The Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) has called for improved funding of the educational sector in the country, to ensure that Nigerian higher schools are globally competitive.
Past President of the Academy, Prof. Rafiu Salawu who made the call during a lecture he delivered at the investiture of the 12th President of the academy, Professor Azikiwe Onwualu, in Lagos, also make case for implementation of alternative approach to teaching of engineering in tertiary institutions across the country.
In a lecture on, ‘Engineering education in Nigeria, Yesterday, today and tomorrow’ delivered by the Professor of Electronics Engineering, Salawu observed that engineering education in the country started from Yaba Higher College where there has been a phenomenal growth in both the number of students and the numbers of universities in the country.
Unfortunately, Salawu stated there has not been commensurate increase in funding for the institutions to improve teaching methods and critical infrastructure facilities.
He said despite the new scientific knowledge about teaching and learning of engineering, significant transformation of engineering education in the country has remained elusive.
According to him, there was a need for future engineers to acquire diversification of skills and knowledge, the use of active learning, engaging students in projects, design and laboratory experiences that prepare them for professional practice.
The outgoing President of the Academy, Alexander Ogedegbe said the academy under his leadership integrated the goals, principles and procedures of the academy’s five years strategic plan directly into the mainstream of its activities.
This, he said, resulted in a restructuring process that allowed to reconstitute all the existing Council committees, refocus them on its core obligation concerning current national priorities and empower them with specific terms of reference derived from the strategic plan.
Earlier, in his investiture address, the new president of the academy, Prof. Azikiwe Onwualu pledged to carry on with laudable plan already set out by the Academy, provide critical knowledge inputs to public policy and chart a new path for implementing yet to be implemented plans.
Onwualu said the academy will collaborate with government and other stakeholders to generate advice on knowledge and get policy makers in government and industry to implement them.
He called on the Federal and state governments and industry to partner with the academy in order to assist them in evidence based policy formulation to address the challenges confronting Nigeria.
“We need to work with government and industry to save the education sector from complete collapse, revive skills, technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education to prepare future graduates of our colleges and universities for the future of work and work of the future, which is very dynamic.”