• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Unilag engineering students get practical industry tips


The constant saying that Nigerian students are not employable because they lack the requisite skills to fit seamlessly into a workplace is apt. While it is clear that most universities drill their students with theories aspect of a course, without a corresponding practical knowledge, majority of them are left to the mercy of unemployment.

It is therefore in a bid to correct this industry challenges and create a platform for universities students to be work ready that Alcatel-Lucent Nigeria in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent University and Bell Labs USA recently launched a project called Generation next(G-NeX).

G-NeX project is a knowledge transfer initiative aimed at re-directing students’ resourcefulness within the universities through practical professional training and simulations, as a key to unlock their potentials as well as grow a firm human resource base for Nigeria’s technological development.

The 12-week programme, targeted at 300, 400 and 500 Level students from the faculties of Electrical, Mechanical and Computer Engineering as well as related courses, was embarked upon by the company to build a crop of market-ready professionals who fit seamlessly into the teeming telecommunication work force.

Kunle Oluyemi, chief operating officer, Alcatel-Lucent Nigeria, while speaking on the rationale behind the event held at the Afe Babalola auditorium, University of Lagos, said the company sees this project as a way of bridging the gap between what students learn in school and what is obtainable in the industry.

Oluyemi said the programme is geared towards fishing out the next generation of leaders, the next generation of engineers, technologists etc.

According to him, “If you look at it, technology is changing very fast and we reasoned that if the next generation are not equipped, then we will have a problem.”

“We are targeting the next generation, and where do you find the next generation? They are in the universities; these are the people who will in 10 to 15 years time be engineers and managers and you get them at the universities. Give them the skills and they will excel,” he said.

The chief operating officer of Alcatel-Lucent Nigeria further disclosed that as a result of the outdated university curriculum, which is not applicable in today’s global world, the company thought it wise to contribute with modern practical aspect of learning to fill in where there are gaps in the curriculum.

Expanding more on what the project entails, Oluyemi said programme is a purely volunteer basis work from members of staff of the company adding that the training is targeting basically electrical and electronics engineering students, computer science and technology.

He however pointed out that there are a lot of interests from students studying other science courses because technology cuts across.

“So when you talk about ICT, it cuts across; so even though we have target departments, we have other students coming to learn new things about technology. They don’t just want to sit in class and learn the theory they want to also see the practical,” he said.

Disclosing other incentives open to the participating students, he revealed that “some students will be picked during the course of the 12-week programme to expose them to the practical by allowing them use the equipment in our office.

“We are planning to make it a yearly programme because this generation will graduate and another ones will come so our plan is to do this every year and we are still designing the programme maybe we will still make one or two trips and the plan is to extend it to other universities,” he added.

On his part, Rahamon Bello, vice chancellor, University of Lagos, in his address at the occasion thanked the company for the giants stride in ensuring that students are equipped with the right kind of learning so they can meet industry challenges when they graduates.

Bello promised to give the company the required cooperation to bring out the best in the students.