Stale education: Students still studying decades’ old curriculum
Kohima, March 10 (EMN): Students are still studying a curriculum that has not been upgraded to the level demanded by industry. Students are being taught the same things that were taught in the 19th century, an education official has said, reminding that constant and continuous revision of the curriculum are imperative for students to be at par with the changing times.
The department of Technical Education launched smart boards for classrooms, and an internship in polytechnics in the North-eastern states on Tuesday at the Government Polytechnic in Kohima.
A smart board is an interactive whiteboard that works with a projector, and connected to a computer allowing the users to manipulate anything on the screen using fingers or special pens.
‘Our education at the school level should be so good that coaching and tuitions should not be required,’ said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairman of the AICTE, speaking at the event. He said technical education will be able to save the society in a much ‘better way’ by creating awareness and making the life of the people easier as the society faces many challenges and difficulties.
Sahasrabudhe asserted that the entire technical education system in the Northeast needs to be thoroughly equipped. He opined that considerable progress has been made in the higher education sector in India since its independence. Greater concentration is on access and equity but “unfortunately not much emphasis was laid on quality and therefore many a time we hear about employability of graduates been very low.”
‘We need to dispel this fear in the minds of the people and give confidence to the technical education students and teachers that we are not too bad but we need to improve,’ he said.
Sahasrabudhe reminded that the curriculum has not been upgraded to the level that the industries expect.
“We are in the 21st century, but students are being taught the same things that were taught in the 19th century,” he commented and asserted that constant and continuous curriculum revision is one of the most significant changes that is needed both for higher education in terms of engineering and architecture, even in polytechnics.
‘We want to create engineers who are problem solvers, whose analytical abilities are excellent, critical thinking is very good and those who are able to understand the societal problems,’ he added.
Arjun Singh, director of Technical Education, Nagaland, said the department is working on ‘improving quality education.’ He said Nagaland still does not have a single engineering institute.
‘It is the desire of the state government to upgrade KPA to degree engineering college. It is our endeavour and desire of the department to at least upgrade the two existing polytechnics namely Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu and Government Polytechnic Kohima to engineering college,” the official said.
Singh suggested also that the council members make the AICTE extension centre at Guwahati full-fledged ‘so that all queries and online related activities are done promptly.’ He appealed to them to address the issues being faced by the state ‘so that our region does not lag behind as compared to other developed states in India.’
The launching programme and a seminar were organised by the AICTE, New Delhi on higher education, reforms and initiatives, new schemes for the Northeast region with the theme “empowering through digital technology.”
Another speaker, the minister for Higher education, Technical Education and Tribal Affairs, Temjen Imna Along, stated that no level of technology, or fund provision, or teaching and learning would be successful ‘if we are not passionate and if we do not bring ourselves beyond our level of depression, frustration or circumstances.’
“It is the passion that you need but it is saddening to see that we do not take things very seriously,” he commented. He said empowering the weak, uplifting the poor, reaching out with the best possible technology and being able to use them to make them available for better human structuring in life have been the endeavour of every human being.
He exhorted the students saying that ‘only if we live a passionate life then every moment will be true meaning of life.’ He mentioned how the world is changing fast that ‘we are not able to keep up with it.’
Further, Along mentioned that ‘unless we understand to perceive and look out for something that is different, all the efforts that we are making is just normal. ‘The knowledge that you get from books are limited but your mind is unlimited and the most important effort of a polytechnic is in itself to make our mind limitless and to make the way you perceive things and you do into limitless,’ he said.
He asked the students and teachers to use the smart board to its best and not keep it as a showpiece.
Speaking about the north-eastern states, he said ‘we have become still to the time, and being in the eastern most part of the country with good weather, we have become lazy.’
“Our society has become non-innovative because of fear of change,” he claimed and challenged the students to believe in their goals.