Enhancing & upgrading the curricular of Institute of Engineering Technology (IET), was a much awaited requirement for upgrading from a National Diploma in Engineering Sciences (NDES) Program to a Three Year Degree awarding body (3 Year B. Eng.). Finally, the Director / Principal of IET led the way to signing of the Agreement between Prof. Udayanga Hemapala (Team Leader of experts from University of Moratuwa) and Local Representative of KHUN International Projects GmbH (KIP) – Mr. Hector Hemechandra on 31st October 2019 (Annexure 1 – sign contract document).
Signed contract document was prepared by the Director Principal of IET, including IET requirements after getting consent from academic staff of IET and two signed parties, i.e.; with University Experts Team leader Prof. Udayanga and local representative of KIP, Mr. Hector Hemachandra
Specific objectives of the consultancy are as follow;
Upgrade syllabus of the IET Katunayake matching with latest industry requirements.
Update curricula/syllabuses in line with Sydney accord accreditation fulfilling their requirements and all syllabuses developed for Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering specializations should cover & fulfill the 3 Year B.Eng. requirement for future use.
Develop proper credit rating system for the course.
Development of Industrial training modules with the necessary content by the Industrial Training Division of IET, with the coordination of Academic experts of the University of Moratuwa and Industrial experts under the guidance of IESL, Mentor.
Completion of syllabus revision work within the agreed time frame (16 Weeks – 04 Months Period).
After becoming the Director/ Principal of the institute since 08th May 2017, Eng. D R Saputhantiri, had to struggle with various challenges to upgrade the needs of IET. As the 1st step to achieve his goals. He obtained a National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) board approval in August 2017, to do the Syllabus revision from the University of Moratuwa and further to obtain approval from the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) for the revised Syllabus & Curricular through the Management Paper – MP 17-05-09
Director / Principal and Deputy Principal (Academic) had a meeting with Prof. Kapila Perera, Dean Engineering Faculty, UOM in March 2018, based on the Management Paper out comes and agreed to develop a curricular equivalent to 3-year degree program (3-year B. Eng.)for NDES. Due to lack of fund availability from Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL funds), IET was unable to complete the process in 2017/2018.
IET was granted a soft loan of EURO 9.5 million from Austria in 2016 but the progress was held-up due to various reasons. Newly appointed Director Principal was able to convince the Chairman, NAITA and line Minister in latter stages of 2017, and was able to sign the contract between two parties and was able to commence the project by laying the foundation stone on 3rd of December 2017. However, actual commencement of the project work started from February 2018. This project includes the syllabus revision work, which involves development of vocational training part of IET, as IET was considered as a Vocational Training Institute by the project initiation time, due to lack of communication between the Director / Principal (at that time), line ministry and counter parts of the Austrian Government (KIP).
Director / Principal was transferred to NAITA head office in August 2018 and syllabus revision work progress was delayed for a period of four months. Due to various complaints regarding the syllabus revision progress, he was once again appointed as a Coordinator for syllabus upgrading for IET by the Chairman NAITA Dr. Saranga Alahapperuma, whilst working at head office as a Director / Principal of NAITA.
Second Project Steering committee meeting was chaired by Mr. Sunil Hettiarchchie – Secretary of the ministry. During this, meeting Mr. Rupasinghe – Project Director IET, Mr. Saputhantiri – Director / Principal NAITA and Mr. Jayasinghe – Deputy Principal (Academic IET) were able to convince the secretary about the syllabus revision work and obtained approval to utilize funds allocated for syllabus revision work through Austrian Project and they were successful and got the approval to utilize those funds to upgrade the syllabi revision process through University of Moratuwa based on Management Paper already approved by NAITA board in 2017.
Mr. D R Saputhantiri, after being reappointed as a Coordinator for syllabus upgrading of IET, in December 2018, along with Mr. Rupasinghe met Prof. Kapila Perera, Vice Chancellor, UOM and the VC has directed them to Dr. Punchihewa to commence the work. Eng. D R Saputhantiri was reappointed as the Director Principal of the institute in March 2019.
Project Director submitted a Terms of Reference (TOR) to UOM on March 2019, having several discussions with Dr. Punchihewa and his team at UOM regarding the syllabus revision work until end of May 2019, he forwarded a financial proposal to project office. That proposal was rejected by the project office stating that KIP had refused to allocate advance payment without a performance bond. VC was consulted by the Director Principal in this regard, as being a State University, they were unable to provide a performance bond from a bank, but agreed to issue a letter from Vice Chancellor stating that they had under taken the job. This was not accepted by the KIP and project office.
In July 2019, Project Director introduced a new team to develop the syllabus headed by Dr. Malika Perera (Trinity Consultants) who was a team member of Dr. Punchihewa’s team (who was present at the 2nd and 3rd meetings we had with UOM). After having several discussions with new syllabus developer, project office and staff of IET, Project office and syllabus developer developed a contract agreement. Content included in the contract cannot be accepted and as the staff of IET, we did not agree to sign the contract between new developer and KIP until they rectify the content and nominate the eight content developers for current field specializations to fulfill the IESL mentor’s requirement.
Ultimately, during the Third Project Steering committee meeting chaired by Mr. K.D.N. Ranjith Asoka – secretary, on 11th October 2019, Director Principal with the assistance of Deputy Principal Academic was able to convince the secretary to commence the syllabus revision work by utilizing the expertize knowledge of University of Moratuwa. Sectary Instructed Director Principal and Deputy Principal to negotiate with Vice Chancellor and commence the syllabus revision work utilizing expert knowledge of Academic staff of University of Moratuwa.
Subsequent to several discussions with Prof. Kapila Perera – VC, UOM, he agreed to grant the service of academic experts’ knowledge of UOM. Prof. Udayanga Hemapala of UOM, agreed to be the team leader of the syllabus revision process and another eight personnel were nominated by the VC with the agreement of Prof. Udayanga and IET was able to commence the much awaited syllabus revision.
Prof. J.P. Karunadasa of University of Moratuwa was appointed as mentor for syllabus upgrading by IESL and after having several discussions with him. He agreed to proceed with the team proposed by the VC, UOM. Prof. J.P. Karunadasa, commented that if we are planning to become a 3-year B. Eng. Degree awarding body, to full fill the Sydney accord requirement to get a IESL approval, IET course structure needs to be revised to be minimum of five academic semesters (2 ½ years academic) and 1 ½ years industrial training period, during the Kickoff meeting held on October 31st.
IET proposed the course time structure as follows;
Annexure 2 – Proposals for Time Schedule for NDES New Course Structure
IET proposed to conduct syllabus revision work utilizing the service from following four stake holders;
Higher Education Institute – Academic Experts of Moratuwa University Nominated by VC of UOM
Staff of IET – Nominated by Director Principal of IET
Alumina members of IET
Vice Chancellor, UOM nominated following university academic experts to develop the IET curriculum and syllabus (Annexure 3 – Academic Experts of Moratuwa University nominated by VC).
Nominated Staff of IET, by Director Principal of IET (Annexure 4 – Nominations from IET)