Dr. Onuoha Paul Chuks is the Provost of Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos. In this interview, he spoke on why more youths should study and build a career in fishery technology, and more.
The Department of Fisheries seems to have the lowest number of students, why is it so?
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Unfortunately, I see the fishery department as the most lucrative department we have, not only in this college but in other institutions, but students are always carried away by the fact that they want to become pilots, marine captains etc. In fact, we see some of the students that are studying fishery, changing their course to become pilot or marine engineers.
I always tell them that fishery technology is the best course you can think of. It is something you can practice anywhere, as you don’t need to look for a job, you can automatically become an employer of labour.
Opportunities abound in fishery technology as graduates from the department can work anywhere in the private and public sectors; they can also establish their own farms or work in a research institute. Many opportunities are available for graduates of fishery technology.
If you look at the fish demand in Nigeria and the production, you will discover that there exists a wide gap and as such, we need professionals, experts to come into the field to produce more fish, so that they can fill that demand and supply gap.
The federal government spends a lot of money every year importing fish from other countries. If they know what they have, even those in maritime will change over to fishery because of the numerous opportunities there.
Going forward, we will be introducing measures to make sure that we attract more students to the Department by reducing their fees, offering scholarships to some of them that deserve it and carrying out more enlightenment programmes on why they should study fishery.
The college is planning to introduce Smart e-Learning. What is the initiative all about?
Smart e-Learning is an initiative of the current administration of the college where we want to have a one-spot studio, from where lecturers can broadcast their lectures to different classes at the same time. The Smart e-Learning platform will be embedded with a lot of application simulations that will give the students insight into the current and future of technology.
With this, they don’t necessarily need to have physical contact with the lecturer who will broadcast his/her lecture from the studio. That is what is practised globally and here in the school, we have the vision to imbibe the latest technology and be able to appreciate lectures better.
The college has also established, and equipped laboratories, workshops and other facilities aimed at improving the teaching and learning environment as well as making the students comfortable and more productive.