The Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Honourable Francis Kasaila, MP, has hailed Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) Authority for investing K134 million into the construction of Kasama Community Technical College (CTC) in Chitipa.The Minister applauded TEVET Authority when he toured various TEVET institutions in the northern region from 9th to 12th January 2018.
Kasaila highlighted that by constructing the CTC, TEVET Authority is increasing access to skills training in the district; a development which is in line with government’s priorities.
“What you are doing here is a step in the right direction as the structures here will enable more youth to get access to skills training. This is in line with what we want as a government because through initiatives like these, more young people will gain skills necessary for the improvement of their livelihood through self or wage employment,” he said.
The Honourable Minister said the construction of the CTC will bring other developments in the area such as water, electricity, hospital and trading centre among others.
TEVET Authority Acting Executive Director, Mr. Wilson Makulumiza-Nkhoma said his organization saw it necessary to make the K134 million investment after noting the huge demand for skills at Kasama Community Skills Development Centre (CSDC).
“Some months ago while performing its oversight function, the TEVET Authority Board visited Kasama CSDC and were impressed with the work being carried out there. In addition, they also noted a huge demand for skills at the centre and after discussions, a consensus was reached to expand the centre and turn into a Community Technical College by constructing eight workshops so that it absorbs more youth,” he said.
To ensure direct improvement of lives of communities around Kasama, the construction of the college is being done using on-the-job methodology; whereby training in a particular field is done while a person is doing the actual job and a trainer serves as the course instructor using hands-on training.
Through this methodology, there is dual benefit as learning structures are being constructed at low cost, while at the same time, communities are gaining technical know-how.
“We thought as a way of expanding the training base, we should use young people from surrounding villages so that we give them an opportunity to learn various skills at the construction site. To ensure adherence to quality and standards, we hired master craft persons and a site engineer who are at the site all the time,” said Nkhoma.
The community technical college is being constructed using environmentally friendly stabilized cement blocks as opposed to the traditional burnt bricks which aid in the depletion of trees. These blocks are being molded right at the college by the same youth who are learning on- the- job.
Chairperson for Kasama CSDC, Mr. Huggings Mlenga said 31 young people from communities surrounding Kasama were engaged to learn on-the-job at the site and TEVETA will certify them accordingly.
“On top of the traditional courses of Fabrication and Welding, Carpentry and Joinery, Tailoring and Bricklaying which were being taught at the centre; the community technical college will have Information and Communication Technology, Electrical Installation, Plumbing and AgriTEVET as additionally demanded courses,” he said.
Kasama Community Skills Development Centre was launched in September 2015 and lies on a 10 hectare piece of land. It is part of the 12 CSDCs under the TEVET Improvement Plan, a four year project (2015 to 2019) funded through a US$5 million grant from the World Bank.
The expansion of Kasama CSDC into a fully-fledged Community Technical College will take the number of community colleges to 13.