks, only grades. The degree
is conferred on the letter head of the
institution. For smaller schools an
association of schools can be formed to
confer the degrees.  The institutions should
be totally autonomous in administration and
finance. The governments should grant aid
on the basis of performance. Employment
only after one year of trial cum training
following graduation.

    This revolutionary change in structure
can be brought about only by the efforts of
the engineering schools themselves, by
speaking as one voice, which later will be
accepted by the Education Department of
the Governments.

Concluded.
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