President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, (right), wife of the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Her Excellency, Engr. Ebierin Otuaro, FNSE and Chairman Board of Fellows/College of Fellows, Engr. Chris Okoye shortly after the Society’s Fellowship Conferment in Abuja
The huge parity between what engineering students are taught in school and what actually obtains in the industry has become a source of concern for the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). This issue was brought to the fore at the 2017 first special dinner for the conferment of Fellows on engineers this week in Abuja.
Speaking during the event, which took place at the Banquet Hall of the NAF Conference Centre and Suites in Kado District, the Chairman, Board of Fellows/College of Fellows of the NSE, Engr. Chris Okoye said, “today we want to bring to the front burner, the need to empower Engineering teachers in Nigeria especially as regards bridging the gap between what they teach and industry practice. This is based on the proven fact that there is a serious disconnect between what the students learn in our universities and what is needed in the industry.”
He informed that in a study conducted by NUC in 2004 on Labour Market Expectations of Nigerian Graduates, it was discovered that university education in Nigeria does not adequately prepare graduates for work, which manifests in the number of deficiencies the graduates exhibit in the work place.
Okoye noted that the situation has deteriorated since 2004 based on the testimonies of some employers with whom he had interacted recently. “Therefore, we believe that to bridge this gap between what is taught in our Engineering Faculties and industry practice, we should first start by bridging the gap between the academia, that carry the message, and the industry. In this regard, we propose a development and implementation of a framework for continuous professional development programme for engineering teachers, which will involve one-year industry practice every five years. The NSE, especially the Fellows, should take a lead and develop this framework,” he said.
Meanwhile, 30 engineers were confirmed Fellows of the Nigerian Society of Engineers at the event. Speaking on their conferment, president of the NSE, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, told the fellows, “I wish to rekindle here that the expectations of NSE and the larger society from our honourable conferees are high, with regards to strict adherence to professional codes, standards and ethics. The NSE, therefore, reserves the right to revoke and withdraw the Fellowship certificate of any member enmeshed in breaches brought to the notice of the Society.”