Boosting engineering education

ENGINEERING REPRESENTS the backbone of any country to maintain its power and prosperity. Pakistan is a state where technology is the only way to improve its economy and reduce the poverty. Strengthening the engineering education and research work leads a nation towards a self-reliance state, as it produces all the necessary equipments in many fields through the development of capabilities for manufacturing machinery used in industry and agriculture, as well as in defence. Engineering education is the activity of teaching knowledge and principles related to the professional practice of engineering. It is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to design, build, and maintain structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

Unfortunately, we still have not received a satisfactory outcome in the field of engineering and its applications. There are several reasons for the less improvement in this field.

The major problem of all this is the unavailability of high quality of scientists, engineers and teachers. Due to this reason we are facing several problems in the educational institutes as well as in the field work. Our own engineers are not capable of constructing latest design and technologies. Even they are very helpless to control and maintain the machinery that we bring with at a very high cost. The reason behind this is that they are not technically educated; they have not received quality education of international standard. In Pakistan, we have a very limited number of such professionals and real engineers. It was felt that science and engineering could not be strong in Pakistan without a critical mass of high quality scientists and engineers, and that this was only possible if our engineering, and other, universities were strengthened. Therefore, it is very necessary to produce quality in our engineers.

In the past, we have never stressed upon the quality. Till 2002, our engineering universities had hardly produced a total number of 55 PhDs in last 55 years while in the same duration Indian Institute of Technology had produced 3000 PhDs. That is the answer of our common question that why we are always lagging behind in producing quality engineers. Most of our universities are pushing thier all efforts in theoretical system rather than practical. Therefore, if we want to improve or boost up the quality of engineering education, we must have to create such an innovative faculty that can produce genuine engineers in future.

During the last couple of years, HEC as well as government is taking some positive steps to overcome this problem and they are investing a sufficient amount for development of engineering and technology in Pakistan. Till 2011, 5000 scholarships were approved out of them 2000 were only for the field of engineering. Once we have fully high quality teachers in the in the engineer producing factories or universities then surely we will work that level and produce that kind of professionals.

After that there are a number of benefits that can surely boost up the economy of country. Once we reach the required level then we can solve our all problems relating to industry, agriculture, electricity, generation, mechanism, manufacturing and in the field of computer technology. We have everything in the country. Once we are in the habit of doing something positive with our own people then we can be in the list of self-reliant countries. Several nations in the world are working and leading the world just because of this reason, they have quality, their engineers can invent and so their future is bright. Considering Japan, one of the smallest countries by area and population but they are not less than any of the other powerful countries of the world. Although this country had faced serious problems in past, yet even they are surviving better than us just because they know the importance of engineering education.

The rapid changes in the engineering education worldwide require that, engineering education in Pakistan be paid more attention from governmental quarters to justify its importance to the nation. Out of the 185 universities in Pakistan (including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan), only 30-40 universities are offering engineering disciplines for limited seats, thus the country also needs more investment in this area.

And the educational institutes alone cannot face these challenges. Both the government and these institutes have to work together along with industry to prepare tomorrows engineers.

The writer is Undergraduate Student of B.E. (Electrical Engineering) in the Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering Science and Technology (QUEST), Nawabshah, Sindh, Pakistan.

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