By Dennis Agbo
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, has said that its desirous of changing the mode of delivery of engineering curriculum to make graduates in tertiary institutions fit for the practice of engineering upon graduation from the universities and polytechnics.
In the third leg of Train-the trainers’ workshop for the implementation of outcome-based education in Engineering programmes, for lectures in the universities in Southeast, in Enugu, Registrar of COREN, Engr. Prof. Joseph Odigure said that they want to see a situation where graduates from the universities, polytechnics and Technical Colleges graduate with the right competencies required by the labour market.
“We want to see Engineers that understand the market requirements, that are more innovative, skilled in their particular areas and will be able to compete effectively in the global market,” Odigure said.
In practical terms, Odigure disclosed that COREN has set up strategies such as situations where the universities could collaborate with various industries and Small Scale Enterprises within their region to build relationships with stakeholders in the industry, including the skilled artisans to become participants in the training, providing laboratory services to tertiary institutions.
“In other words, we are saying, if the university can even develop an MoU with these people, or go on its own to establish small scale industry within the university, we would have gone a long way in exposing our Nigerian graduates and make them acquire at least one skill before they graduate from the universities,” Odigure further explained.
Chairman of the Education and Training Committee of COREN and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, ABU Zaria, Prof Abubakar Sadiq said that the quality of Nigerian graduates was so low that they don’t have hands-on skills and are not employable.
“Our industries look down on our graduates across this place, but it’s more apparent in the engineering sector. If you take the building sector as an example you will see what we are seeing now in the country such as the issue of collapsed buildings and so COREN as a regulator of engineering, training and practice is trying to mainstream into the global standard now,” Sadiq said.
The Dean, Faculty of the Engineering University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, Prof. Emeka Obe said that what COREN was doing was not only to make the engineering graduates employable but to also make them employers of labour.
On the implementation of the outcome of the workshop, Obe said that all stakeholders would have to join hands, noting that the outcome-based education does not necessarily have to be for engineering alone, but for every other profession and learning.
One of the delegates and Head of Department of Petroleum Engineering in the Federal University of Technology Owerri, FUTO, Dr. Ngozi Nwogu said that the COREN imitative was a welcome development as a way of changing the normal and rebranding engineering.
“We are very optimistic that we will get to where they want us to get to. I will take the message back to my university that we don’t want the traditional method again of impacting this knowledge. We are not going to continue teaching, we are now going to impact the knowledge,” Nwogu said.