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The present education system needs overhauling or else skill enhancement will fail
My son completed his BTech from a reputed university (VSSUT) this year with excellent grades. The university is one of the oldest engineering colleges established in 1956 which attained university status in 2006.

Every aspiring student wants to be part of this university because of its glorious alumni as well as its status as one of best universities in India and by far the best in Odisha (CET, Bhubaneswar and NIT, Rourkela is other two sharing par status).

I asked my son to pursue MTech in the same university. He didn't agree upon it and insisted on opting for coaching to appear for the GATE examination in trying for a slot in IIT. I had myself thought of aiming for IIT, as it's an ambition for everyone, thus I agreed with my son and enrolled him for coaching at one of the best coaching centres, 'Made Easy', which commenced its sessions from June this year, and will extend up to the GATE 2009 exam.

However, I find that his coaching classes are running from 8 am to 8 pm everyday including Sundays and holidays. There's no off day at all. I was really confused that how come the coaching centres teach 12 hours a day, non-stop. My idea of coaching classes was that students mostly prepare at home and attend coaching classes for some hours to get guidance, doubt clearance and some concept explanations.

That's why I asked my son whether the coaching class was re-teaching him the whole course once again. My son answered in the affirmative that the coaching class was teaching him from the beginning of the entire course. My next question by default was that what they did for four years in the engineering college. The shocking answer from my son was that they were taught in engineering colleges about the art of passing the examination!

From the above, one can understand, what is the standard of our reputed vocational colleges. The art of passing the examination or to get a better grade is the main focus in such examinations. Just teach them something about the subject and ask students to prepare for possible questions that might be in the examination question papers. In question bank, there are hundreds of questions. If you prepare for the questions then you can easily pass the examination without even understanding the concept of a subject or chapter. Better you prepared with the question easier to get higher grades,

In many coaching centres for JEE/NIIT etc also the teaching is very simple. Focus on previous question papers and their right answers. If you are lucky then you will find questions you have prepared for in the entrance examination. That's how the entire education system including technical education operates in most of colleges, universities and coaching centres.

Just recall the character of Chatur Ramalingam, who tried to mug-up everything than to understand the concept. The present education system just produces people like Chatur Ramalingam and not a proper graduate who really had knowledge. In my career I have interviewed a lot of fresh engineers who even don't know many simple things. If you ask like question papers they are excellent in answering. The moment you ask 'why' they became dumb because then only know 'what' but don't know why. 'What' comprises the question which they can answer but 'Why' explores the knowledge/logic etc which they don't know.

I don't put all educational institutes in one lot because really there are few institutions which put the focus on knowledge sharing than teaching the art of passing the examination. But it's also a fact that around 90 per cent of colleges focus only on the art of passing the examination than sans real knowledge.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed for skill improvement of the Indian youths for which lot of skill improvement centres opened throughout the country. I would wish if he focuses on changing this stereotype education system into Knowledge-based education system, then skill improvement would be very easier and effective. The examination process should be changed. Students should be examined for their depth of knowledge where the can able to answer the 'why' part of a theory or an issue instead of focusing the 'What' part of the question papers from question banks else only large number of Chatur Ramalingams will be produced every year.

In conclusion, I would say unless the education system is completely overhauled, the dreamed skill enhancement will be a great failure. The skill can be enhanced if someone has the basic knowledge. Shouldn't government look in to this?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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