‘COREN is facing existential challenges’

Odigure

The Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Prof. Joseph Odigure, says the council is facing existential challenges after 50 years of existence.

Odigure said this on Saturday in Enugu during COREN’s Regional Train-the-Trainers Workshop for Implementation of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in Engineering Programme in Nigerian Universities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that COREN determines the academic standards of courses and accredits programmes to be offered by institutions training engineering personnel.

According to the registrar, the workshop is aimed at finding lasting solutions to the challenges in the engineering sub-sector.

He said that the existential issues faced by COREN had made it necessary for the council to push for the change in the paradigm of the Nigerian engineering education system.

The registrar said that members of the public are complaining of the low quality of engineers being churned out by Nigerian universities.

He said that COREN is looking at changing the mode of delivery of engineering curriculum in order to produce graduates with the right competences.

“The rapid pace of globalisation and emerging technologies makes it necessary for engineering faculties to meet the requirements of local employers and the international job markets in the engineering and technology sectors,” he said.

Odigure said that the council has inaugurated a committee to develop the framework for OBE in Nigerian engineering programmes.

“OBE is an approach to education that focuses on specific attributes in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes that must be exhibited by students. They must be measurable.

“Students are expected to be able to do more challenging tasks rather than memorise what was taught, manage project, analysing data and make decisions based on the results,” he said.

According to Odigure, this implies that tertiary education can provide both professional knowledge/skills and all-round attributes to graduates.

The registrar said that it had become necessary for higher institutions to collaborate with stakeholders to provide the requisite knowledge needed by graduate engineers.

Also, the Chairman, Education and Training Committee, COREN, Prof. Abubarkar Sadiq, said that most graduate engineers are unemployable.

Sadiq attributed the incidences of building collapse in the country to the poor quality of some graduate engineers.

He said that COREN must comply with the new paradigm of training engineering students and expose them to practicals and industrial needs.

He said that participants in the workshop would, on getting back to their respective institutions, step down the knowledge they would acquire.

NAN further reports that eight participants each from 15 higher institutions in the South-East attended the workshop.