“Only 7% of Indian engineers (are) capable of handling core engineering tasks” – Times of India
Let’s face it. India is in the middle of an engineering education crisis. Engineering in India has become a business. And not even a good one. AICTE (All India Can Think is Engineering) plans to shut down 200 engineering colleges in 2018-19. Right now, they could just close their eyes and pick a college to shut down, and it wouldn’t be a bad decision. Around 1.5 million Indians graduate with an engineering degree every year. Notice I didn’t use the term “engineers”. That’s because most of these engineering degree holders aren’t even engineers, myself included.
I can tell you what I did. After 10th grade Board exams (REALLY important stuff), I went into non-medical because I didn’t really know what else to do, but I did know that I’d suck at the other branches of study, namely, commerce, medical and humanities. Non-medical is the one you choose if you want to do engineering. That’s it. Those are the four options you can choose from after 10th grade as a specialization. Are you kidding me? Just 4 options to choose from? Internet search browsers have more than that.
So, yeah. I went through 11th and 12th grades like a car goes through carwash. REAL fun. Don’t even get me started on the coaching centers. And then it was time for 12th Board exams (another REALLY important stuff). I was thinking what to do, and the deciding factor was the amount of money I’d make. After a 2 hour long, hard mental debate between the two little devils sitting on my shoulders (imaginary, of course; I’m not crazy), I decided to go with engineering. Same old fun, not for two, but four years in a row (yay!). By the way, every test I took was REALLY VERY important. Hmm, maybe not every test. I don’t know. I skipped quite a few.
OK, so here’s the thing. Exams are meant to test our understanding of the subject we study. Sure, they help employers to measure a candidate’s aptitude, but, first and foremost, they are for the one who’s doing the study. And, I might be wrong on this, but I feel like all the tests I took from 1st grade to college haven’t helped me learn a single thing. They just tested my ability to memorize a load of information on the night before the test, and then regurgitate all of it on the answer sheet. And I wasn’t even good at memorizing. Was I the only one who struggled through school years? I don’t think so. Am I the only one who’s complaining about the way students are taught (or, not taught)? Nope. That means there’s clearly a problem with the system and we need to change it.
Also, what’s the point? After all those years of mindless test taking and whatnot, what do people get? I’ll tell you. A mediocre job with a mediocre salary which leads to a mediocre life in every way possible. Most people hate their work and their life and that hate goes around like a virus. They work for at least 12 hours a day, every day. They end up being unhappy, and then complain about how the system sucks.
I’m currently enrolled in a Masters course. Yes, that’s right. After 12 years of crappy school, and then 4 years of crappy college, I joined a 2-year masters program, hoping that it would be better than the others. After all, times are changing for the better. They always have, and always will. Right? Nope. I guess I have OOPS (Overly Optimistic Personality Syndrome). That’s a good thing, though. I finally realize what I need to do.
We can’t wait for the system to change. We are the system. I believe that if enough people change themselves for the better, it will lead to a net positive effect. I’ve decided. No more complaining. No more cribbing. The system sucks because we suck. If we work to be the best version of ourselves, we won’t suck anymore, and neither will the system.
That’s why I came in here. And I . . . complained some more.
Anyway, I could go on and on ranting about this and that. I’d like to end by saying that I’m not sitting idle anymore. I’m doing stuff. And you should, too. Internet is the greatest thing to have been created. We should use it to create more. It doesn’t have to be good or super tough. If you keep trying to improve yourself, you will get better. If every Indian took one step forward, we’d have taken a total of 1.35 billion steps forward. That’s technically not correct, but you get the point.
That’s all, folks. Stay tuned for more rants.
. Rated PG-13 for the use of strong language and honesty.
. AICTE actually stands for All India Council for Technical Education. It was a joke. Don’t sue me.
. Link for the Times of India article: Click here