COREN tasks OBE trainees on filling knowledge gaps in varsities

The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has tasked trainees on the implementation of Outcome Based Education to fill the knowledge gap in their various universities.

The President, COREN, Mr Ali Rabiu, made this call at the opening of a 4-day COREN Regional North Central Train-the-Trainers Workshop for the implementation of Outcome-based Education in Engineering Programmes in Nigerian Universities.

Rabiu was speaking at the commencement of the workshop on Wednesday, in Abuja.

He said the objective was to recognise and acknowledge the value added in transforming students admitted into engineering programmes into capable engineering professionals with sound knowledge of the fundamentals.

Rabiu called on all those that were involved in the training to contribute their quota in filling the knowledge and skills gaps amongst engineering graduates and develop new crop of engineering practitioners.

According to him, the goal of the workshop is to prepare participants to acquire the knowledge and skill of OBE and be able to train others on the principles and implementation of OBE in Nigerian Universities.

He further explained that at the end of workshop participants should be able to explain the purposes, assumptions and principles of OBE, compare and contrast between conventional and OBE approaches of education.

Also adapt current curriculum to OBE approach for engineering programme and implement OBE approach for engineering programme.

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

“The planning process and assessment of OBE are reverse of that associated with traditional education approach; it equips learners to transfer academic success to life in a complex, challenging and high-technology future.

“Under OBE approach, the graduates are completely prepare for the workforce after graduation with relevant soft skills needed in jobs,  to be able to transmute straight  from the class to the industry and perform,’’ Rabiu said.

Rabiu, therefore, called on the trainees to give their all to the training they would get so as to impact others when they return to their stations.

Also speaking at the event, Prof. Joseph Odigure, Registrar COREN, said the beauty of training the trainers was in involving all stakeholders in the project.

“We are involving all stakeholders in the sense that the outcome based is based on knowledge, skill and character, those are the three pillars of outcome based and skills seems to be the one that a lot of people ask questions on and we try to solve that problem.

“We are encouraging a holistic participation of even the smallest artisan within the locality to be part of the training. We have ignored the issue of involving the junior cadre of engineering, the technicians the craftsmen, the technologists in the training of our students.

“And, this is where we got it wrong. So, what we are trying to do now is that we are telling the universities to go and sign MoUs with these smaller group of people they have the practical skills they don’t have the knowledge.

“So, if an engineer for example becomes a skilled person there is no way he won’t improve himself far better than the artisan from whom he learnt. So, we are telling them to go along be part of these stakeholders.

He said that they were also bringing in the bank of industry to be part of it and we are involving also the federal ministries.

He added that the federal ministry of works had about 860 ongoing federal government contracts and they had agreed to use those contracts as training grounds for all universities within their catchment areas.

Odigure stressed that a key aspect of the project was character, “we must also build this character among our people, character is very important and we cannot run away from it’’.

Some of the participants who spoke with newsmen were full of praises for the programme.

Mrs Aisha Farouk, a lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, said “the impact would transform the educational sector, if it is implemented  out properly it will transform the education sector.”

Mr Amos Adoke, Joseph Sawuan Taka University, Academic Planning Directorate, formerly known as Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, said the impact of the OBE was going to be of great significance.

According to him, not just the universities alone would benefit but all stakeholders of engineering that includes the industries and every other place where an engineer was required to work and contribute his quota.

He pledged to transfer all knowledge acquired at the training to his colleagues.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the COREN OBE regional train-the-trainers workshop have been held in three geo-political zones,, North-West zone, South-South zone and South-East zone.  (NAN)