Okoye Backs Total For Empowering Engineering Teachers

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By Chika Okeke, Abuja
Chairman, Board of Fellows, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr  Chris Okoye has drummed support for Total,  one of the multinational oil giants in the country for empowering Nigeria engineering teachers through its MIT programme.
Speaking at the Conferment of Fellowship to members of NSE in Abuja, he noted that the support enabled outstanding young Nigerian faculty in science and engineering to collaborate with the faculty at MIT in developing new curriculum and teaching methods that adopted MIT’s problem solving approach, targeted at developing entrepreneurial attitudes among students.
He maintained that the empowerment was essential in the country especially in bridging the gap between their teaching and industry practice.
This he said was based on a disconnect between what the students learnt and what is needed in the industry, citing an example in a study conducted by NUC in 2014 on Labour Market Expectations of Nigerian Graduates where it was revealed that university education in Nigeria ‘does not adequately prepare graduates for work’.
Okoye disclosed that the laxity is manifested in the number of deficiencies exhibited by graduates in the work place like lack of analytical and ICT skills, lack of entrepreneurial and decision making skills, inadequate technical skills due to their inability to appropriately apply acquired knowledge to the workplace, minimal comprehension of problems and low solving profferability.
To bridge the gap which he said has deteriorated since 2004; Okoye suggested the bridging of gap between the academia that carried the message and the industry.  He however proposed the development and implementation of a framework for continuous professional development for engineering teachers in tertiary institutions.
This he said should involve one year industry practice every five years adding that NSE should take a lead in developing the framework. Okoye called on NSE fellows to do their best in contributing towards the improvement of competitiveness of Nigeria’s Engineering education vis-a-vis the rest of the world.
On his part, chairman of NSE, Engr. Oliver Anyaeji reiterated its commitment in raising the bars of the profession adding that NSE has the right to revoke and withdraw the Fellowship certificate of any member enmeshed in breaches.