Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) has continued to blaze unusual trails in quality education in Nigeria and Africa in five years of its establishment, given the most modern of initiatives across its five colleges, including Engineering, Social and Management Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Sciences and Law. The latest achievements being the ongoing N1billion International School and revival of HSC programme projects and the coming representation of African Universities by four students of the University in global Microsoft competition in America. SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN, in this write-up, captures the gist
Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), established by the philanthropist and legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola, has continued to blaze unusual trails in quality education in Nigeria and Africa in five years of its establishment.
Currently parading 34 fully accredited courses by the National Universities Commission (NUC) across five colleges, including Engineering, Social and Management Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Sciences and Law, ABUAD has, very deservedly, been winning accolades and commendations from notable individuals and establishments nationally and internationally.
The Institution’s department of Mechatronics Engineering, which is unique in very many regards is fortified with FESTO Automation and Mechatronics Laboratory equipment from Germany while the Mechanical workshop is equipped with Mechanical Laboratory equipment by CES Industries of America.
ABUAD’s achievements, aside having the best research laboratories across various other fields of engineering and computer science, also included being the Centres for the supply of engineering equipment by United States National Instruments Limited and for Computer Certification in ICT by the Computer Professionals of Nigeria.
ABUAD is Template for Engineering Education, Says NSE
Only recently, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) declared ABUAD “a template for Engineering education in Nigeria”, given the many achievements in the field of engineering education and training. Before the NSE accolade and as early as 2009, NUC on an accreditation exercise in the Institution had declared ABUAD as “A reference point, model and benchmark for private universities”.
The NSE’s declaration was premised on the sheer volume of the up-to-the moment, state-of-the-art equipment and teaching facilities from the US, Spain, England and Germany, as well as the redoubtable teaching personnel of international repute who now mans the University’s various Engineering programmes.
NSE President, Engr. Isaac Olorunfemi, who spoke after a facility tour of the university’s Engineering college which stand on a sprawling 2.5 hectares’ space within the Institution, confessed that what he met on ground, in terms of equipment, was far more in excess of what was contained in the report submitted by the combined team of the NUC and NSE that came for the accreditation of the University’s Engineering programme in January 2015. The college, it would be recalled, was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan on October 19, 2013.
At the end of the Accreditation visit by the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in January 2015, all the university’s seven Engineering Programmes were fully accredited. The programmes included Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering as well as Civil Engineering.
NSE president was dismayed that despite the large number of sophisticated equipment, about 50% of which are exclusive to ABUAD, the Founder of the University, Aare AfeBabalola, SAN, kept improving on the quality on daily basis.
His words:”What I saw in the College of Engineering is not only amazing, it is also incredible. I will not only come back, I will spread the gospel for others to come here and see the wonder in Engineering”.
He then urged the University authorities to make the innovations and research laboratories available to some industries nationally and internationally, noting “With all these, there is no reason the income of the university will not be more than that of even a whole state 10 years down the line”.
In his response, Aare Afe clarified that the NSE endorsement further confirmed the unanimous national and international recognition that ABUAD was not just a template, but “a model, benchmark and reference point in quality and functional education”. Afe maintained a lot of resources and his goodwill had been committed to developing the College of Engineering and all the faculties of the Institution to their current redoubtable status.
His words: “Our determination in this University is to produce Engineers and other professionals that will be relevant in a 21st century competitive world and beyond”.
The coming of ABUAD international school is arguably an icing on the cake of the achievements as listed earlier and many more. Aare Afe , who disclosed the International School would take off coming September, clarified that the School was established with a view to inculcating academic and moral excellence in the country’s future leaders from infancy.
Afe noted that the school, which gulped over one billion naira, is made up of crèche; nursery school, primary school; junior and senior secondary schools; and post-secondary school, which is the Higher School Certificate (HSC).
He explained that the School was borne out of needs to enable children receive all-round functional and qualitative education from early ages, a move which he said would prepare them for tertiary education venture and more.
His words: “We intend to make it a model and of international standard like ABUAD where the children here will be able to compete favourably with their peers overseas.
“Children will learn international languages from early age. They will learn to work on the computer from age one and as well have access to world-class sporting facilities”.
According to him, the HSC programme was being revived to allow awards of Higher School Certificates to ensure students were armed well to cope with rigours of university education.
He said: “Products of School Certificate or Senior School Certificate are not mature. That is why we need to revisit the HSC scheme to ensure only mature student go to study certain courses like Law. In England, GCE Advanced Level is required to study Law, we should toe that line”.
Aare Babalola: Foursome Have Joint Passion for Saving Lives
Meanwhile, four students of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) have also qualified for the finals of the 2015 Microsoft Incorporation-organised Imagine Club competition for inventing Asthmavisor, a device for improved efficient management of Asthma, especially among children.
The four, including Adeyemo Kayode, Raymond Obinaju, Sobola David and Ahwin Kevin are to represent Africa in the finals of the “most prestigious global student technology programme” which will hold in the United States of America in July. Of the four, three are in Computer Science and one in Mechanical Engineering departments of the five-year old Institution.
ABUAD Founder, Aare Afe Babalola, clarified that “the foursome of Adeyemo Kayode, Raymond Obinaju, Sobola David and Ahwin Kevin with a joint passion for saving lives, have continually been seeking to leverage on technology to make healthcare more efficient, accessible and reliable particularly as it affects the rural dwellers”.
Aare Afe noted the prime attention of the institution was on research, entrepreneur development, and functional areas of life and learning, adding that the move was already yielding “groundbreaking achievements”.
According to him, the solution to better living among children offered by the brilliant four with intellectual support of Team Lifewatch “will help patients to be more conscious of their environment and will also serve to remind them of what their doctors had advised them to avoid.
According to him, other benefits of asthmavisor to asthma patients included provision of helpful healthy tips that could prolong the life of patients and crucial supervisory role-playing and monitoring as well as creating avenue for patients to track their attacks and log crucial information.
ABUAD’s founder’s words: “The software also provides an automatic alert, which is triggered by change in environmental condition as detected by the sensors in the wearable. Asthmavisor further helps the patient alert a selected list of emergency contacts in case he or she is not able to handle an attack.
“This latest feat is coming just nine months after a 300 level student in the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the university wrote a well-researched scientific paper on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease that ravaged and traumatised the country last year”, Afe said.