BENGALURU: Calling out the elephant in the room, a research scholar from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has proposed holistic methods of learning for engineers in colleges to bridge the gap between what is being taught and what the industry needs from them.
In what he calls ‘Friyay’, a play on fun Friday, Arjun V. Singar, Research scholar, Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), is looking for brighter and happier engineering graduates by not just increasing learning effectiveness in fewer workdays, but also making students industry-ready which has been lacking for many years.
“It is sad to see a rise in students’ suicide rates, and a large number not being able to enjoy with their families. After all the hours put into studying, companies still complain of students not being industry-ready,” he said, recalling his stint as a placement coordinator.
The only solution to this is to revamp the education system, he said. And in a gradual method of change, he proposed a four-day week (Monday to Thursday), with Friday being dedicated for project day wherein students will use systems in college to look into journals, download papers and in case of pending work, they could wrap up by Saturday. “This would give them at least a day with their family which is not possible with the present system and assessments,” he added.
In his study, he pointed out that teachers’ contact with the students was inversely proportional to the latter’s learning interest. Hence, a more activity-based curriculum was required.
He said his distributed and differential assessment method where students are evaluated on projects and research papers is the USP of his model as it moves from question paper-based and rote-based learning and assessment towards hands-on, fun-filled activities-based learning and assessment which in turn helps them to be well-skilled and industry-ready. And this is outcome-driven education, he said.
With fewer days in the classrooms, “teachers will also get time on Friday and Saturday to visit industries. Research, which requires time for creativity, can also be undertaken, teachers can upgrade their skills and also make money with training and consultancy,” he said.
After the second draft of the thesis, the model will be taken to All India Council for Technical Education for implementation, said his guide K B Akhilesh, Professor at Department of Management Studies, and Dean of Engineering at IISc. He believes the model is set apart from the others because of the integrated perspective it offers -- individual and group activity for students, while also giving teachers a window to think and hone creativity.