July 2, 2010

Engineering in Tamil - An Analysis

Hi guys,

My exams were over finally. Today’s exam was tough, though I managed to do it quite well. As I said in my earlier post, we have no holidays. Our V semester classes begin on July 7 (next Wednesday).

In this post, I’m going to write about my views on the topic ‘Introducing Engineering courses in Tamil’. Our TN Government has announced that Mechanical and Civil Engineering courses will be available in Tamil from this year.

Good for the Tamil Medium students

To me it appears to be a good move. Many students study in Tamil Medium in their school life. Sudden transformation to English medium in college disturbs their study levels. For instance in my first semester, I’ve observed such students being affected. Mainly they get an inferior feeling. They would have scored more than 90 % in their school exams and still they would not be able to get good marks here. Particularly the effect of transformation is devastating in the rural students than in the urban students.

Improvement in R&D field

Researches show that learning in mother tongue increases the creativity, grasping power and understanding level of students. They say this is the main reason why Chinese and Japanese are so strong in research and technology. So introducing Engineering in Tamil will increase the chances of improvement in R&D, which is in very poor state here.

All these things suggest that Engineering in Tamil is good. But there are too many problems such as learning materials, teachers, resource people, etc.

No Resource materials

Anna University has introduced books for these courses. From the appearance of the books it seems that they are prepared according to syllabus. Generally Engineering students use more than one book for studying (at least they refer to). They give a wide idea to the students. But when it comes to book according to a syllabus, all these reference things are missing. It merely appears like a school book. Rather than introducing the courses hastily, Government must take steps to translate the resource books and then introduce courses.

Tamil or English- Confusion for students

The current system is such that students can decide whether to pursue the course in English or Tamil. This is very wrong. How can professors take class for both students at a same time? Even if concepts can be explained, the technical term varies. This is senseless. Instead separate classes should be taken. Some say will again lead to partiality. We intelligent people always think learning and speaking in English is superior. This attitude must change.

Do we have Resource people?

Do we have professors who will be able to handle classes in Tamil? Tamil is our mother tongue, but still we don’t know the exact translations for technical terms. How many of you know the terms for Power, Torque, Bending moment, stress, force, equation, etc in Tamil? (I don’t know).

Full Tamil or a mixture

Also, introducing in Tamil must be a fully fledged one. One of my friends who studied in Polytechnic College, before joining here said that they had an option of writing their exams in Tamil or English. He said he used to write in English, but lot of students used to write in a combined form (???). They used to write things in Tamil and in between if a technical term comes then the term will be written in English. This is completely insensible.

We are stepping into the path now. It will take time to improve. But the improvements must be done, or else the purpose of introducing Tamil in Engineering will be rubbish. Students must be aware of their career plans and choose wisely according to that.

Happy Reading!!!

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