Learning by exploring
BEING A third year B. Tech student myself, I can get the feel of the views expressed in the article deep in my heart. We as engineering students tend to focus more on how to complete our subject matter rather than concentrating on what we are learning. Our approach is focused on how to get marks rather than how and what to learn. In the process we fail to grasp the fundamentals of engineering.
Moreover in the present scenario where we have to take care of placements too, we are some times caught between learning orthodox matter and industry oriented matter. Our curriculum hardly maintains any balance between the two. The detrimental effects of these approaches are not visible in the short term but can be devastating in the long term and most of them are visible in today's world.
Most of the books that we study today are written by foreign authors. In spite of having world-class universities in our country we hardly produce good researchers and authors.
The reason is simple. The day we step into the college we face the pressure of producing results, both labs and our productive index and all this is accompanied by a lack of guidance and resources. As a result, the process becomes more and more time consuming and tedious. In the process we hardly get time to think. I emphasise the word think for a reason. This should be clear with the following reference.
Suppose you are to do an assignment of 10 questions in a week. A person who solves all the questions by any means will obviously be rewarded as against the person who solves two questions but by `thinking' and grabbing the concepts. A percentage of the second type of persons will be lured by the first process. In the meantime we tend to lose our ability to learn the subjects deeply and four years are more than enough for that.
Talking in terms of psychology we lose our ability and confidence to learn by exploring. Once we lose this ability we cannot discover things. We lose a scientist in us and the country loses thousands of them every year.
Secondly most of us end up being an employee rather than an employer. The simple reason for this is we are not confident about our knowledge domain. Even after our graduation some doubts about our own abilities prevail. If we are doubtful about our knowledge domain we dare not take the risk of being an employer. This is one of the drawbacks of our education being job oriented rather than being learning and knowledge oriented.
We can say that our GDP growth is scaling heights but at the same time we should realise that it is in the service sector and not in the R&D sector. Our R&D sector is still in its infancy.
And they say that we should strike the iron when it is hot. Some good managers and psychologists have realised the position and mental state of Indian graduates. They absorb the creamy layer of our graduates and train them according to their own needs. The lost scientist is lost forever. This leaves our country in a state of desperation, both due to our own faults and foreign companies taking advantage of that weakness.
We celebrate our 60 years of independence but it's time to realise our state of being a symbolic slave. If we wish to improve this sorry state of affairs, we need to incorporate changes at the grass roots level of our higher education system.
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