Over the last couple of months, the Department of Telecommunications and Information Engineering (TIE) has accelerated its pursuit towards accreditation of the offered degree by the regulatory body which is Engineering Board of Kenya (EBK). Thus, the staff have been engaged in consultative meetings to evaluate the curriculum and make sure that its up to par with the accreditation requirements. Moreover, review of the core thematic areas of the course, structure of the course and content has been constantly and diligently updated to meet the academic standards as well as be inline with the current industry needs.
To capture the industry and society input the Department in conjunction with the School of Electrical, Electronics & Information Engineering recently held a stakeholder’s conference where various leaders in the telecommunications industry were invited to evaluate the course and through this were able to immensely provide insight towards this cause. Among the key participants were professionals from Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN), Safaricom, Huawei, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), among many others.
At the conference Eng. J Weru, the Chair of TIE Department, gave a presentation on the proposed BSc. Electrical, Telecommunication and Information Engineering (ETIE) program with a list of the proposed units under the different thematic areas. He explained that the curriculum needed to be reviewed by stakeholders as part of the requirements in seeking accreditation from EBK and also to enrich it with content that meets the current industry’s expectation. He also stated that the course will no longer be referred to as BSc. Telecommunication and Information Engineering (TIE) and that the minimum points required for each thematic area by EBK had been met.
Eng. Anthony Marugu from KENGEN stressed that engineering students should receive a very good foundation in engineering basics. This would make it easier for them to be absorbed in any field after graduation where they can be trained on the job as opposed to early specialisation, limiting the areas the graduates can work in. He reported that he had requested his company to donate the decommissioned equipment to the university to be used for student training.
In his contribution to the conference, Andrew Musila from Safaricom commended the Department for conducting due diligence towards making sure that the course is accredited by EBK so that its graduates can be accepted in the industry as trained and qualified engineers. He also proposed that we publish our students’ projects and enrich them with online material to increase our online presence. Additionally, he encouraged self-learning through online courses so that learners can improve their skills and widen their knowledge base. This could lead to issuing of digital certificates by partnering with recognized institutions.
The conference was a success with great participation and inputs from all stakeholders that were well captured. Their contributions will be used to improve the course to produce well-adjusted graduates that will leave a mark in the industry and academia. And as Henry Petroski once said, “Science is about knowing, engineering is about doing.” Let us train our engineers to ‘do’ and not just know this is why the Department is out to ensure that ETIE is accredited by the engineering body.