Today’s guest is Sahleselassie Teka Tedla. He is the General Director of the Federal Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institute. The institute was established in 2003 EC with a view to offering an internationally accepted undergraduate, post graduate and short term training to technical and vocational education and training teachers and technicians and leadership. It as well aims at building the implementation capacity of the technical and vocational education training sector, supporting technological transfer that would enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the country’s industry and in particular, micro and small scale enterprises.
It is achieving its intended target in the shortest time possible. More to the point, the institute targets at propping up result-oriented technical and vocational education and training system through effective research undertakings. The Federal Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institute is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. It is also turning out to be competitive in African as the Institute is tirelessly working with the purpose of excelling from other countries on the global arena. This being the case, the Federal Technical and Vocational Institute has been producing numerous professionals in various fields of studies.
Taking the wide interest of the general public and the set target of the Growth and Transformation Plan II, the institute has been working hard with the purpose of achieving the desired goal within the shortest time possible by putting a range of effective strategies into practice. Just in one year time, we were able to triple the intake capacity of the existing number of the institute.
Hence, the intake capacity of the institute has risen to a great number. This is really a big achievement. In actual fact, there was no stone the institute left unturned to reach where it is at this point in time. There is a plan to take the intake capacity of the institute to new heights of success in the just ensued Ethiopian New Year. Hence, the country’s agriculture-led industry can move straight to industry-driven one with no trouble.
Tell us a little about Federal technical and vocational institute.
When the institute kick-started work in 2004 EC, there were around 600 trainees. At the beginning, the growth of the institute was evolutionary. It was not possible to achieve the desired goal within the shortest time possible. The intake capacity of the institute until 2008 EC was estimated to be 1450.The number of trainees was not sufficient. But we did not sit with folded hands.
We were busy coming up with different strategies which could help us increase the intake capacity of students. To everyone’s surprise, we were able to triple the intake capacity of the institute within the shortest time possible. At this point in time, the intake capacity of the institute has risen to 520, not counting the number of trainees found in the various satellite centers of the country.
In fact, we have been working to maximize the intake capacity of students in the just ensued year. We are really working hard with a view to taking the agriculture-led economy to industry-driven one every so often. Above and beyond, we are expected to produce a number of professionals in various fields of studies for different industries that dot the country. To be honest, our graduates are playing major roles in the leap from agriculture led-industry to industry-driven one.
What are the courses the institute offers at this point in time?
Well, the Federal Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institute offers information, electrical, automotive, manufacturing, garment, textile construction and road construction technologies. Also it offers water works construction technology and architectural design technology, among others. We are really endeavoring with the intention of supporting technological transfer that would enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the country’s industries mushrooming in every nook and cranny of the country.
Hence, as I have already mentioned, we are producing a number of competent professionals in various fields of studies who are contributing their share in the Second Growth and Transformation Period (GTPII). Most of the employees working in different industries of the country are graduates from the different Vocational and Technical schools of the country. In other words, the Federal Technical and Vocational Institute plays major roles in speeding up the development of the country by growing the capacity of teachers and upgrading their skills in the aforementioned levels of studies.
There are gaps to be bridged pertaining to quality. To the best of my knowledge, unless we unflaggingly churn out a number of competent professionals in various fields of studies, GTPII will encounter a rocky path. Hence, we are unwavering working with the purpose of churning out competent professionals in different fields of study and thus our dream is coming true from time to time.
Workforce, graduates from Micro and Small Scale Industry as well are playing a great role in the various industries, mushrooming across the country. Graduates from vocational and technical school play major roles in taking the various industries to a new level of accomplishment. In fact, when we evaluate things in terms of quality, there are few gaps to be bridged. As there are a number of mega projects, road constructions and other related development activities afoot in every corner of the country, the number of graduates from vocational and technical schools should increase every so often.
Can we conclude that the institute is achieving the set target?
Well, the institute is working with the purpose of achieving the set goal of the country as soon as possible. More to the point, the institute is working day in and day out with the purpose of putting the set goal of the country in a little while. In fact, one of the main objectives of the Federal technical and vocational institute is to produce several technologists and professionals in different fields of programs. At this moment in time, as we do not have enough teachers in some fields of studies, we invite instructors from different parts of the world such as China, Philippines and the like.
To actualize our dream become a reality, we need to have adequate amount of teachers who are able to produce capable teachers in degree and masters program in addition to producing managers for the various polytechnic schools found dispersed countrywide. There are as well different satellite centers which offer training on different fields of studies across the country.
Tell me about the different satellite centers found across the country?
The different satellite centers found across the country include Arbaminch, Wolketie, Kombolcha, Bahirdar, Mayichew, Adama, Ambo, Adigrat, General Wingate, Tegbare ED and the like. The institute as well offers undergraduate program, graduate program and weekend program. We are successfully producing a number of graduates in different fields of studies making use of our own budget, plan and manpower in various parts of the country. The curriculum is all one and the same as all the satellite centers of the country are under the umbrella of the institute.
We are training to bridge the gaps between the demand and supply of the different institutes mushrooming in different parts of the country. At this point in time, we are providing the required manpower, machinery and other related aspects. We will do the same in the future.
Would you please acquaint our readers with the powers and duties of the institute?
As per the Federal Negarit Gazeta of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the institute targets designing and implementing undergraduate and postgraduate higher education programs for Technical and Vocational Education Training Teachers, offering higher level theoretical and practical training to those engaged in various technical and vocational education and training institutions, providing short term training and consultancy services with a view to improving the quality of technical and vocational education and training delivery.
By the same token, the institute targets at establishing relationships with foreign institutions that are in a better position with regard to technical and vocational education and training systems and with local entities which pursue similar objectives, providing technical support and advice to relevant institutions of states, issuing training certificates to trainees comparable to the level of their trainings as well as medals or other prizes for meritorious contributions in the fields of technical and vocational education training, organizing and conducting seminars, workshops, symposiums and other relevant gatherings pertaining to technical and vocational education and training.
The institute as well eyes at conducting researches relevant to the technical and vocational education and training sector and disseminate the results thereof to stakeholders, undertaking other related activities necessary for the attainment of its objectives, among others.
What did you achieve in GTP II?
In GTP II, we have been able to build the capacity of numerous teachers in addition to churning out qualified teachers in various fields of studies. I dare say, we have hit the required target ahead of time in GTPII. We as well are partaking in scaling up works throughout the country. We are achieving the sets targets in GTPII for the most part in building the capacity of teachers.
How do you describe the contribution of your graduates?
When immediately deploy our graduate teachers in different level and fields of studies in our institute in Colleges, they come back to our institute to enjoy the enriching opportunity of higher learning and to upgrade their level. This way, they train their respective students effectively aiming at quality. Their students in turn can get themselves engaged in industries and other related aspects. Towards the end of 2012, there is a plan to multiply over the intake capacity of the institute.
As a final point, is there anything you would like to convey?
As the goal of our country’s Renaissance journey is joining the ranks of middle income countries no matter what the cost may be, the country is accomplishing the intended target. Technical and vocational colleges are very important at this point in time. Problems manifested in the sector of infrastructure and the like is shortage of educated manpower. In our case, human power means technicians in between low as well as middle levels that graduated from Vocational and Technical Colleges.
If the lack of manpower and technology transfer is solved, we can achieve set targets without difficulty. More to the point, if our target is industry, we need to know what it needs. We need to identify whether it needs manpower or technology. Money alone does not help us achieve the desired goal. To the best of my knowledge, industrialization means Technical and Vocational schools and thus the government should be able to mobilize big budget in this area as the current trend is time of Technical and Vocational schools.
BY ADDISALEM MUALT