EDUCATION


Is everything hunky-dory with our educational system? Listen to what a veteran academician has to say:

Dr. C. Rengaswamy, M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D Associate Professor of Chemistry (Retd.), CBM College, Coimbatore has 33 plus years' experience in teaching in colleges and 2 ½ years' experience in Plus 2 schools. Was a Member Syndicate of the Bharathiar University for three years (2008-2011). He has served as a Member of the Senate at Bharathiar University for nine years, and also as a Member, Board of Studies in Chemistry at Bharathiar University (UG & PG) for many years. He was Board of Studies Member in many colleges in and around Coimbatore and has also served as Committee Member in three colleges for several years.

Q. : What are your comments on the present educational system in the state?
Ans. : Our educational system rewards for scoring more rather than better understanding. A student who mugs up may end up scoring more than a child with better understanding.
The education methodologies and curriculum still do not keep up with the age we live in, and the need of the hour.
Education cannot be 'one size fits all' because every child has a unique learning requirement.
Studies have revealed that our kids lack skills. It won't be improper if we say that almost 90% of all graduates across streams are not employable. The employers who conduct campus interviews have openly expressed this. This is because the lessons being taught are too theoretical, without any bearing on practical problems. They need to be taught 'life skills lessons'.
One trend we see is the dominance of women in teaching profession. This is good, but then teachers need to be more committed. They also need to be trained intermittently so that they are knowledgeable and can face the students. Teachers must go through better training programs where the learning focus is on classroom management, patience, innovative methodologies and more. The teachers should also be given more freedom on how they plan to go about their classroom and teaching program.
Majority of the students are seen to be tight-lipped, though they are inquisitive. Students should be encouraged to ask more questions. Instead of having teachers talk in a classroom where all students are mere spectators, learning in a classroom should be more interactive. This can be done using various means, but the most effective method is making the students solve questions and problems in the classroom under the teacher's supervision and ask for help wherever needed. They can also take the help of learning aids like videos maybe. Teachers can also give more attention to weaker students.
Hands-on learning and projects based learning must be given more emphasis in the classroom. Students should be allowed to do more experiments in science & maths to understand concepts better.

Q. : What about the infrastructural facilities?
Ans : By and large, most of the schools and colleges have good infrastructural facilities. They have well equipped labs, well stocked libraries, sports facilities, transport facilities and so on.

Q. : What have you to say on the admission process?
Ans. : About 10 years back, there was a system of conducting entrance exams to admit students into technological and medical institutes. But due to some unknown reasons that system was taken back and an admission system based fully on board exam marks was brought forth. That marked the era of destruction in quality for classic institutes like the Anna University and PSG Tech Coimbatore. As a result of all these, students who fully skipped 'calculus' in their higher secondary course enter into top engineering colleges of the state. This is a sad state of affair.

Q. : What's the role and contribution of our institutions in career orientation & skill development and making the students future-ready?
Ans. : It is more said than done. Even if there is orientation and training, it is done at extra cost to the students. But what they imbibe is crystal clear when the employers come for campus interviews. Very few of these students passing out of our colleges are employable. And those few who are selected for placement are given on-the-job training in companies before they are absorbed in specific posts. Obviously there is a wide gap between what the students are taught and what they are expected to learn to be future-ready and be employable.

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