The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has said that universities and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria must henceforth stop producing Engineering graduates who can’t solve technological problems confronting the country.

To this end, the Council has commenced training of Engineering Lecturers on Outcome Based Education (OBE), an approach that focuses on how best students utilize the knowledge gained inside the classroom, rather than what they can memorise in class.

COREN Registrar, Prof. Joseph Odigure who stated this while declaring the Train-The-Trainer workshop for the Lecturers on OBE application said, institutions had for long been complaining about the less quality of engineers produced in the country “that our graduates are unemployable.”

The Registrar who was represented by COREN’s Head of Engineering Regulations and Monitoring, Engr. Samuel Menjah, said our technology would have developed better if we had adopted the OBE system, because the principle of the OBE system is focused on what they can develop. “It’s a system that makes them develop based on the system they are exposed to.”

He assured that Nigeria would become a technological producing country, adding that ”although it will be slow but we will get to the final destination which is to produce graduates that can depend on themselves with knowledge and skill in order to apply to the problems that are in the locality and also be able to compete globally with other graduates from any part of the world.

“Within 2-3 years to come may be the OBE will be our mandate for accreditation from COREN.”

Delivering a paper at the opening ceremony of a regional workshop organized to train professional engineers on Outcome Based Education (OBE), Professor Baba El-Yakub of the Department Chemical Engineering from the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU Zaria lamented that we couldn’t produce what we consume because ” we only teach students something that is not useful. If we take the OBE approach, in the next 5 to 10 years Nigeria will be producing what we need,” he added.

Speaking further, he said “as I have said earlier, it is only in Nigeria that we have first-class Engineering graduates that are not useful and roaming the streets for the job; meaning that they are not fundamentally prepared for the society. So the COREN OBE approach is meant to be a paradigm shift so that our teachers will be trained in our universities to not only cover the materials of the topic but to ask questions of what have my students learned?”

Participants of the Train-The-Trainer workshop were drawn from universities and other technical tertiary institutions from North-Western region of Nigeria.

By AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna