Engineering is an important discipline, not because of the potential high salary graduates can expect but because engineering is an important organ system of the world as body. Without inventions and innovations the world would be dull.
Advancement in nanotechnology has proved a plus in the health sector. Nanotechnology has been used to detect cancer at early stages hence saving lives. Almost every large metropolitan area in Africa, use engineering developed systems. In Nairobi for instance the newly integrated yellow box has improved traffic flow in the city.
Engineering is like a ship.
It’s all about identifying, analyzing and coming with solutions to better human lives. The beauty of engineering is that problems will always be there. To the engineer, when problems arise he is an opportunist, waiting, patiently, to pounce on a problem and deliver a solution. But in engineering we tend to usually forget the most important people in the organ system, the technicians.
Technicians do most of the physical work focusing on the practical elements of engineering. They are part of a team headed by an engineer as their core captain. An engineer should always have a different mindset from the technicians.
I believe there is a tide coming and it will rock the engineering ship hard, mostly in Africa. Africa as a whole has heavily invested in the education sector. In most countries, education is offered free and the turnover has been high. Corruption is cancerous; it affects and disrupts systems in African countries. Cheating in exams has crippled the quality of most education systems in Africa.
The blame is not solely on corruption alone but our education systems. Some of our own African graduates from African Universities are not recognized in some European countries for example.
African graduates in the diaspora are usually forced to start their studies again in universities outside the continent. Also, with regards to engineering studies, the number of technical polytechnics has declined. For instance in Kenya, the Kenya polytechnic which was renowned for producing quality technicians has been turned into the Technical University of Kenya to produce engineers, instead of technicians. This will bring a major setback in engineering since there will be flux of supervisors, being the engineers and no one to supervise, being the technicians.
For Africa to prosper in the engineering sector, it needs to look at her education system and invest in technical polytechnics. Tweet
Governments have tried to resolve this problem by forming regulatory bodies, to govern the accreditation and offer industrial training to engineers to increase their expertise in the practical factor of engineering. This means that most engineering graduates will be more of technicians and artisans and, to be a supervisor, one will be required to have a master’s degree in the engineering field.
In Kenya, NITA, National Industrial Training Authority has reviewed its agenda in the Kenya engineering sector and has been a key player in ensuring that technicians and master craftsmen in the field of engineering are recognized through practicality and experience. Therefore this offers an umbrella and way-out of the problem.
Industries and plants registered under KAM, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, have partnered with NITA to ensure that technicians and craftsmen can get training and through years of experience can be part of those companies as permanent employees.
For Africa to prosper in the engineering sector, it needs to look at her education system and invest in technical polytechnics.
Africa is mostly a consumer continent, even with regards to technology. If Africa can try to improve this, her energy sectors and her economy will be improved and she will therefore have a certain future. Her hunger for technology will be met with this solution.
Cover Image, Jomo Kenyatta University Juja Campus Main Library | Wikimedia