- Peer group: I had a miserable time in my first year. I was never the cool kid in school, but I’d joined my University hoping it wouldn’t matter because nearly everyone would focus on studying. But, that wasn’t the case. This happens to a whole lot of people. They change once they come to college and the change isn’t in the right direction.
I remember my first day at my hostel, I saw my room mate and said, “Hi! I’m Akash!”, in English. His expression was priceless. I later came to know that there was a general aversion to English. Some of my peers even linked my affinity to English to being unfaithful to my mother tongue. As we move into the industry, as engineers, it becomes vital to communicate in English. Most of these characters, start to try speaking in English only in the interview. We can’t be good engineers if we cannot communicate effectively in a commonly accepted language.
- The curriculum: I have friends studying abroad, and I’ve seen what they’re studying. It is an amazing curriculum they have. I have no idea why our universities feel the need to restrict to Indian authors (not that they’re not good). I’ve read the same concepts in both Indian and foreign authors, there was such clarity in the foreign books, and it was as though the authors were actually reaching out and talking to the reader unlike the definition filled Indian book. Our curriculum is also very out of sync with what we might actually need when we work in the industry.
- The way students are treated: Most of my professors (if I can call them that), seem relate the amount information recorded in notebooks as being proportional to the attentiveness of the student. I walked into my first day at college hoping I’d be treated as an adult. But it wasn’t so. One of my mathematics professors would force people to occupy the front rows of the class even if they weren’t willing. My engineering physics professor dictated more notes in one semester than I had written for my grade 12 physics in an entire year. He also awarded me 10 marks for writing it the way he said it.
I happened to chance upon website of a renowned foreign university and it explicitly said that students will be considered as adults. It also added that merely taking notes wouldn’t be sufficient to pass examinations. It said exactly all that!!!
- The workload: With all the pages I had to mug up, I barely had time for other productive stuff. The assignments given to us were meaningless and unproductive. There was no real learning objective. It was simply another method of forcing ideas into us. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we were awarded marks for doing that!
- Lack of a learning culture: It was very demoralizing for me to see that my peers would copy everything from assignments to examinations. It discouraged the people who really wanted to learn from doing so. People who could mug up the maximum amount of information in the least amount of time could get the maximum marks. GPA was just a reflection on how well the student could mug up. There wasn’t much real learning.
All these factors and more make Indian engineers sub par on an average.