Practical attachment puts students on strong pedestal: Dr Negash

In Practical Attachment, Institute of Technology (AMiT) students are sent for the one-semester internship in various industries as per the area of specialization. And during their engagement, university expects them to assimilate the practical aspects of acquired theoretical knowledge that put them on the stronger pedestal, said the Scientific Director of Institute of Technology, Dr Negash Wagesho.

Dr Negash got eloquent while speaking on the wider aspects of Holistic Exam, personal attachment (internship) and related issues; following is the full text of his interview.

When asked to specify Practical Attachment, he said. ‘‘It’s usually meant for the AMiT students and as per the new curriculum they are supposed to attend full semester after the completion three years study period.

Until recently, AMiT has had practical attachment for its students for two months duration. We scaled it up for full one-semester since 2012, thus opening up the avenues of progress for our students.

Elaborating further he said, ‘‘Apart from making arrangement for internship, our University-Industry Coordination office takes painstaking efforts to see students placed in good industries to have promising career.’’

On AMiT’s mandate to give more emphasis on practical-oriented education, he said, ‘‘The experiment students do in AMU is on a small-scale, they don’t get enough opportunities for the wider aspect of practical education; personal attachment fills that void.

Initially, BSc program was of four-year duration, which now has been increased to five-year as practical attachment (internship) gets dovetailed with it as part of curriculum according to the government guidelines.

Getting down to the brass tacks, he said, ‘‘AMU while sending students to the respective industries across the nation, covers a nominal amount of personal maintenance cost; whereas industries are supposed to guide, supervise, manage, monitor and evaluate their activities and report it to the University authority.

We also keep close watch on the students whether they are doing well, by assigning an instructor, who once or twice would visit the respective companies.

Elaborating further, he said, ‘‘When we look back, the most degree courses were based on theoretical knowledge; laboratory works, involvement in workshop, computer laboratory were less thus limiting the practical aspect of it. But by sending them to the practical attachment, we push them in the practical environment, where they learn the practical aspect of the theoretical knowledge they acquired over the years.

Having evolved this system, we could witness that the performance of the students have undergone a sea change. This year AMiT has sent 2300 students for internship in different industries.

On holistic exam, Dr Negash said, ‘‘It’s the kind of examination that tests and evaluates engineering students’ overall academic performance during their study period. In most of the cases after every six semesters we go for holistic exam.

This exam is the pre-requisite for the practical attachment; therefore students need to revise their theoretical knowledge acquired during their academic years. The exam is generally based on the major courses studied by a student in the span of three to four years.

The students need to procure minimum 50% pass percentage; sometimes it may vary. This year around 2300 students appeared for the holistic exam and all of them passed it and they are undergoing practical attachment at different industries in the nation.

This year, he, continued, ‘‘AMU has allocated 602 students in civil & urban engineering, hydraulics & water resource engineering (561), Water Resource and Irrigation Engineering (513), Water Supply & Environmental Engineering (532), and Electrical & Computer Engineering (134).’’

Replying to the query on the recent issue of some students boycotting holistic exam, he said, ‘‘Few students purportedly misunderstood the concept. Though, all were informed and intimated about it. Those expelled from the university for their misconduct were found to be instigating other students.’’

‘‘AMU has given them preparation materials and through mass media it was announced that all the students can avail the facility of refresher course facilitated by the university, which is first of its kind. Unfortunately some with vested interest had created misunderstanding, however, soon it died down’’

Later on, all respective students wrote and passed the exam; and those fomenting discontentment and trouble tendered written apology to the University for their wrongdoings, and appeared in the exam and passed it.’’

‘‘To eschew such unsavory situation in future, AMU wants to have a working system, and to work it well, cooperation from all sides is must. Everyone bear the responsibility to perform to the fullest; we want everyone to abide by the rules and regulation and those flouting rules will be served with memo.’’

Admonishing further, he said, ‘‘Sometime some students cross the limit, by forming a group they think, they can change the system and get things done as per their whims and fancies. If they face any problem, they should adopt the proper channel to get their grouses heard.

Everything can be solved through a dialogue; let their delegation approach the appropriate authority and get problems resolved.’’

On the next course of action, Dr Negash said, ‘‘AMU has already contemplated personal attachment as part of curriculum so that no one will create havoc. Soon we are likely to have meeting on the teaching-learning process that will clear the doubts if any on different issues.

By Philips Joseph