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Engineering: Beware of overlapping

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While there should be interaction between the three legs each bearing its own weight for stability,   there should not be overlap or duplication as it would then result in a collabpse of the system due to instablity.

Sri Lanka can be proud of the development of Engineering and Technological education dating as far back as from 1893 at the Technical College at Maradana.
The BSc (Eng)  external degree of the University of  London was the forerunner to the BSc Eng degree (Ceylon) which commenced at the University of Colombo, thereafter shifted to the University of Peradeniya.

The Universities of Moratuwa  and Ruhuna  commenced their degree programmes in Engineering  later and now the Engineering Faculties of these three Conventional Universities conduct the BSc(Eng) degree programmes acceptable to the Professional bodies of Engineering.

"Chancellor, University of Vocational Technology, Former Vice Chancellor Open University of Sri Lanka, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa, Past President, Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka"



Since of late the South Eastern University has commenced the BSc (Eng) degree programme. In addition to the above the Open University of Sri Lanka through Open and Distance Learning conducts the BTech (Eng) degree programme which is also acceptable to professional bodies, together with the University of Uva Wellasa conducting a BTech degree programme.

The University of Vocational Technology has also admitted four batches of students for the BTech degree programmefor those who proceeded though the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) system based on competency based training and assessment and also through lateral entry and upward mobility for those with mid-level technological qualifications.

In addition to the degree level Engineering education indicated above already in existence, technological education at different levels of Certificate, Diploma, Higher diploma and NVQ are conducted islandwide.

Hence the three delivery systems of Engineering and technological  education in the country are like the three legs of a tripod with the goal on the top to produce the much needed technocrats for the country.

The three legs as shown in the diagram are  (a) conventional university education (b) open and distance learning (c) competency based training and assessment.
While there should be interaction between the three legs each bearing its own weight for stability,   there should not be overlap or duplication as it would then result in a collabpse of the system due to instablity.

For example those involved in the conventional system of education could while focussing mainly  on lecture /laboratory room based face to face teaching should also focus on competencies and also use open and distance learning techniques where applicable.

Those expected to focus mainly on Open and distance learning should while testing for competencies,  adopt minimal lecture room face to face deliveries and similarly those concentrating on competency based training and assessments should not replace it by lecture room deliveries and stereotype examinations or depend solely on distance learning techniques. Interaction is desirable but total replacement is counter-productive and unstable.
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