STRATEGY FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN EDUCATION IN UNDERPRIVILEGED SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES
University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The current circumstance in South African industry is a dire need for qualified technically competent Engineers, Technologists and Technicians. The harsh reality in Higher Education in South Africa is that school leavers have not been trained in technology based education, and as a result a learner striving to gain an education in an engineering field is at a substantial disadvantage. This is most evident in underprivileged South African communities who do not have the benefit of exposure to any form of technology. As a consequence, the education of mechanical engineering in these learners becomes increasingly difficult, owing to the disparity which exists between the lecturer who invariably has had a substantial exposure to technology and industry and the learner who never has. Typically an academic program for an engineering module consists of formative assessments (tutorials, exercises, assignments and laboratory work), and summative assessments (tests, projects, and examinations). Owing to fundamental lack of technical exposure, and the pressure in which learners find themselves to perform academically, they are often forced into a circumstance where shortcuts are taken just to be able to deliver the academic work required of them. This study shows the outcomes of Mechanical Engineering Design education and suggests some strategies forward.
Keywords: Engineering education, social and technology issues.