I presented this
paper at a National Conference on “Technical Education in the New Millenium:
Management and Challenges” conducted by Universtiy College of
Engineering, Osmania University, Hyderabad between 12-13 March 2000.
is a global expression covering comprehensively various aspects that are
related to it and that influence the quality level of planning, organizing and
implementing it. Production of quality engineers and technologists depends on
the provision of quality technical education. Such provision is not only
desirable but also inevitable for the simple reason that India would otherwise
be left far behind in the global market to catch up with the rest.
This paper is
related to the implementation stage,
to faculty training and motivation. No education is possible, let alone
technical education, without students, faculty and infrastructure. However good
students may be, they cannot do much without support services like the
laboratory, the library and the classroom. They can’t shine either without
appropriate guidance from the faculty. If the infrastructure provides the
necessary accessories, the faculty provide the vital link between
the student and the infrastructure.
faculty are needed to
• define, shape and give meaning to learning
the weak learner with compassion
• support the average learner with
• kindle the exceptional learner with zest.
may be said that the internet, multimedia and software can and will eliminate the
teacher and the infrastructure. But the computer is a nonhuman source and if at
all, it can speak only in monotone and will thus totally lack the infinitely
communicative nonverbal body language that two bodies and mind can generate and
share. It is a cold machine and will thus totally lack the warmth and the
bondage that bind forever the disciple to the guru and the guru to the
disciple. Such is the fatally vital link. Such is the crucial role of faculty
in the life of the learner and thus in the growth of technical education.
teachers born? Or are they made? Just as there are three categories of
learners, there are also teachers who are exceptional, who are average and who
are weak. What do I mean by the three attributive adjectives?
The exceptional come to teaching by choice.
The average are generally motivated but require training.
They wish to prove themselves to be good teachers but are disappointed, unlike
the exceptional, if they are not appreciated. They are large in number.
weak are least motivated and require training and guidance constantly.
They do not come to teaching willingly. Therefore they teach with their body
and go through the motions. They hop on to lucrative jobs overseas or in
private sector. The residue continue to occupy teaching positions. They may not
be strong in their disciplines. They may not be inclined to update their
knowledge either. As a result, they may not be able to cope with the demands of
the thirsting learners and fail to gain respect and admiration. Frustration may
set in and they may take it out on the student community. It is not my
intention to find fault with this category. I am drawing our attention to
existing realities only to focus on the need to motivate and train these
weak teachers so that, using their intrinsic potential, they perform with
competence, so that they do justice by their students who are placed by the
state in their protection. I am confident that once steps are taken to enable
them to see meaning in teaching, they will be equal to the task of building
their nation as teachers.
technical education employ as faculty postgraduates with or without prior teaching
experience. They may even have to appoint graduates as the supply is far less
than the demand, and we all know hundreds of colleges in several States offer
technical education. They also appoint at senior level experienced executives
from public or private sector. All these teachers require training to impart
and share their knowledge with their students and to manage them in a humane
manner. But the only training they have had is their association with their
teachers as they listened to them and observed them as teachers. In today’s
context and probably that of the immediate future the bulk of faculty fall into
this weak category.
situation is far from satisfactory. The need for training and motivating them
becomes all the more evident as technical education is going to permeate the
next millennium and all human endeavour. Of course, faculty attend winter and
summer schools sponsored by AICTE and ISTE and orientation programmes organized
by Academic Staff Colleges. But they do not do anything more than indicate the
direction teaching should take. They do not bring about permanent changes.
To produce quality
engineers and technologists, faculty require to be professionals. To be
professionals, faculty need to be excellent repositories and disseminators of
knowledge and to maintain motivation at a high level throughout their teaching
courses through external agencies may not ensure permanent changes in the
prospective teachers for three very good reasons. I do no know if
postgraduates, graduates or for that matter experienced executives would be
attracted to the teaching profession if they have to undergo a one-year
training programme, especially in the context of the supply of teachers being
far less than the demand, or qualify through a written test that may be planned
by AICTE. Two, they would be focusing more on acquiring a training degree
rather than using that training to make perceptive changes in their attitude
and behaviour. Three, more importantly, their performance would be moulded
negatively or positively by the kind of atmosphere that would prevail in the
colleges they would be joining as faculty. Therefore training and motivating
will become meaningful only if they are part of day-to-day teaching-learning
activities, only if they are part of their growth as teachers.
It then becomes
incumbent on the part of the Managements of technical education colleges—be
they government or self-financing—to provide an atmosphere which will ensure
provision of quality technical education. They should weave training and
motivating their faculty into the fabric of the teaching-learning process.
That is, they should provide a constantly conducive atmosphere.
What does this conducive
atmosphere entail? The Managements should
and admire the exceptional teachers
accepted pay scales
excellent service rules
them additional perks
for and encourage research
all expenses for national/international conferences
their children freely to engineering courses
house loan at subsidized rate
exceptional teachers as HODs and professors
exceptional teachers from other institutions to give demonstration lessons
excellent library and laboratory facilities
ample audio-visual aids
arrangements for macro and micro teaching sessions with help from nearest TTTIs
for interactive sessions between faculty and expert professional groups for
growth of healthy attitudes and practices.
of Departments and Senior Professors should
the average and weak faculty sit in their classes to observe them teach
notes on the responses to their teaching
post-teaching sessions for free frank exchange of reactions without
their strengths and help them get over weaknesses
faculty to publish papers in international journals
the library with excellent titles and journals for syllabus and reference
conducive atmosphere should enable the average and the weak faculty to
• accumulate sufficient discipline knowledge
• update this knowledge continuously
a good repertoire of reference journals
instill confidence in the weak learners
guide the average learners
kindle the curiosity of the exceptional learners
not exhibit superior attitude and avoid attendant negative
show interest in and solve personal problems of students.
n conclusion, I am sure there are colleges
of technical education that have realized the significance of smooth
relationship between students and faculty and have therefore taken several of
these measures I have suggested. I am proud to say that my College is one of
them. My College Management is doing its best to promote healthy learning
environment. The new millennium demands that technical education colleges brush
aside any constraints they may have and send out into the world a horde of
expert engineers and technologists in whose hands lies the future of mankind.