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COREN Calls For Sustained Engineering Training In Universities

COREN Calls For Sustained Engineering Training In Universities

Nigeria’s council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has charged stakeholders responsible for engineering training in Nigerian universities and beyond to reconsider the need to giving their all in ensuring students are equipped richly with knowledge of the profession in order to excel and compete favourably with their counterparts.

This position was made at the opening ceremony of the fifth council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria COREN at a training workshop for the implementation of Outcome-Based Education in Engineering programmes in Nigerian Universities, held at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan of Friday.

While addressing the participants, the Registrar, Prof. Joseph Odigure, pointed out that the objective of COREN has been to recognise and acknowledge the value-added training in transforming students admitted into engineering Programmes into capable engineering professionals with sound knowledge of the fundamentals, an acceptable level of professional skills and personal competence for ready employability in the national economy.

He said: “Today after almost fifty years of existence, COREN is faced with some existential realities that make it necessary to change the paradigm of the Nigerian engineering education system. Firstly, there’s an expansion of engineering Programmes in variety and number at various engineering faculties. This makes it necessary for COREN to strengthen its accreditation system.”

He also stated that;
“ the rapid pace of globalization and emerging technologies, makes it necessary for engineering faculties to meet the requirements of local employers and international job markets in the engineering and technology sectors.”

“COREN needs to mediate in regulating the processes that lead to local and international recognition of Engineering qualifications from higher educational institutions in Nigeria. Such mutual recognition is expected to improve the quality, proficiency and mobility of COREN registered engineers.”

COREN Calls For Sustained Engineering Training In Universities
AIHS 2022

“In pursuit of the above, 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 makes the COREN Accreditation visits an accomodating experience rather than a stressful exercise as considered by some institutions.”

“The next stage in implementing the council resolution I to assemble a critical mass of knowledgeable and experienced persons in OBE as well as mentees of OBE learning environment who are to Pioneer and champion the capacity development of the various strata of Engineering Professionals involved in training, practising and regulating in Nigeria (now referred to as University-based OBE implementors).”

While answering questions from journalists, Prof Odigure noted that the biggest concern is the fact that there are many graduates on the streets who are unproductive and are becoming very dangerous to society.

“It is quite unfortunate and what COREN is trying to do is to bring skills into teaching such that lecturers do not just teach but produce graduates who are productive and their skills market-driven, sellable and can change the lives of the graduates.”

He further said that the problem with engineering graduates is not the curriculum but making the curriculum sellable and also the undeveloped Educational system in Nigeria.

According to him: “This is not the issue of the curriculum but making your curriculum sellable, making your curriculum driven by the market, making your curriculum not just knowledge but also skill and character-based because we need both.”

“The society is a complex entity and societal problems needs complex solutions. Solutions that can deliver, that’s what society needs. Food, money in your pocket, if these things are lacking, if your education cannot provide for what you’re looking for, then the education is useless. So it is not the issue of the curriculum but making the curriculum sellable and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

He stressed that lecturers alone cannot be blamed for the unproductivity of Engineering graduates but rather: “I want to see it as the complex nature we have developed ourselves ignoring the fact that we are in a global setting. We cannot ignore the fact that our educational system, the managers of our educational system needs better orientation, 21st-century orientation.”

“The next four years in human development will not be compared to the last one hundred years of human development. So we need to update ourselves, constant update and to be in trend to give what the society wants.”

He stated that sending students to garner practical experiences at vocational training centres and workshops are part of the stakeholder’s contributions to education. “Students must have the outlets to acquire skills. Students must have the outlets to merge theory and practical knowledge. It is a win-win situation.”

“I want to assure you from the feedbacks we have because this is the fifth zonal training we’re having, we have people who have testified that in all their lecturing career, this is the first time they are being asked to reshape the way they ask students questions.”

“It shouldn’t just be questions but questions that are conditional, questions that are standard-based, we need to see questions that are futuristic in terms of what the students will do at the end of the day not just asking theoretical questions. So it’s a change and a paradigm shift that we’re looking for,” Prof. Odigure noted.

While speaking with journalists, one of the participants at the programme, Dr Isaac Folorunsho Odesola, said the workshop has been an eye-opener as it will help everyone who attends to reshape the way and manner by which they will subsequently teach their students.

Also, Prof Olubanke Ogunlana, from Covenant University, described Outcome-Based Education as the way forward for the depreciated educational system in Nigeria and that all other disciplines apart from engineering should embrace one line of teaching.

#COREN #Sustainable #Engineering #training #universities #Nigeria #Students

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