Two years back, the instructor of Digital Electronics was telling his story of what it likes to be an Engineering student in Nepal, specially student of Institute of Engineering (IOE) under Tribhuvan University (TU). The course Digital Electronics EG677EX which he was teaching according to him was only few years old (less than 10 years!) and he was lucky plus us, the students. His story, however, was not about less than 10 years old curricula which the universities in Nepal still consider to be up to-date and fresh but was about 90% of the courses in Bachelor’s of Engineering (specially for Electronics and Communications Engineering) which were already more than 12/13 years old and still being taught.
My teacher was taught the same course by his teacher; the same course was taught to that teacher of my teacher, and most probably that teacher was also taught the same course by his teacher. And provided I’m teaching the same course now, it shall at least pass 4 generations of teachers teaching the same course ever since the first teacher taught. Most likely all these 4 generation of teachers are in the same office in IOE, Pulchowk Campus and the senior most teacher is still least likely to be a professor.
Being an Engineering Professor in Nepal
This is a very strange (must admit not strange but difficult) task to do master’s degree let alone doctoral in our specialization of Engineering courses provided by IOE. And this is what makes that senior most teacher NOT to be professor yet even after 23 years of his teaching career, and luckily he could get a master’s degree after teaching for 13 years means 10 years before. He was safe from the updated policy of IOE that to teach Master’s (and optionally Bachelor’s students, and to be permanent teaching staff) one needed at least a Master’s degree.
Some of the fields of engineering are easy (am I being too concerned over here?) while some are desperately difficult to get a passing grades – or is it just the level of students that enter the wrong subject (if so how did they passed the toughest entrance exam! and admitted to that field?) The explanation is beyond imagination.
Nepalese Courses: What’s wrong?
The story is little different here. However, the background provides it all. Now just imagine, how old is the course that senior most teacher is teaching now. The same thing is delivered to students today. Very interestingly that teacher is given lot of respect, also given a respectful high post, plus he is invited for talks – engineering career talks to be precise. “The cutting edge digital technology today is beyond our imagination, the course knowledge obtained from our classes will enable all aspirants to tackle and challenge the real world’s problem“, all was his recital with recent years of invited talks.
This is how reality works, at least in least developed
countries economies like ours. This is how engineers are made in some of the poorest parts of the world; surprisingly they are up beyond the global range of talents and engineering because Nepalese engineers are made up of hard labor, labor to recite lengthy formulas (that are otherwise never needed to be memorized), labor to copy assignments (that are otherwise nothing to do with the exams), labor to defend themselves with 3-tedious hours of closed book exams (that are otherwise no good to take as exam questions are always define this and define that or derive this formula and derive that and then compare them, which have nothing to do with even if you want to be scientist or even a top technocrat.)
Despite all these, the charm to being an engineer is high in our place; all with the aim to be an Engineer, to be one of the still prestigious occupations (and once again it is just prestigious, but finding a job is like finding a gold particles in the sand dunes.)
I recall a comment posted by a perspective student of Electronics & Communications Engineering in IOE in the course syllabus of one of the Engineering subjects in this site, he was saying the course has been updated the items you published are obsolete. Wish I tell him the whole story behind the updated course of Engineering in IOE and that was a hype at least. The update goes with a couple of chapters, and a couple of new formulas with long boring descriptions despite the latest trend going on with that subject matter. (See this there is really an updated syllabus from IOE!!!)
Engineering Trend with Nepalese
Also the students are so cozy with this luxury of passing the exam solely based on the last-days important notes from the teachers towards the end of the semesters. Only few of them, excuse me for being so bias but this is what I have experiences with 5 years of engineering, are really gathering latest trends on the subject matter, however, sadly would never share with their teachers who would been in trouble knowing otherwise that the teacher is unaware of that latest trend.
The trend itself is much sophisticated. If you update yourself with today’s technology, your knowledge gets obsolete right tomorrow. May be the senior most teacher in my story was able to convey this beautiful message of not going thru the update hassle with his fellow students and subordinates. Nepalese courses are really awesome, aren’t they?
Note: No people were harmed and attached during making of this article. I have no intention to manipulate the characters nor the Institute itself. I just tried to raised the realization after a silence from perspective engineering students. There are one thousand good things about IOE if this is one bad in its way. I’m available for free consultation if you are a perspective engineering student.
Disclaimer: It doesn’t end up here, you might also read about how Pulchowk Campus & what wrong going around the corner! …hands down or up to Pulchowck Campus, when will it be enough, the student killing programs…