Presentation on theme: "LEAPFROGGING, TUNNELING THROUGH AND OVERCOMING: MEETING THE NEEDS OF CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION IN NIGERIA Professor Natalia A. Anigbogu Department of Building,"— Presentation transcript:
LEAPFROGGING, TUNNELING THROUGH AND OVERCOMING: MEETING THE NEEDS OF CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION IN NIGERIA Professor Natalia A. Anigbogu Department of Building, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
Universities are currently one of the main agents providing education within the education industry and stand at the centre of the knowledge-based economic development. Universities are important industries in the economy. Activities undertaken in Universities provide about 2 per cent of GDP. TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION rapid globalization, internationalisation and regionalisation massification new technologies development of information and communication technologies advancing network society advancing knowledge society the marketisation in higher education and science changing roles of government multiple stakeholders demands for accountability and responsiveness to societal needs market-like approaches to higher education initiatives to promote greater entrepreneurial skills MAJOR IMPACTS movement of students and scholars, programmes and institutions across borders rising international co-operation and competition expansion of higher education( Japan, the Republic of Korea and Finland - have enrolment ratios nearing 80%.) opened access to previously excluded populations, gender inequality erased in most countries 'talk and chalk' is not adequate improved ways for knowledge can be produced, managed, disseminated, accessed and controlled Internet outperformed university libraries and is challenging face-to- face lectures as a teaching tool stand alone online courses and complete degree programs via the Internet, virtual universities with no campus and no on-campus students the academic profession has become a large and complex profession with many faces new performative measures CHALLENGES financing equity of conditions at access into and during the course of studies staff development skills-based training enhancement and preservation of quality in teaching, research and services relevance of programmes employability of graduates establishment of efficient co- operation agreements equitable access to the benefits of international co-operation equitable access to technologies increasing tension between the traditional and modern modes of teaching uncertainty about the future of higher education and its place in society future of the academic profession seems uncertain
Some of the trends and challenges of University education are determined by discipline or profession it provides the education and/or training for. Construction education is also referred to in literature as building education, architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) education and construction engineering education For construction education these are the reflection of the developments in the construction industry in addition to general developments with respect to higher education.
Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems (Education of Architects and Engineers, 1995) criticized the education of construction professionals by identifying the weaknesses in the curricular: Engineering education is being criticized for failing to teach design, the importance of which is being increasingly recognized in engineering programs. Architectural students get considerable exposure to design, but overemphasize the art in architecture to the detriment of such matters as client needs, constructability, costs, designing to budget and technology. (The design teachers claim half the curriculum and about 80% of the students time; design teaching also absorbs the major proportion of resources and staff time, according to De Graaff and Cowdroy (1997)). Both architects and engineers have expressed concern that schools are not adequately training students in technology, particularly integrating academic design with applied technology. Schools tend to separate design from the production process. Architects are not being given sufficient training in such practical matters as construction materials and systems, construction methods and practices, the cost of construction, specifications writing, codes and standards, and the design and functioning of mechanical and electrical systems in buildings. Both architectural and engineering education programs have been criticized for failing to give students experience working in teams to achieve common goals; teamwork is equated to cheating. In the spectrum between cooperation and competition only competition is reinforced. The greatest limitation is the horizontal structure of the curriculum. Architectural students do not get experience in dealing with the various engineering and construction specialties that play key roles in the design process or with the nontechnical entities that can influence a project, for example, zoning boards and financial institutions. (It is estimated that up to 60% of inputs to the construction process come from organisations who operate outside of the construction sector (Jaselskis et al, 2011)).
Both architectural and engineering graduates have been criticized for lacking knowledge in business, economics, and management and the manner in which business considerations affect the design of facilities. They often lack the organizational and managerial skills to efficiently operate a business so that it is profitable. It limits their job opportunities - partly because of the inherent limitations of their educations and partly because many employers perceive engineers and architects as narrowly focused technocrats. Young engineers and architects do not understand the problems, motivations, and concerns of their employers and clients, often causing them to propose designs that do not reflect sound business practices. The specific practice-related topics need to include marketing, proposal preparation, office management, and personnel matters. Engineering programs have been increasingly faulted for failing to teach communication skills adequately. The importance of graphical, written, and oral communication skills to engineers has been emphasized. Engineering graduates often have poor graphics communication skills. Graduates are prepared to do research but are not prepared to apply their knowledge to practical industry problems. Although architecture and engineering graduates have had computer instruction, the potential of computers has not been fulfilled as effectively as it could be; most computer-aided engineering software, even computer-aided design software, is entirely oriented towards individual use and analysis rather than a team approach. Architecture students want to receive credit for their individual creativity, which might be sublimated in team projects. The writing and speaking skills of recent engineering and architectural graduates fall short of desired level.
Complaints about faculty with respect to construction education Many faculty members have become so research oriented that they have lost interest in teaching generally and teaching undergraduates in particular Many faculty members are unable to teach design and technology because they have little or no practical experience outside of the academic world and Many faculty are poor teachers because they have received no training in education
Leapfrogging means to jump over obstacles to achieve goals and to get ahead of the competition or the present state of the art through innovative, time-and-cost-saving means. the concept of leapfrogging is being used with respect of sustainable development for developing countries as a theory of development which may accelerate development by skipping inferior, less efficient, more expensive or more polluting technologies and industries and move directly to more advanced ones ( for example, the adoption of solar energy technologies instead of creating an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels, or jump to wireless phones, saving the cost of deploying an expensive copper wire system). Leapfrog development in education has many advocates, especially in China.
Table 1 Types of leapfrog development in education Source: Modified from Cao (2008).
How can construction education in Nigeria benefit from leapfrogging strategies? Source: Leveraging The Networked Teacher (2009).
Technology is moving higher education from the traditional campus of brick and mortar to the electronic classroom of wire and chip. Digitized notes and past examination questions with solutions and marking schemes. Digital and digitized classroom no longer must students physically travel to a construction project site to observe and hear construction operations Real-time video and audio can be delivered from active construction projects to a remote classroom through the internet. ICT dilutes the tyranny of geography Monitoring and analysis of construction projects by using imagery gathered by web- enabled, digital cameras of fixed location transmitting video through the internet. Globally networked organization of engineering and construction education institutions each sharing the unique engineering and building techniques of their respective part of the globe with design and construction students located around the world. virtual project tours and virtual supervision systems, simulation, 4D modeling Individualization of learning programs; voice and facial recognition technology to determine if the person is successfully processing and absorbing the information Gamification of the teaching and learning
According to Olotuah, Daisiowa, Adedeji1 and Odeyale (2012), only 29.65% of practicing architects in Nigeria learnt Computer-Aided Design (CAD) during their course of architectural study; half of them (57.58%) had their first contact with CAD after their course of architectural study, while 12.77% have not learnt to use CAD. There is a huge discrepancy between student and faculty rates of adoption of ICT. Often the educators are playing a catch-up role. Students often develop information technologies skills from recreational use and not as a result of course requirements. There is noticeable gap in the use of design software use between different professional courses, with architecture programmes leading the way. Students and faculty often adopt the use of computer only when it is an absolute necessity. Curriculum for many construction education programmes is increasing becoming obsolete. Teaching of computer aided design (CAD) and other computer applications is often as a result of personal initiative by faculty. This is a reflection of rigid system of curriculum changes. Top down approach in curriculum development is not efficient and in adoption of ICT most of the time is not sustainable. While there are a number of academic staff, arguably the younger ones, who willing to be trained, there exist a group of staff who are unwilling to try out the technology. Most teacher professional development in ICTs are heavy on teaching the tools and light on using the tools to teach.
Barriers to leapfrogging technologies in developing countries Source: modified from McConnel, H. (u.d.)
Inequality in higher education capabilities for institutions and individuals tends to undermine investigation into global public goods. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest participation rate for higher education in the world (6%) (Unterhalter, 2012). The popular movement to achieve world class ranking amongst Nigerian Universities suggests the need for tunneling through to overcome the world inequalities in global higher education by adopting best world practices in teaching and flexibility of curriculum content changes.