Engineers moot industrial attachment for university lecturers

Engineers moot industrial attachment for university lecturers
Engineers have advised that they wanted to contribute sensibly, shape and redirect certain aspects of Zimbabwe’s educational system.

Engineers have advised that they wanted to contribute sensibly, shape and redirect certain aspects of Zimbabwe’s educational system.

ENGINEERING professionals have resolved to tighten standards and enforce compliance within the industry as part of a raft of measures to protect both the profession and public interest.
The Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (ECZ) and the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineering (ZIE) resolved at their biannual congress held in Kariba this month to take measures to improve standards by weeding out bogus practitioners, strictly vetting foreign engineers as well as requiring lecturers from universities and colleges to get regular industrial attachments to keep them abreast of developments in the field.
In a statement issued after the congress, the bodies said it had been observed that tertiary institutions were churning out half-backed graduates because those who train them lacked appreciation of the practical side of the profession.
“Engineers advised that they wanted to contribute sensibly, shape and redirect certain aspects of Zimbabwe’s educational system so that the knowledge that students acquired theoretically can be applied when the student enters the job market,” the engineering bodied said.
“There was a request to make it compulsory for industrial attachment for lecturers. It has been observed that even though our Zimbabwean lecturers are doing well, some of them must do better. ECZ and ZIE is therefore calling that lecturers, and not only students, should equally be made to take compulsory academic attachments once every academic year to aid practical teaching and learning, which will help promote a stronger link.”
The two bodies said qualified practitioners would be subjected to tougher monitoring of their skills and know-how in a bid to improve professional development.
The engineers want foreigners coming to work on projects in Zimbabwe to go through the vigorous screening process that all local practitioners are subjected to, before being registered with the ECZ and ZIE, for them to practice locally.
In the last few years, a number of high value projects have been awarded mainly to Chinese contractors, who many players in the local construction industry accuse of bringing consultants, manpower and building materials from their countries to the disadvantage of local players.
The two bodies said they would be clamping down on unqualified people who masquerade as engineers and those who are operating without being registered.
“Actions will be taken against engineering practitioners using engineering titles without appropriate licenses as required by ECZ and ZIE. In regard to developing strategies related to enforcement, the ECZ and the ZIE agreed to work together to develop joint strategies and solutions to problems of unlicensed practice and misuse of engineering titles.”
The engineering profession is made up of more than 40 different fields. These include civil, structural, chemical, electrical, telecommunications, agricultural, aeronautical, mining, metallurgical, water, mechanical, energy, medical and manufacturing, among others. It is because of this broad array that bogus practitioners infiltrate the field.
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