Technical education and mushrooming of engineering colleges without proper quality checks have resulted in an excessive supply of engineers who are unemployed with many of them unemployable. However, there still lies a huge scope for well trained and skilled engineers. Will EdTech play the role of an enabler?
Engineering lelo beta bohut scope hai!Parents Talk!
According to the AISHE 2018-2019 (All India Survey on Higher Education).
- India has a total of 6,214 Engineering & Technology institutions.
- At the undergraduate level, an average of 29 lakh students are enrolled in Engineering and Technology courses every year.
- An average of 15 lakh students graduate with an engineering degree every year (It is more than the total number of engineers produced by USA and China combined).
- However, less than 20% of the graduates get employed in their core domain as more than 80% of graduates are unemployable.
With such alarming statistics, it is important that India addresses loopholes in engineering education.
How Edtech Could Help Engineering Colleges in India?
Technical education in India is predominantly administered by brick-and-mortar institutions. The COVID‑19 social distancing norms made it unviable. Online learning has become the only option. A case in point, EdTech companies like BYJU’S saw a 150% surge in the number of enrollments during the lockdown. Online learning is gaining more acceptance even by its staunchest critics. Could Edtech be the solution?
Let us discuss the 3 ‘P’s (Proposal, Problem, and Possible Solution) if Edtech were to be adopted for engineering education.
Shifting to Online Education
Proposal: The shift from offline to online learning could be the best way to provide accessibility to quality education. With this, students can learn anytime and anywhere.
Problem: Practical learning, experiments, laboratory training and the social aspects of university life cannot be completely supplemented by online learning.
Possible Solution: Engineering universities and institutes could formulate a hybrid learning model, which includes the best practices from both online and offline modes of teaching.
Proposal: EdTech leverages technology such as AI and Machine learning to develop skills and testing systems. AI can help bridge the gaps in teaching and learning. Machine learning can help monitor and evaluate every student’s learning progress. It can also help in identifying the learning patterns of students and help teachers devise the best way to teach a student.
Problem: Due to multiple branches and disciplines in engineering, implementation could take time. As the educators are resistant to changing from conventional teaching and learning methods, transitioning to online mode will face some initial challenges.
Possible Solution: Engineering educators should be made aware of the potentials of tech-enabled learning. The impact of technology in engineering education can go beyond solving specific engineering problems. Implementation of technology should begin as soon as possible; it is better late than never.
Future Ready Curriculum
Proposal: EdTech companies are curating new courses to bring about a holistic learning experience. For example, the Edtech WhiteHat Jr is teaching computer coding to school kids. It helps in preparing kids for the jobs of tomorrow.
Problem: Engineering institutes follow an age-old curriculum that is outdated and reacts very slow to the change in industries. It teaches skills that are not relevant to the workplace. The institutes seem to be resistant to change.
Possible Solution: The entire curriculum and pedagogy need to be revised. Many experts suggest that the final semester of engineering should be dedicated to internships, research, and application-based learning.
The New National Education Policy 2020 can be the game-changer for higher education and engineering in particular. The NEP 2020 aims to overhaul and re-energize the higher education system.
The Key visions of the policy are as follows:
- Holistic and multidisciplinary universities and colleges
- Programs in local/Indian languages
- Revamping curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and student support.
- Establishing a National Research Foundation.
- Increase access to public education.
- Strengthen online learning and open distance learning.
- Teacher and faculty training
- Reimagining vocational education
- Ensuring equitable use of technology
EdTech is changing the way school kids learn. Perhaps, it can change the way how undergraduates from engineering streams learn as well.
What could be the future of technical education according to you? Will prestigious engineering colleges remain relevant? Let us know in the comment section below.