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FUNAI DETERMINED TO GRADUATE VIBRANT, EMPLOYABLE ENGINEERS

The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State is determined to graduate technically sound, vibrant and employable engineers with the capacity for global competitiveness.

This was made known by the coordinator of the on-going Engineering Students’ Skill Enhancement Programme, “Fencing the University project” and Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Cyril Ume who noted that the programme was geared towards equipping students of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology with hands-on skills and experience in the area of construction.

A 300 level Civil Engineering student, Kelechukwu Michael actively participating in the fencing project

He described the scheme as novel in the history of Nigerian universities, adding that it was also meant to produce vibrant engineers who are practically-oriented, technically and academically sound to compete in the world market, and thanked the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba for initiating and supporting the idea with the needed enabling environment and resources for it to thrive.

VC, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba encouraging some of the students when he visited the site

Speaking on the sustainability of the project, the Head of Department of Mechanical/Mechatronic Engineering, Professor Simon Neife noted that the engineering students’ skill enhancement programme would be a continuous programme because it is meant to build the practical capacities of students to make them employers of labour on graduation in their respective specialist areas.

On the reaction of students to the programme, the Head of Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Dr. Ngozi Eli-Chukwu stressed that the students were enjoying the project because of its overwhelming benefits. She further maintained that those who were initially skeptical about it have now realized its importance and were happily participating in it.

“It is interesting. Students have been excited. Initially in my department, Electrical, they were asking what is the relationship between fencing work and electrical?

“And I quickly said something to them. For you to do a design of electrical work you must understand what you are designing and we majorly do building design of electrical work. If you understand how the wall is being built, you will do a proper design.

“When they got to the site, even those who were scheduled for four hours continued with the exercise even when their time had ended. What it entails is that they are enjoying it. And it is going to be beneficial to both the students and the university image”, Eli-Chukwu concluded.

VC,Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba interacting with some of the students

  Through this noble project, students of the faculty of engineering are undergoing practical guidance and tutelage in construction, leading to the on-going perimeter fencing of the university.  This project is a first of its kind in the history of Nigerian university system, as it presents ample opportunity for the students to understand and appreciate the practical aspects of their discipline, thereby preparing them ahead of time to face the challenges of life after graduation.

Some of the participating students who were interviewed were visibly happy, noting that the experience they have garnered since the commencement of the project has been worthwhile, memorable and goes beyond the daily lecture hall routine.

Some of the Engineering Students doing metal works

Chibuilke Onuorah of the department of civil engineering stated that the project has been awesome, thanking the faculty for the worthwhile idea. He also noted that the programme has made him a better person, enabling him to have real life work experience as a prospective engineer.

When asked by the Vice-Chancellor if she had told her parents about the on-going project, Agwu-Oke Chidinma Jane, 300 level Chemical Engineering female student answered in affirmation, adding that she had already sent the pictures of her activities in the project to her parents and uploaded same on the social media with lots of likes and commendations.

On the whole, the students are really having ‘fun’ contributing their quota to the development of their university.  And in the years to come, it would be evident that they did not just pioneer the fencing of their university but also garnered unquantifiable practical engineering experience in the course of it.

 

Some of the students mixing cement and sharp sand for the fencing project

Recall that the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nwajiuba had on assumption of office vowed to ensure that engineering graduates of the university were properly honed and equipped with the functional knowledge and practical skills to meet the demand of the 21st economy. He has also maintained that he would not rest on his oars in building the capacities of students to make them responsible, employers of labour and employable on graduation, stressing the commitment of the university towards turning out engineers with practical knowledge and skills in order to carve a niche for the university in the field.

A completed portion of the on-going fencing of the university by students of the faculty of engineering and technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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