This paper titled “An Assessment of SIWES Implementation in Line with Educational Reforms in Nigeria” reviewed the functions of the various actors saddled with the responsibility of implementing the Students Industrial work Experience Scheme (SIWES). It concludes that although the scheme is not defective in design, its implementation still leaves much to be desired. It particularly identified the placement of students, payment of student allowances, inadequate supervision, and lack of tailor-made training programmes as some of the problems preventing an effective implementation of the scheme. There is also the fear that the scheme may be scrapped for NCE students as contained in the proposed reform agenda of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE)/Industrial Training Fund (ITF). Appropriate recommendations were made to make the laudable objectives of the scheme achievable.
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) was designed in 1973 by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) as a placement programme for students of engineering, technology and other allied disciplines in Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges with the major aim of bridging identified gaps between theories taught in schools and actual practices in the field. The specific objectives of the scheme according to ITF (2004) are to: i.Provide an avenue for students in institutions of higher learning to acquire industrial skills and experience in their fields of study especially in the engineering and allied fields. ii.Prepare students for work methods and techniques in handling equipments and machinery that may not be available in educational institutions; iii.Ease the transition from school to world of work and enhance students’ contact for later job placement; iv.Provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in real work situations thereby bridging the gap between theory and practice; and v.Enlist and strengthen employers’ involvement in the educational process of preparing students for employment in industries. The programme commenced with eleven engineering and technology based courses at inception in 1973. The number of eligible courses has grown to 100 by 2003 and more are still being added (ITF, 2004). The principal actors in the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) according to recent educational reforms in Nigeria (FME, 2007) are the ITF, educational institutions, the employers, students, coordinating agencies and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
ROLES OF SIWES PRINCIPAL ACTORS
According to ITF (2006) the functions of the various actors in SIWES programme are as follows: i.The Industrial Training Fund
a.Provide logistic materials needed for training and administering the scheme b.Compile the list of employers and available training places for industrial attachment and forward it to the coordinating agencies i.e. National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE). c.Supervise and assess students on industrial attachment
d.Organize conferences and seminars on SIWES
e.Ensure that students’ and supervisors’ allowances are paid for the period of attachment f.Arrange group insurance for students on industrial attachment g.Review and research into the operation of the scheme
ii.The Educational Institutions
a.Establish functional SIWES coordinating units within the institutions b.Appoint full-time industrial coordinators to operate the scheme at institutional level c.Prepare and submit master placement lists to their respective coordinating agencies and ITF d.Secure places of attachment for students with employers and supervise them during the period e.Organize orientation programmes to prepare their students for industrial training f.Work out industrial tailor-made programmes with employers and the guidelines for each course g.Supervise students on...