In November, last year there took a place the 41st  ACM-ICPC Asia Pyongyang Regional Contest at Kim Il Sung University.

One hundred and scores of students selected from 28 universities of the DPRK took part in the contest. Students from the Pyongyang University of Railways came within the top three places as they solved in a short period the problems which demanded an ability for correct analysis of matters and phenomena, many-sided knowledge and capability for designing algorithm and programming.

Their performance in the contest is unthinkable separated from tireless efforts of the teachers at their university. In keeping with the actual situation in the country, in which it is vigorously pushing ahead with the building of a talent power and sci-tech power, the university is directing a great effort to bringing up all its students into practical talents.

The locomotive running gear laboratory.

The locomotive running gear laboratory.

New teaching methods, aimed at encouraging the students to apply their knowledge skilfully to practice, are being actively studied and introduced in teaching. Before giving lectures, the teachers inform the students of the actual realities; and during the lectures, they encourage them to compare the realities with what they are learning to find out the differences between them and the ways to solve them, before presenting their opinions.

Kim Chang Gun, vice-dean of the Faculty of Education, says that this method develops the students’ ability of analysis, creativity and self-reliance.

The transport control laboratory.

The transport control laboratory.

The university also strives to improve the students’ practical ability through experiment and practical training. A building, erected recently in the university compound in keeping with the demands of the era of the knowledge-based economy, has different rooms equipped with all the facilities and devices for giving students a deep knowledge of rail transport, such as a room for controlling the experimental equipment comprehensively, a transport control room, a room for locomotive driving simulation, a hydraulics laboratory and a laboratory for measuring railway structures.

The locomotive driving simulation laboratory.

The locomotive driving simulation laboratory.

Nam Kung Hwan, instructor at the transport control room, said, “Through practice in the room, the students accumulate knowledge related with train service, study the situation in each railway station and acquire ability to control railway traffic.” In the driving simulation laboratory, the students drive 3D locomotive learning how to operate its traction, braking and driving switches, to measure speed and time at different driving modes and to handle the devices and switches in difficult and unexpected circumstances.

The changes-in-rail measurement laboratory.

The changes-in-rail measurement laboratory.

Pak Thae Il, head of the rail experiment laboratory, said that while conducting experiment in railway structures the students decide how to measure the changes in the rail and wheel axis and experiment with their decisions. He added that he would have the laboratory built up so that the students would be able to carry on experiments in an environment similar to reality. Thanks to the methods of education based on proper combination of theoretical and practical instruction, those will shoulder the future of a talent power, a sci-tech power are growing in a large number.