CHENNAI:Experts speaking at the ThinkEdu15 conclave here on Saturday opined that in a fast and ever-changing world, teachers with industry-experience will be critical for a greater awareness of skill sets required in the coming generation of students seeking employment.
The ThinkEdu Conclave’s session on ‘Should Employment Be the Key Focus of Education’, experts highlighted the fact that the difference between premier institutions like IITs, IIMs on the one hand and conventional colleges on the other, is that the latter do not adopt a problem-solving approach and do not make teachers accountable.
Uday Desai, director of IIT Hyderabad highlighted how IITs are planning to evolve new modules to help students keep pace with industry requirements. “The education system is focusing only on employability. This will become redundant as technology is changing at a rapid pace,” he said.
Desai said that IITs are planning to atomise their programmes into multiple modules with some devoted to education while others “will not be taught by the faculty. A person from industry will be teaching them.” Citing how Estonia, a tiny nation, develops the spirit of entrepreneurship in students, he said India should learn from that country.
Deepak Phatak, professor of the Department of CSE, IIT Bombay, stressed the need for sustainable employment and said that education should focus on inculcating entrepreneurial thought. Phatak slammed teachers in conventional colleges stating that many are not able to set question papers relying, as they do, on the colonial system. “Only four countries are following the colonial system of education. They include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” he said. The education system must focus on teaching students how to learn bringing the ethos of premier institutions to conventional colleges.
Citing the Aakash project where one lakh tablets were provided to engineering students, making technological devices affordable to students could result in a higher quality of education being imparted. He highlighted how IIT Bombay is working on Open Source Courseware Animations Repository, providing a repository of web-based interactive animations and simulations referred to as learning objects(LOs). These learning objects span topics in science and engineering at the college level, and maths and science at the school level.
Krishnakumar Natrajan, managing director and chief executive officer of MindTree stressed the need for education institutions to focus on producing quality engineers and not on placements made. There is a need for faculty to work with enterprises and find out what they need creating the need for Nexgen pedagogy for producing future engineers.
Dr S Vaidyasubramaniam, dean, planning and development, Sastra University, who chaired the session, highlighted the lack of recognition given to successful entrepreneurs and stressed the need to encourage them. Lalitha Balakrishnan, principal of MOP Vaishnav College, Chennai, stressed the need to introduce value subtly in course component.