Is it true that our educational programs are not invention-friendly?

A technical education degree is one most aimed degrees in Nepal today. These technical subjects are considered as top tier, because of the salary they get paid and the potential of great innovation they hold.

But, is completing a bachelor’s degree in engineering help in invention? Do the students have an opportunity to invent? Is the traditional school format followed at the university level too?

The most popular engineering courses in Nepal are Civil, Electrical followed by Computer. And the most acclaimed universities are Kathmandu University and Tribhuvan Universities. TU has very competitive and difficult entrance exams that students need to clear.

In 2017, 12,510 students applied for the engineering entrance exam among which only 3,712 students passed!

Considering this, passing this type of competitive entrance exam and being able to study at such an acclaimed university might not house the expected environment or education.

Well, this thing came in the highlight when Mahabir Pun posted stating this in his Facebook post.

mahabir pun's post

Students from Tribhuvan University have complaints about their research and project time. They do not have enough time to research and invent because their energy and time are instructed to be sourced somewhere else.

The subject in the limelight and gaining all the attention is EXAMS! Exams, widely hated by all students and controversially determine students’ success. It has done it again. Exams have reached the college level also and have posed problems to students. The problem with it is that it has become an obstruction in the paths of these aspiring engineers. Engineering, a technical education cannot be done theoretically like in school-level science. Engineers should be taught in the most practical ways possible, hands-on learning.

Unfortunately, these top-class universities also seem to fail in identifying this. The routine and academic calendar as exposed by Mahabir Pun consists of constant examinations. Mixing exams, their prep time, and the gap between each exam the academic calendar have no other productive programs included.

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A typical semester in Nepalese colleges consists of 6 months. Among which, 3 months is for classroom studying and the 2 months remaining is for ton exams. An exam has a 3 days gap period for another exam. This makes 27 days for one exam. For students who previously failed an exam, they have back paper examinations which additionally takes 17 days.

In this way, all the time for students is spent on studying and exams. A vicious cycle looping for four years!

Students have claimed that when they did try to invest their time in projects and research independently. They end up failing in exams since they do not have time to study for it.

This raises a big question mark on all the education system which promises to raise future leaders and inventors.

For reference, an American education routine consists of 4 months for each semester. They do not have a separate allocated time for examinations. The classes and exams go hand in hand. The students are graded based on a variety of factors. They are graded for the weekly tests, problem sets that they are given, constant quizzes, and attendance. This way, there is a lot of productive time free for students who want to pursue research and practical studies.

This does not set a big cross on the education systems and colleges in Nepal. However, it does expose the ongoing unfair and unproductive time spent on colleges.

College-level studies cannot be treated like school-level studies. They require more detail, more hands-on learning and can not only be determined by exams. This is extremely crucial in raising more inventors and innovators of Nepal! Considering the amount of money and time spent on the four-year technical education course it should not be made so inefficiently.

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