Institutes hire IT professionals to train faculty

Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad’s dream may well have come true. The protagonist in 3 Idiots attracted his teachers’ displeasure when he tried to make their methods more student-friendly, but off the screen, things are a lot better. Teachers in engineering colleges across the country are more than happy to have information technology professionals teach them a thing or two.

As part of this collaborative effort, complex subjects like cryptography are being taught in many colleges through treasure hunts. Snakes and ladders are being used to teach the applications of low and high pass filters, and word games demonstrate the working of reaction turbines.

Institutes like IIT Powai, Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, Andhra Pradesh, Visves-waraiah Technological University, Belgaum, Anna University in Tamil Nadu and ITS Ghaziabad are some of those partnering with companies like Wipro to have their faculty trained.

“Students were often not serious in classrooms, but with the adoption of new teaching methods, we have seen considerable interest. Students also tend to retain a topic much longer,” says Abhay Bansal, professor of computer science at IPS Ghaziabad.

Bansal is a faculty member involved in a training programme called Mission10X, launched by software service company Wipro, which aims to train almost 10,000 teachers this year.

“About 3,000 innovative methods of teaching are up on our website,” says Nagarjuna Sadineni, general manager, talent transformation, Wipro Technologies.

Under the programme, Wipro captures a teacher’s training session on camera and assigns mentors to introduce innovation to teaching methods.

Besides Wipro, the world’s largest chip design company, Synopsys, has also unveiled a section called SEER Akademi to train teachers. “The demand for electrical and electronics engineers in India is estimated to reach five lakh by 2015. Our initiative aims to fill the supply gap,” says Srikanth Jadcherla, CEO of SEER Akademi.

The company has reworked the microelectronics curriculum of colleges like Bhubaneswar Institute of Technology, Chitkara University (Punjab) and North East Technical Education Society in Assam, JNTU and VTU.

TCS has launched an Academic Interface Programme, and says it engaged with over 375 institutes in FY09. “Faculty development workshops & sabbaticals enable academia to understand industry better, adapt and align teaching curriculum and methodologies,” says a spokesperson.

Some of the lesser-known institutes are finding such training particularly useful in raising confidence levels in students. Colleges like the Meerut Institute of Engineering and Arya Institute of Engineering and Technology at Jaipur have adopted such programmes.

“Top IT companies demand soft skills at placement sessions, and such training programmes help us build these in students,” says a teacher at a Meerut-based institute.

Article courtesy of Economic Times.

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