On Education Policies- II

This article was published in Tripura Info.

Building Aptitude & Attitude, While Building India

When I was at school in Agartala in Shishu Bihar, one of my senior in school told me a very interesting fact. Even though we were slogging for PCM to crack IIT at that time in HS (+2) way back in 1997, our school senior, said that at a later stage, it was the soft-skills, and aptitude that mattered most in the long run. I was surprised that time, but today I realized that everything he said was true in all senses. Today, he is an MD of a VC firm, while I have become a writer after studying the nuances of grammar.

For any engineering college in Tripura, or for some other parts of the country where overall development is required, aptitude and attitude play the last mile.   Pondering on this fact, here are some of the facts that can inspire graduates and under-graduates in the long run that can settle scores with the placement record.

Aptitude goes a long a long way for a student. If we have a group of experts, who are in-house, to regularly harp students on their life-changing skills, and aptitude, then they are more placement ready. This can be done with the dual partnership of the local government and the central  government and the institutes prepare for aptitude and attitude. Many coveted students are not exposed to the various kinds of opportunities post coursework and hence it becomes pertinent to work with their technical skills. On similar lines, the state government can forge a partnership along with the institutes meant for GATE/ IES coaching.

Once students and teachers are in an exchange program within India and abroad, we get a transfer of knowledge. The system gets more robust. A student can travel to the other parts of India via sponsorship. The faculty members can get a chance to travel as well. This allows a cultural exchange and a new learning about different cultures in India. The term can be of 6 or 12 months.

Some coveted journals like Springer and Elsevier needs to be accessed for free by the faculty members for bringing in their aptitude for learning about specific topics. The basic aptitude should be based on the thirst of knowledge and research. They journals can be made free with discussion from the journal institutes and the Central government for specific areas and subsequent funding. Some of this journals can only be made public after transactions, but a selected few can be made free.

Companies like Infosys, IBM, TCS can establish their labs in schools where research is a prioirity. Already, some of the IIMs and IITs have this facilities. IIM-A has a centre of excellence with Infosys. This allows students with the concept of the projects to work with the companies post coursework.

The most basic of all infrastructure is a high-speed network. This allows a comfort level of the students and teachers to learn more while surfing. The research mode of learning helps the students much more than the quest for a job only. Institutions like World Bank, IMF can fund certain sections of the projects of an engineering college or schools. Like Quality Education that can be imparted on various issues and topics, or on specific areas of interest.

A class should enhance the feedback mechanism of students for faculty and vice-versa as a continuous learning process. Similarly, the students must get a feedback on a continual basis and improve on their work. Every complaint should be honored. The students should be allowed to talk to their faculty for discussion anytime to understand their needs and wants on a regular basis. There should be a faculty chaired grievance redress mechanism.

Top 15 students and some handful of students with merit must be recognized and groomed at an early stage, so that they become laurels as an alumni. Selected students can be pooled and groomed. If we wish, we can have an in-house “Super 30” in every institutes full of dedicated students. This new batch will have a dedicated training and extra class hours for studies on specific topics like preparation of GATE/IES and so on.

The main idea is to prepare the students for an inquisitive mind. Whether they start their research work or doctorate is a different story, but the key to success in any field is an active mind mixed with factual findings. This allows the subtle portions of the mind to be more active. So whether it is the corporate world, or whether it is the job in training; the active and inquisitive mind generally wins at almost every stage.

These are some of the facts that can work with young engineering colleges and business schools in India. The emphasis must be on learning and research and not just a way of getting the work done. The basics in place will ensure a faster speed of learning.  This will ensure that the circle is complete, and also the need of the students are addressed.

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