Er. Ramesh Shrestha is the General Secretary of Association of Engineering College Nepal (AECoN) and Principal at Sagarmatha Engineering College, TU. Private engineering educational institutions have made invaluable contributions to the engineering field in Nepal. They have immensely diminished the trend of youths leaving the country in the name of quality engineering education in foreign lands. A large number of Nepalese students have got opportunity to pursue engineering education in Nepal at an affordable fee structure. Er. Shrestha has shared his views with College Readers. Excerpts:
What are the advantages of studying engineering courses in bachelor’s level in Nepal?
In fact, around 70%-80% of courses of civil engineering are similar to that of the international curricula, and the remaining 20%-30% courses are designed on the basis of the local context and national need. The engineering courses of Nepal have been designed with a deep analysis of these important factors. They have been designed to fulfill the global needs as well as the need of the nation and local areas. More importantly, the curricula of civil engineering have been designed keeping hydropower in priority. Similarly, highway and transportation sectors too are included in the engineering curricula. So, when students study in their native land, they become familiar with their social and cultural aspects. In addition, they can seize phenomenal experience of hands-on education as they visit different places as part of their field work and field visit. They visit sites of roadway construction in hilly regions and gain invaluable experience of road construction in those geographically trodden areas. In other words, they get enriched with the knowledge of available natural resources in Nepal.
How do you define engineering education and to what extent it is important? Is it really a difficult course?
In fact, no subjects are easy or arduous. It depends on the aptitude and capacity of each learner. The students should have ingrained interest, desire and dream to study engineering education. Similarly, a person who wants to be an engineer should have strong mathematical knowledge as well as basic knowledge of physics.
It is rumored that there is a huge rate of drop outs in engineering programs in Nepal. What are the effective ways to resolve this growing problem?
In my opinion, the dropout rate of engineering education is not so appalling. Most of the universities have adopted a wrong policy that there is a provision for engineering students that they can complete their education within a period of eight years— which is a long period— which has made students careless in their study. However, Kathmandu University does not have such a provision. Therefore, all the universities in Nepal should adopt an appropriate policy for solving these problems. The AECoN is doing its internal preparation to get the concerned authority to discern their responsibility so that they can search gateways to convincing solutions.
What suggestions would you like to give the Nepalese universities regarding this issue?
The government should adopt a strong policy of ‘no-upgrade’ for those students in the third year who fail their first year of education. Similarly, the respective college should enroll students only after analyzing their aptitude, interest and capacity for the engineering study. So, I strongly suggest that the concerned authority should instill these requisites in their minds before preparing a law and should prepare an effective policy to eliminate such existing barriers. Similarly, to solve many associated problems of engineering education, there should be only one centralized entrance examination for all the universities in Nepal. Similarly, the provision of the engineering license should be made strict and it should be provided to those engineers who pass written examination and complete the set criteria of engineering qualification.
Do you think all private engineering colleges in Nepal are capable enough to impart quality engineering education?
In my opinion, most private engineering colleges in Nepal are imparting globally acclaimed curricula. Moreover, in those colleges, laboratories, library and faculty members are invaluable assets, but the consistency in their physical infrastructure is lacking since most of them do not own sufficient land which is a pre-requisite for an engineering college. In addition, the second strength of Nepalese engineering colleges adheres to high competency of the courses which are of sterling standard. My claim can be corroborated by a fact that Nepalese students, who have attained an engineering qualification from Nepalese universities, can easily pass the exam of engineering council for a license. Similarly, Nepalese engineers have shown a phenomenal performance both in their workplace and in higher studies in the country and beyond. Therefore, all of these factors prove that Nepalese private engineering institutions are delivering quality assurance through their engineering programs; however, some culprits want to earn profit by sending ingenuous Nepalese youths to foreign lands in the name of quality education.
Why should on study engineering at Sagarmatha Engineering College?
Sagarmatha Engineering College was established by a team of competent professionals who have more than a decade-long experience in teaching engineering graduands. In addition, each founding member takes regular classes here. We are a bit distinctive when it comes to students’ care and career counselling. Furthermore, we provide a series of training events, seminars and workshops to the students in order to develop their career and learning capacity. In spite of the University’s drawbacks in preparing advanced syllabuses that can be salable in real job market, we provide 5-6 professional courses to the learners before they complete their engineering course. Our initiative ensures rewarding job opportunities for the students working in this field. We also provide soft-skill training relative to their workplace, which eventually helps them succeed globally. All these rewarding aspects of exceptional tutoring at our workplace bolster our distinctive frameworks for the assurance of quality education. Therefore, students should choose SEC for an appealing engineering qualification.
What suggestions would you like to give ten-plus-two graduates?
First of all, I would like to congratulate ten-plus-two graduates on their achievement. For them, this is a crucial turning point in their life. Therefore, they should seek an admission in a discipline only after analyzing their aptitude, interest and capacity. I also suggest they should collect all the details of the college meticulously, such as right faculty and subject. In addition, I advise them to visit our college and get assured of award-winning education.