By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has said it has adopted the Outcome Based Education (OBE) in the training of new set of engineers that would make them employable globally.
The action of COREN is to improve the quality of trained engineers to enable Nigeria to become a major player in global engineering activities like the Washington Accord which today has only South Africa as a member from Africa in the 22 member accord.
Registrar of COREN Professor Joseph Odigure in an address at a regional train-the-trainer workshop for the implementation of the OBE in Benin City Edo State which had participants from all the states in the South-South region said COREN was disturbed with low quality training of engineers.
He said “as a regulator we felt it is extremely important to develop a curriculum that is market driven; looking at the pedagogy of the delivery of our curriculum one of the key aspects is to introduce the OBE in engineering in our universities, polytechnics and technical colleges.
“OBE engineering education hinges on three basic parameters, one is knowledge, the other one is skill, the other one is character and without character, we can do nothing. We require character to drive development, we require character to know what is required of us.
“In November 2015, COREN applied to become a member of the Federation of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP) and was accepted at its General Assembly in Perth 2016. Such membership required COREN programmes to implement the Outcome-Based Education curricula. COREN, in 2018, began the process of the application for the Provisional Signatory Status of the Washington Accord (WA) under the International Engineering Alliance (IEA). Based on the foregoing, the Council inaugurated a Committee to develop the framework for Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in Nigerian Engineering Programmes with the production of this Accreditation Manual as part of the terms of reference. The new COREN Accreditation manual consists of four chapters and seventeen annexes to guide engineering programmes in planning, developing, implementing, reviewing the OBE system and its continuous quality improvements. These practices make the COREN accreditation visit an accommodating experience rather than a stressful exercise as considered by some institutions.”
He said 12 schools were targeted in the South-South region and that the same training had been held in the North central and would be replicated in the remaining four regions of the country.”
A resource person at the training, Professor Baba El-Yakubu said there was also need for the schools to improve on the quality and standard of personnel who are teaching and students to be admitted including the standard of facilities to be used for training.
He said “COREN as a body has been trying to join Washington Accord a worldwide agreement or alliance in respect of engineering profession, teaching and learning process so what we are doing today is towards reaching that objective to train university lecturers and they will go and train others in their schools so that they can train others and once you can achieve this unified teaching method with the relevant KSA they can compete with anybody in the world.”
On his part, Regional Manager of Bank of Industry (BoI), South-South, Pacqueens Irabor said the bank was ready to provide the needed fund at a low interest rate for COREN to achieve its aim.
He said “This is one of the best things that is happening to Nigeria and COREN is pushing this through the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Entrepreneurship can only be achieved when you combine scholarship with apprenticeship and this OBE is out to achieve that so that you will arm the student with relevant and marketable skills and if you can achieve that within their school time of four years, then you will have readymade workers. For you to produce readymade workers, you must produce cottage industry and that is where BoI comes in to provide funds for that at almost single unit digit that have three to five years to pay back.”