Alarmed by the lack of employability among engineering graduates despite a large number of them clearing the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), the central government is now working to bring about a sea change in the pattern of engineering examinations in the country. The focus, it is learnt, will be on discouraging the practice of rote learning that has become the norm to clear entrance examinations in the country. The bigger worry, of course, is the unemployability of these engineering graduates when they step into the market.
As part of the changes, the Ministry of Higher Education, in consultation with the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) is in the final stages of discussions to change engineering exam patterns across the country, reported News18. There are sweeping changes that the government is planning includes new question types and question papers for engineering entrance tests as well as semester exams.
The report quoted a source from the Department of Higher Education as saying that a report by an independent committee set up with the AICTE has already come out with a report and deliberations are underway on it.
According to All India Institute of Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe, the major drawback of these engineers is lack of factual knowledge. From their school times, a student is told rote learning is the best. if you memorize a part, there is a better chance that you’ll pass the exam easily.
The understanding of the government is that the coaching centers have promoted a trend of rote learning that has started to be very seriously as a process of learning. In a majority of the coaching centers, a summary of the lectures is given to the students and ask them to memorize it by heart.
A student in an engineering coaching center in Kalu Sari, Delhi, usually carries an earphone and watches shows on his phone during the whole lecture. Especially in the field of engineering having many unemployed students, rote learning is a major issue that has now caught the attention of the Ministry of Higher Education.
It is with this understanding that the ministry is working together with AICTE to change the pattern of the engineering entrance exams. There have been many recommendations given to the committee. Open book exams are being given utmost importance as it will help them actually see where the student actually stands.
News18 cited sources in the committee as saying that the reforms are part of systemic changes that the AICTE is undertaking. Notably, the engineering curriculum was tweaked last year too. The changes suggested by the committee include introduction of educational experiences to teach and assess professional outcomes, open-ended experiments in laboratories, project-based learning modules and internship experiences, among others, the report said.