IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT DEGREES, BUT SKILLS ACQUISITION – Professor Nwajiuba
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Ndufu- Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba said the idea of Universities awarding degrees without commensurate practical and sellable skills for graduates should be jettisoned, else the country would continue to wallow in underdevelopment and the citizens in abject poverty.
The Vice Chancellor stated this on Wednesday, 5th April, 2017 during the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) Orientation Program held at the University auditorium. He explained that fusing theory with practical was the crux of every education, as it makes students self-reliant, employable and employers of labour on graduation.
Professor Nwajiuba said: ‘’It is a known fact that learning can never be effective if adequate provision is not available for the practice of what is learnt, both in the classrooms and workshops/laboratory environment’’, and stressed his total commitment in ensuring that the aim of SIWES was not defeated in the University.
Also, speaking in the event organized for the 300-level students of the University preparing for the mandatory 6 months Industrial experience, the Southeast Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nneka Nnoyelum who was represented by Chinelo Chinedu advised prospective students for the Scheme to, as a matter of importance, be acquainted with various machines in their proposed place of work, failure of which could be hazardous. Accidents, she said ‘’doesn’t just happen, they are caused’’, and further admonished them not to be strayed by the euphoria of working, but to exercise caution in handling heavy equipment and also pay attention to all that were to be taught during the industrial work experience.
Other speakers, Chidiebere Orede and Agu Stella further warned the students not to exhibit attitude that could paint the image of the University in bad light during their industrial experience, and told them to ensure they fill necessary forms, and write their bio data properly to guard against mistakes during their payments.
Earlier, the SIWES Coordinator, Dr Omaka N. Omaka had charged the students to take advantage of the scheme, as it would broaden their knowledge base and prepare them adequately for life after school, adding that the Vice Chancellor has provided an enabling environment for the scheme to thrive.
The Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES) was initiated by the Federal Government to drive the manpower development of Nigerians in tertiary institutions in order to bridge the palpable knowledge gap in the nation. This is being championed through the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), established in 1973.