The purpose of this article is to criticize my alma mater, VESIT located in Mumbai to let them have the opportunity of listening to contrasting views, and help them find the areas where they can grow.
Teacher is an important person in any engineering college who has worked hard in the industry, put in multiple years to get a Masters or a PHD in that particular domain, but there is a problem with the quality of teaching I believe. Also there is another logic that being skilled at a particular task doesn’t magically make the person have great teaching skills. Fortunately the faculty is good, but not great, I truly believe, what I have been taught by my teachers is being truly used in my life, without it I would have been truly ignorant when it comes to being a good computer engineer. Teachers teaching the subject are really knowledgeable, but when they try to explain a concept they don’t go above and beyond when teaching it, which I believe is a behavioural change due to less money being paid for their teaching services. Less money creates a sort of a stress which results in a teacher abandoning a great idea on how to explain a particular concept, which ultimately affects a student. Hike the fees. Let the most competent feel happy about teaching which will result in more competent people being attracted to the system, so no competent person should feel sad.
Many students in India start preparing for competitive exams like GATE, GRE, CAT from their final year. So did the students from our college, but there was little to no support for it from the college staff. Students were told to sit for lectures and punished if their attendance is low. I ask this calmly, College, why would you dampen the momentum of students while they are preparing for their most important exam and defining moment of their life?
Students are copying assignments and lab work from seniors as well as peers, without understanding the concepts. This is detrimental to the development of students. In plain sight it feels as if students are getting their job done, but there is little to no value in it. So always complete your assignments by yourself or in a collaborative fashion. Also there is a missing incentive layer for the students to write good quality assignments. Maybe attaching a greater reward to completing assignments is a good thing to do. Don’t cry that you don’t have time to write assignments. More than requiring the intellect to solve a complete assignment, you have a scheduling problem as well. Schedule your each and every task on Google Calendar so as to get an complete overview of what you are really achieving.
Placements are rather a routine exercise for the college to try to make a statement that they are worth something. By calling mass recruiters and a bit of multinational corporations that pay well and aiming for 100% placements they wish to make a name for the college rather than work on an holistic and individualistic approach to developing careers of their current students. The fact of a dearth of good companies visiting the college has been hid in the garb of the so called ‘dream companies’. Placement team brainwashes you to accept what their beliefs are. The repetition of these beliefs causes echo chambers in the college. These echo chambers further insulates a student from knowing their true value and further cutting him off from the market knowledge which is necessary to bridge the gap between their technical skills and real-world skills. The promise the placement team making is of doing the same thing but with mass recruiters which are abysmally bad in providing you the environment to reach your potential. Placements should not be conducted in a conventional fashion. Maybe a good idea is, students finding / help finding some of the companies themselves and they tell it to the college placement team and the college team further makes a official invitation for annual placements to the particular company. This way there will be more companies in the campus, where students will love to work.
Students are partly responsible for this whole mess. There is a large gap between their technical skills and what the market demands. They are ignorant about how they can create solutions out of the blue to make their prospects for a great job enticing. Instead they are just accepting the status quo. They bear the brunt for incompatible opinions of their elders and teachers alike. What’s the rush with earning money? First understanding what you actually want and documenting it properly will really help. Defining your problems clearly will help you in reaching the solution fast. Why don’t you just use your brain sometimes? It will surely turn out nice.
Technical societies are such a farce in the college. Instead of organizing themselves to make some technological breakthroughs they are busy creating some useless games for the students to play. Other than the technical societies every other council is doing their job well, but there is a wrong perception among the student council that by being loud and having lot of shouting matches between each other they can call themselves good leaders. Pushing everything on your plate onto the juniors and calling it ‘delegation’ isn’t going to make you a good leader, let alone a good person. They are always worried about teachers and the upper management not giving them permission to do an event. Please understand the problems teachers or staff face too. What problems are my teachers facing? Let’s solve them first. What we can do for them? Don’t think about yourself only and cry if you don’t get a permission for an event. Use your operational intelligence. World will be a better place.
There is used to be a lot of extracurricular & co-curricular activities as well, but the system adjusted itself in such a way that people get less and less time to work on them, but still students are making a mark in various competitions, which is a commendable achievement in itself.
What I really feel is due to cumulative effects of various actors in the system, engineering colleges in India have become more of a business to just print degrees for far more greater economical value than the value that is actually provided to a student, to holistically grow him as a engineer.